The San Diego Foundation this week announced the next round of the Opening the Outdoors grantees and two nonprofits in Escondido have received awards to fund projects in the community.
The 2019 Opening the Outdoors grants emphasize collaboration among local nonprofits working together to create a more vibrant region by increasing the number of natural amenities in low-income communities; building public support for policies that expand green space; and providing repeat, reinforcing opportunities for youth to engage with the environment.
The projects funded include:
The Escondido Creek Conservancy – $30,000
The grant will expand the reach of the Habitats program, which was successfully piloted in 2018 through funding from The San Diego Foundation. The Habitats program introduces third-grade students to the concept of ecosystems by exploring and investigating local habitats in the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Together in collaboration with the Nature Collective, Friends of Daley Ranch and San Diego Zoo Global, the program will foster environmental stewardship and will culminate in students being empowered to become environmental leaders in their homes, their classrooms and their communities through multi-year outdoor engagement opportunities.
Friends of Daley Ranch – $25,000
The grant will help Friends of Daley Ranch engage every seventh grader in the Escondido Union School District in a full day of outdoor learning that builds upon the complementary outdoor programming by the Nature Conservancy, The Escondido Conservation Center and San Diego Zoo Global. Students will gain knowledge and appreciation for natural habitats and recreational opportunities after the entire experience.
The grants were part of $458,454 in grants for 13 programs that will connect, protect and improve access to nature, especially for the San Diego region’s most park-poor and underserved communities.
“As the Our Greater San Diego Vision report revealed, access to and appreciation of the outdoors is a core value shared among San Diegans,” said Mark Stuart, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “These 2019 Opening the Outdoors grant projects will promote equity across the region by investing in programs that help overcome the underlying barriers preventing low-income, park-poor populations from accessing the outdoors.”