Tierrasanta, Spanish for "holy land," or "holy ground", is a community within the city of San Diego, California. The community is referred to as "The Island in the Hills" by locals and on welcome signs, as there are only four roads that lead to Tierrasanta, all which end within the community. It is bounded on the north by the Mount Soledad (52) Freeway and the sprawling southern fields of MCAS Miramar; on the east by the 8,000-acre Mission Trails Regional Park, which has numerous hiking and mountain biking trails; on the west by slopes overlooking the wide Interstate 15 corridor running from Friars Road to Route 52, and on the south with homes overlooking the Admiral Baker Golf Course and the San Diego River.
Community activities focus on the Tierrasanta Recreation Center, which includes lighted sports fields, a large swimming pool, tennis courts managed by the Tierrasanta Tennis Club, a gymnasium, and meeting rooms. Numerous green belts with walking paths run through the canyons, and are kept in good condition with the help of the Friends of the Tierrasanta Canyons. There are a number of entrances to Mission Trails Regional Park, including a heavily used entrance with parking at the eastern end of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. The community has tree-lined streets and a secluded "small town" atmosphere, though it is centrally located within a 20-minute drive to downtown San Diego. Like most of the coastal areas in Southern California, the natural habitat in the canyons and other undeveloped areas within Tierrasanta, as well as in much of MCAS Miramar and Mission Trails Regional Park, is coastal sage scrub and chaparral.
Tierrasanta is a community of single family homes, condominiums, apartments, three shopping centers, a branch of the San Diego Public Library, and a research park. Also located in the community are several top-ranked elementary and middle schools, part of the San Diego Unified School District, including Junípero Serra High School.
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