May 23, 2024 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation (SDF) announced today that it has awarded $629,000 in grants to 20 local nonprofits expanding equitable access to the outdoors for children, families and residents of San Diego County.

“Access to the outdoors is critical for personal well-being,” said Pamela Gray Payton, SDF VP, Chief Impact & Partnerships Officer. “But not everyone has easy access to safe outdoor spaces. SDF and its partners enable more people to enjoy the health benefits of the outdoors and become environmental stewards in our region.”

The funding is awarded through the SDF Opening the Outdoors Program, which connects, protects and increases equitable access to the outdoors across San Diego County. Since 2010, SDF has partnered with more than 90 nonprofits to serve more than 75,000 local youth and families, especially those in underserved and park-deficient communities.

The 2024 Opening the Outdoors grantees include:

  • BIPOC Support Foundation – $45,000 for the Explore Next Door Program
  • Horn of Africa – $45,000 for the Park Adventures for Refugee Children Project
  • La Maestra Foundation Inc. – $45,000 for the La Maestra’s Center for Youth Advancement Program
  • Outdoor Outreach – $45,000 for the Outdoor Voices Youth Leadership Program
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – $43,000 for the “Outdoors for All” program to broaden participation in community science
  • Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center– $38,000 for the school-based Children’s Garden Science & Nutrition Program
  • The EcoLogik Institute – $38,000 for The EcoLogik Project: Connecting the Next Generation to Nature and Technology
  • SAY San Diego – $37,000 for the Real Connections to the Outdoors Program
  • San Diego Canyonlands Inc. – $36,000 for the Environmental Career Opportunities Initiative
  • Botanical Community Development Initiatives – $32,000 for the Community Access to Safe, Green Space in Eastern Oceanside Program
  • Groundwork San Diego – Chollas Creek – $32,000 for the Advancing Outdoor Equity and Advocacy in the Chollas Creek Watershed Program
  • City Heights Community Development Corporation – $27,000 for the Silver Strand for All: Meaningful Experiences & Equitable Access Program
  • Earth Discovery Institute – $27,000 for EDI Explorers: Education through Recreation Program
  • Living Coast Discovery Center– $24,000 for the Trail to Bay Program
  • Groundswell Community Project – $24,000 for the Welcome to Your Waves Program
  • Coastal Roots Farm– $23,000 for the Equitable Outdoor Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program for Escondido Union School District
  • Urban Surf 4 Kids – $20,000 for the Unlocking the Ocean Surf Therapy Camps
  • San Diego Parks Foundation – $18,000 for the Come Play Outside Nature Camp
  • Ocean Discovery Institute– $15,000 for the Promoting Equitable Access to the Outdoors for Students in an Urban & Diverse Community Program
  • Un Mar De Colores– $15,000 for the Surf Therapy Program

This year’s grants continue support of nonprofit organizations who have previously partnered with SDF. The continued support grants demonstrate the growing commitment of SDF to provide multi-year funding and grow trust-based philanthropy, an approach to giving that addresses the inherent power imbalances between funders, nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Nature is not an amenity but a necessity for the well-being of all San Diegans. However, many local communities lack critical access to parks and green space, as demonstrated in the SDF Parks for Everyone 2020 report. Equitable access to parks and green space is more important than ever before to ensure every San Diegan has a strong quality of life. To learn more about the SDF Opening the Outdoors program, visit

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Environment Initiative preserves and protects our resources, builds a more sustainable path of economic growth and ensures a higher quality of life for those who call San Diego home. For more than 49 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.8 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero,, 619-814-1365