As Earth Day approaches Sunday, April 22, we’re reminded that the outdoors plays a significant role in our lives in San Diego.

In The San Diego Foundation Our Greater San Diego Vision report, San Diegans list “access to the outdoors and the enjoyment it brings” as an important value, and one of the primary reasons why they live in the region.

Yet not all San Diegans can access our great outdoors and the many benefits nature has to offer.

The Parks for Everyone report found that while 45 percent of San Diego County’s total land area is green space, many low-income, ethnically diverse communities have limited access to parks and open spaces.

The San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors Program was established in response to the Parks for Everyone report findings and our region’s need to connect, protect and increase access to green space and nature across the county, especially for San Diegans in underserved and park-poor communities.

The Opening the Outdoors Program has granted more than $3.9 million to more than 80 organizations – including nonprofits like Living Coast Discovery Center, San Diego River Park Foundation and San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy – working together to increase accessible outdoor space and to encourage youth to learn more through hands-on education.

How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?

Opening the Outdoors partner organizations are helping children and families in park-poor communities access (and enjoy!) San Diego’s green space. In addition to connecting with nature, getting outside helps San Diegans by:

  1. Increasing property values and revenue generation from tourists to build a stronger economy;
  2. Providing more green space for physical activity to combat obesity and improve community health;
  3. Increasing storm water absorption, reducing air and water pollution, and providing habitat for animals and plants to create a more climate-resilient region.

The question is: How are you getting outside this weekend to celebrate Earth Day?

If you’re looking for outdoor activities, many Opening the Outdoors partners and local organizations, such as Living Coast, Balboa Park, Birch Aquarium and Canyonside Park, are hosting events this weekend for San Diegans.

Check out this local listing of Earth Day events to get involved.

Or, create an adventure of your own.

Discover a new outdoor activity at, a website dedicated to connecting San Diegans to parks and outdoor activities county-wide. Get Outside San Diego was developed by GreenInfo Network with grant support from the Brutten Family Fund at The San Diego Foundation.

Connecting with Nature

Watch the video below to learn about Earth Day activities from local nonprofits and the inspiring work they’re doing region-wide to help increase access to the outdoors for underserved communities.

How are you getting outside this weekend to celebrate Earth Day?
Are you hosting an Earth Day event for your community?
Share your plans in the comments below!