The Marina Gateway in National City contains a small cluster of buildings located at the intersection of Bay Marina Drive and Marina Way. On the south side of the Marina Gateway parking lot, a walkway and outdoor plaza overlook Paradise Creek. The creek flows through a marsh into nearby Sweetwater River. Two signs at the edge of Paradise Marsh concern the history of the Native American Kumeyaay.
The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation owns property at the Marina Gateway, and I believe this plaza was built since my last visit almost seven years ago. The same plant and wildlife information signs remain, but, if I recall correctly, back then there was no plaza and the overlook was less developed.
One sign I didn’t spot years ago features a topographical map showing Kumeyaay ancestral village sites within 1000 feet of the Sweetwater River. It also describes how the Kumeyaay would move up and down the river as they traveled between desert, mountain, and coast.
The Kumeyaay people lived here for thousands of years, long before European explorers and settlers arrived. It is their ancestral homeland–a place of comfort, beauty, and enjoyment, a place that honors our past and that will be enjoyed by future generations.
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