April 7, 2014 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) awarded $182,412 in grants to six nonprofit organizations committed to land restoration and acquisition.

The six grant recipients include: Earth Discovery Institute ($28,575), Endangered Habitats Conservancy ($50,000), Escondido Creek Conservancy ($29,756), Living Coast Discovery Center ($30,392), Preserve Calavera ($13,692) and San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy ($29,997).

The CCE awarded the grants from the Conservation Catalyst Fund. The fund provides grants to support time-sensitive projects that conserve biodiversity, and protect native plant and animal species.

According to Bob Kelly, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation, the Conservation Catalyst Fund supports the CCE Opening the Outdoors initiative to ensure that nature is accessible, connected and protected for everyone to enjoy. “Opening the Outdoors is about getting San Diegans, children and visitors out into nature to enjoy our beautiful region,” he shared. “Enjoying the outdoors also promotes activity and increases wellness.”

“By working together with local conservation organizations to support protection and stewardship,” said Dr. Emily Young, San Diego Foundation Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, “our local efforts will contribute significantly to the achievement of state, national and international conservation goals to link local efforts to regional impact and ultimately, global sustainability.”

“The Conservation Catalyst Fund is collaborative, strategic and pivotal,” Young added. “Grants and loans will be recommended by conservation groups for conservation groups. Our current collaborators include Conservation Biology Institute, The Conservation Fund, Endangered Habitats League, San Diego Zoo Global, and The Trust for Public Land,” she continued.

Conservation Catalyst Fund 2014 Grantees:

  • Earth Discovery Institute, Partnerships for Conservation: Community Stewardship Support Project, $28,575. Crestridge Ecological Reserve grasslands restoration ($23,175); and Photo-monitoring of the South County grasslands restoration project ($5,450). Volunteers (including students) will be integral to the project.
  • Endangered Habitats Conservancy, Land Acquisition for the San Diego County MSCP, $50,000. Three acquisitions: La Cresta/Crestridge Ecological Reserve, Ulrich/Crestridge Ecological Reserve, and Lakeside Downs/Lakeside. Funding covers appraisals and related fees.
  • Escondido Creek Conservancy, Elfin Forest Land Management and Creek Restoration, $29,756. Two elements: Initial preserve set up for Cielo del Norte Phase A and Cielo Estates (access control, signage, clean up) and partial restoration near the creek (invasives removal).
  • Living Coast Discovery Center, Out-Planting the Endangered Salt Marsh Bird’s Beak at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge-Sweetwater Marsh Unit as an Adaptation to Sea Level Rise, $30,392. Five components: testing viability of collected seeds, identifying and mapping potential new locations for salt marsh bird’s-beak, site preparation and out-planting, monitoring planting success, and preparation of annual monitoring reports.
  • Preserve Calavera, Village H Coastal Sage Scrub Restoration Project, $13,692. Restore 2 acres of disturbed land to coastal sage scrub in what is the last remaining unrestored parcel in a regional wildlife corridor through Carlsbad. Activities include: site preparation, planting, irrigation, weed/pest control, and monitoring/evaluation.
  • San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Citizens Restoring Coastal Habitat, $29,997. Three elements: sage scrub restoration to expand high quality gnatcatcher and quino checkerspot butterfly habitat; riparian scrub restoration to expand least bell’s vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher habitat; and coastal strand vegetation restoration to expand least terns and snowy plover habitat.

Opening the Outdoors Program Results to Date

  • 34,000+ acres of critical natural habitats and green space acquired (equivalent in size to 6 Balboa Parks).
  • $165+ million in private and public funding for land acquisition and stewardship.
  • 2,300+ residents help revitalize green space and reduce exposure to toxic pollutants.
  • 20,000+ volunteers engaged in community outreach, advocacy, and environment-based education programs.
  • 1 research report, Parks for Everyone, highlighting green access challenges and opportunities in the region.
  • 2 sister parks, Border Field in San Diego and Parque Sauces, Tijuana now provide a welcoming place for families.
  • Nearly 2,100 kids got outside through our program partners in 2012-2013.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $636 million in assets, almost 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 $860 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

Opening the Outdoors
The Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagment is Opening the Outdoors to 500,000 people in unserved or underserved areas as identified in the Parks for Everyone report. Connecting our natural spaces will be accomplished by promoting philanthropy, civic engagement, and collaboration between business, government and community to increase support for connecting, protecting and increasing access to nature in our region. In addition to building infrastructure, such as trails, signage and outdoor amenities, this initiative is dedicated to getting kids outside, especially those who currently don’t have sufficient access.

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, heather@sdfoundation.org