United for Balboa Park’s Future

Balboa Park United
On June 30 City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced ambitious plans for a restoration initiative to preserve and enhance Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is widely recognized as one of the most cherished places in San Diego. San Diegans, as well as visitors, flock to the many cultural institutions and gathering places within the park to experience all the “Jewel of San Diego” has to offer.

Throughout the years, the vision and support of numerous community leaders and members has helped enhance Balboa Park to provide more opportunities for everyone to experience.

Balboa Park is truly built by the community and shared by the community.

Collaboration and Action

On Thursday, June 30 City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced ambitious plans for a restoration initiative to preserve and enhance Balboa Park and other regional parks.

Standing side-by-side with leaders from all sectors, including Balboa Park United, an alliance of the regional park’s cultural institutions and dedicated support organizations, The San Diego Foundation is delighted with Mayor Faulconer’s proposal that begins a better future for the Park.

Working together, the initiative will transform Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama into a premier public space, and provide greater access and opportunities for future generations. Visitors will enjoy increased parkland, gardens and pedestrian-friendly plazas, with additional, restructured parking options.

The project will be financed through a combination of parking revenues, City funds earmarked for capital projects and private philanthropy.

As part of these efforts, The Foundation is committed to working with the City and local philanthropists to realize the vision of this initiative, which will significantly enhance one of our most beloved and important civic assets.

History of Giving to Balboa Park

Plaza de Panama
Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s initiative will transform Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama into a premier public space, and provide greater access and opportunities for future generations.
Thanks to a long list of generous donors, The San Diego Foundation Balboa Park Endowment has granted more than $2.4 million to support the preservation, maintenance and beautification of Balboa Park.

Through the power of this endowment, our donors’ legacy will benefit San Diego and Balboa Park now and for generations to come.

The cultural institutions in Balboa Park teach our children and families about the arts, history and more. The open space gives us an opportunity to access our region’s natural beauty and enjoy our exceptional climate. And the countless events, from December Nights to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion Concerts, offer one-of-a-kind experiences and create fond memories with family and friends.

Over the years, the Balboa Park Endowment has funded numerous projects that accomplish shared goals, including:

  • Planting 100 new drought-tolerant, California-friendly trees to diversify and beautify the landscape.
  • Building a new state of the art irrigation system in the Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden. Given the critical importance of water conservation right now in our region, the new system has sensors that detect the weather conditions and automatically adjust the amount of water dispensed.
  • Installing bike racks throughout the park to increase access to the many cultural institutions.
  • Partnering on many notable events, such as December Nights, the Easter Lily and Poinsettia displays.

The San Diego Foundation believes we must invest in Balboa Park to keep our beloved community gathering place beautiful and accessible.

Join us.

Please make a gift to the Balboa Park Endowment Fund.

Learn more


About Kathlyn Mead

Kathlyn MeadPresident and CEO of The San Diego Foundation, Kathlyn Mead has been actively involved in community throughout her career. National Medical Fellowships honored Kathlyn with its 2015 Leadership in Healthcare award. Charles R. Drew University recognized her commitment to community service with its 2011 Medal of Honor. Mead was named a 2008 Woman of Distinction by the University of Southern California, received San Diego’s 2004 KGTV-10 News Organizational Leadership Award, and is also a 2003 YWCA of San Diego TWIN awardee.

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