The goal of the grants program is to advance community-driven efforts to engage youth in environmental programs and develop an interconnected network of natural areas, gathering places and trails across the county so that the outdoors is easily accessible from any San Diegan’s doorstep. These projects is designed to provide lifelong opportunities that grow the vibrant quality of life in San Diego through the WELL – Work, Enjoy, Live, Learn – framework.
“With so much to offer, San Diego’s outdoor environment and active community is the lifeblood of our region,” said Emily Young, San Diego Foundation vice president of community impact. “By prioritizing education, accessibility and connectedness of the outdoors, each of the 2015 Opening the Outdoors grant projects will ensure that San Diego’s environment grows even more vibrant for future generations. We are excited about the positive impact these grants will have on our regional community.”
The grants were awarded to:
-Mission Beach nonprofit San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy San Dieguito Watershed Explorers Program – $53,500 to expand nature education programs to the watershed by taking students to different areas along the 55-mile stretch of land and helping them recognize the role they play in keeping the natural community a thriving ecosystem.
-Pacific Beach nonprofit Ocean Discovery Institute Watershed Avengers Manzanita Canyon Restoration – $30,777 for improvement of the accessibility and overall quality of habitats in Manzanita Canyon.
-San Diego Audubon Society OutdoorExplore and Neighborhood Nature Guides – $43,400 to introduce San Diego Unified School District and Chula Vista students to natural spaces in their respective communities and inspire them to develop a stewardship ethic for these environments.
-Circulate San Diego Safe Routes to Nature, Walk & Roll to the Park – $61,000 to build safe access in park-poor neighborhoods in Chula Vista and surrounding Otay Valley Regional Park.
-Girls Scouts San Diego Girl Scout Outreach - Community Presence Initiative - Urban Explorers! – $40,000 to provide San Ysidro and City Heights communities with year-round learning focused on the environment, leadership development, life skills and healthy living.
-Living Coast Discovery Center Science Without Boundaries – $35,180 for awareness and participation to protect the region’s precious natural resources.
-BAME CDC H.A.C.E.R (Helping Achieve Community Empowerment & Revitalization) – $30,400 to help transform a vacant lot in Logan Heights into a vibrant community garden and park with community programing by enlisting input and support from local community leaders and residents.
-Ocean Connectors National City Outdoor Education – $10,000 for marine science education programs to elementary school students in the area that addresses its diversity of environmental needs.
-Earth Discovery Institute Schoolyard Habitat and Along the Watershed Education Program – $59,963 for construction of a natural habitat at Anza Elementary School and educational field trips throughout the community that tie directly to schools’ science curriculums.
-San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy Our Living Watershed – $33,845 for creation of an environmental and conservation education program for 1,500 underserved students in Escondido to prioritize multi-year active learning and service in the region.
-Outdoor Outreach San Diego Outdoors Discovery Project – $33,000 for outdoor youth trips in the San Diego, City Heights and El Cajon regions.
-San Diego Canyonlands City Heights Canyons ‘Loop Trails’ Project – $28,835 to help complete the trail system in Manzanita Canyon that connects the east and west ends of the City Heights neighborhood, providing residents with a safe and accessible way to enjoy the outdoors and get around.
Founded in 1975, the San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The foundation manages more than $675 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations.
Since its inception, the foundation has granted more than $916 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community.