November 13, 2013 – San Diego, CA – The statewide environmental organization River Partners announced today it has begun a floodplain and upland habitat restoration project at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve and Hollenbeck Wildlife Area in southern San Diego County. This three-year, 178-acre project will restore wildlife habitat along Dulzura and Jamul creeks on public lands managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Since 2010, River Partners, headquartered in Chico, has received continued support and funding from the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement for several critical projects in the San Diego region. Now, working with its local partners, the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement and the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, the Rancho Jamul project is part of a larger initiative by River Partners to restore more than 300 acres of habitat within the Otay River watershed.

Major funding for the Rancho Jamul project is provided by a $1.7 million grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board with additional support coming from River Partners, the Resources Legacy Fund and the Public Utilities Department. The habitat restoration project will plant more than 20,000 native trees and shrubs, restoring lands that were damaged as a result of wildfires and other human activity.

“We are proud to be part of the success of River Partners. Their work is perfectly aligned with the Center’s Opening the Outdoors Initiative which works to increase access to our region’s natural beauty. River Partners is uniquely positioned to work in partnership with other community organizations and government agencies to revitalize the river valley for the benefit of families in our area,” said Emily Young, Vice President of Environmental Initiatives at the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement.

Urban youth from the California Conservation Corps will plant and maintain the site over a three-year period, supervised by River Partners management staff. The restoration site will provide critical habitat to a number of endangered species, including the Least Bell’s Vireo, California gnatcatcher, burrowing owl, Arroyo toad, and the Quino checkerspot butterfly.

“San Diego County is one of the most unique places in the United States for biodiversity,” said John Carlon, President of River Partners. “The County contains more threatened and endangered species than any other county in the U.S. We are pleased to work with local, state and nonprofit organizations to help protect the natural resources of San Diego County and make them more accessible to the public.”


About River Partners
River Partners is a 501c3 (nonprofit) organization based in Chico, Calif., with offices in Modesto and San Diego. The mission of River Partners is to “create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.” Operating since 1998, River Partners has restored over 8,000 acres of riparian habitat and planted over 1 million trees. Its staff of 30 professionals includes wildlife biologists, agricultural specialists and business managers. They work with a variety of local, state and federal agencies, as well as private firms and NGOs. For more information, please visit

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 $621 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 $832 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at

About the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement
The San Diego Center for Civic Engagement is the community involvement arm of The San Diego Foundation established to drive the implementation of the Our Greater San Diego Vision project, mobilize stakeholders to develop solutions to community issues and better align donor support with the needs of the region. For additional information, visit

About the Opening the Outdoors Initiative

The Opening the Outdoors initiative at The San Diego Center for Civic Engagement will help reclaim the region’s natural beauty and create world-class urban parks and gateways to nature. The initiative seeks to bring together business, government, and the community to build public awareness and support efforts to establish natural and urban spaces for families to recreate, learn and enjoy. For additional information, visit


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600,
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300,
John Carlon, River Partners, 530-894-5401 x 224,