Edit ModuleShow Tags

Active Ways to Make a Difference

Supporting nature-loving nonprofits in SD is easy and important to the region’s bottom line

San Diego Canyonlands

As a healthy, fit community, it only makes sense that our philanthropy takes shape outdoors. For one thing, there are a little over 600 local nonprofits focused on our regional environment or our natural wildlife, according to the 2014 “State of Nonprofits in San Diego Report,” an annual study presented by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at the University of San Diego. Eric Bowlby is just one of many San Diegans who turn their appreciation for the city’s natural landscape into action. As founder and executive director of San Diego Canyonlands, the North Park resident helps promote and protect the natural habitats of San Diego’s canyons and creeks. “Canyons are San Diego’s geographic DNA,” he says. “Dozens of canyons are scattered throughout the city, providing access to nature in almost every community.”

“A sustainable, healthy environment yields a sustainable, healthy economy”

Launched in 2008, San Diego Canyonlands accomplishes its mission by fostering education and ongoing community involvement. Perhaps its most prolific program is the San Diego Canyon Coalition, an alliance made up of 49 groups of volunteers who meet up regularly to restore, enhance, and maintain the canyons and creeks that run through their neighborhoods. Practically all the group names begin with “Friends of” (Friends of Rose Creek, Friends of Switzer Canyon), and each one does its part to help solve regional environmental challenges, such as water quality and species conservation.

“San Diegans are taking ownership of their nearby open spaces and transforming them into healthy, serene places to visit nature, providing a new, cherished asset within their own communities,” says Bowlby.

I Love a Clean SD

Of course, our weather also makes San Diego an ideal place to volunteer outdoors. “It never gets too cold, and even though the summer months get hot, most events are in the morning,” says Monica Rosquillas, environmental educator for I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD), a nonprofit that organizes environmental education events and programs, such as the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup that takes place in the spring.

“We have beaches, mountains, canyons, and lagoons that, unfortunately, get polluted,” Rosquillas says. “Thanks to San Diegans who volunteer, these resources are kept healthy and clean.”

That’s important, not only for ensuring that locals can continue to bask in the fullness of San Diego’s biodiversity, but also that the 33 million people who visit the city annually continue to come back. According the San Diego Tourism Authority, experiences that influence a traveler’s happiness and relaxation include access to water and beaches, being surrounded by active, outdoor people, and nature and animals.

RACEPLACE Chelsea's Run

Not to mention that at least 281 race events—runs, walks, cycling, swimming, and multisport—took place in San Diego in 2013, according to RACEPLACE Inc. Considering that the total economic impact of the visitor industry on the San Diego regional economy was $18.7 billion in 2013, preserving our natural landscape is critical to preserving San Diego’s position in the global marketplace.

“A sustainable, healthy environment yields a sustainable, healthy economy,” says Bowlby. Taking stewardship of our outdoors also improves our wellbeing while helping everyone reap the benefits. “A San Diegan can go for a walk in their neighborhood canyon, escape the bustle of urban life, get a daily slice of peace, and feel rejuvenated for come what may.”

How Active People Act

If you’re a surfer:

Surfrider Foundation San Diego
What they do: Protect and preserve our oceans, waves, and beaches
What you can you do: Participate in the annual Paddle for Clean Water event and raise awareness and funds for clean water initiatives in the county.

If you’re a skater:

Tony Hawk Foundation
What they do: Bring free, quality public skate parks to low-income areas around the U.S.
What you can you do: Celebrate a skater friend’s birthday with a tribute donation to the foundation

If you’re a swimmer:

I Love A Clean San Diego
What they do: Lead and educate our community to actively conserve and enhance our environment
What you can you do: Volunteer to stencil pollution prevention messages on storm drains.

If you like sustainable gardening:

The Rob Machado Foundation
What they do: Work with school staff and students to design gardens that can supply school cafeterias, through the Healthy School Lunches program
What you can you do: Donate to the general foundation fund

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Project Homeless Connect—East County Gets Welcome Funding

Plus good news for San Diego police and shelter pets

Volunteers of America Southwest Raises $115,000 for Homeless Veterans with Disabilities

Plus the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, New Children’s Museum, and the Burn Institute receive grants

8 Ways to Recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month in San Diego

Cycling, rowing and beer fundraisers, plus free mammograms and educational events
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Charitable Events

November 2018


  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
28 29 30 31 01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 01
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
    Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
  2. A Sneak Peek at ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’
    The Old Globe’s newest world-premiere musical promises a familiar soundtrack and all the good feels of an ’80s rom-com
  3. What San Diego Women Want
    53 working women share their compelling stories on navigating pay equity, the baby penalty, #MeToo, and more
  4. Sushi’s Next Gen Is Here at Himitsu
    In La Jolla, a Sushi Ota protégé sticks to an age-old tradition of quality
  5. 10 Hot Plates: San Diego's Top Food News in October
    The latest restaurant rumors, openings, and coming-soons
  6. San Diego Events Calendar: October 2018
    How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags