Philanthropic Spotlight: Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation
Founded in 1988, the Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation was established to help preserve, protect, and improve Mission Trails Regional Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The MTRP Foundation partners with the City of San Diego to steward the natural environment of the park and provide educational and recreational opportunities to foster public appreciation and understanding of the preserve.
The MTRP Foundation utilizes its resources to protect wildlife habitat, support rangers and volunteer work crews in their efforts, and help City of San Diego staff develop and execute plans to improve and expand MTRP. The MTRP Foundation’s annual work program encompasses a range of activities, from publicizing the park, to sponsoring programs including the park’s annual Arbor Day, to supporting the creation of new interpretive exhibits, funding major capital improvement projects, and more.
To increase appreciation and understanding of the park, the MTRP Foundation provides a multitude of opportunities for community involvement and education. The park welcomes approximately 8,000 schoolchildren on field trips in a typical year, and these experiences include a guided nature walk with MTRP Foundation staff and park rangers. The MTRP Foundation has a new program for toddlers called “Trail Tykes,” where little explorers are immersed in Mission Trails through nature stories, crafts, and a walk to appreciate the park’s “small wonders.” Prior to the pandemic (and scheduled to return sometime soon), the MTRP Foundation also held overnight camps for middle schoolers at Kumeyaay Lake Campground. These opportunities encourage children to become environmental stewards, instilling a sense of appreciation and preservation at a young age.
Through financial and operational support from individual donors as well as state and local organizations, the MTRP Foundation continues to grow and thrive. The organization recently received a $2 million state grant from the San Diego River Conservancy, which will be utilized to acquire 83 additional acres of land to add to the park. They also received a second grant from SANDAG to expand the population of two endangered plants at the park – San Diego Thornmint and San Diego Ambrosia. The Foundation has received generous funding for its education programs from SDG&E and The Conrad Prebys Foundation.
“PBO Advisory Group assists the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation with our accounting procedures. We have been so pleased with the PBO team! They’ve been so professional and responsive, providing great feedback on how we can improve and simplify many of our processes.” – Jennifer Morrissey, Executive Director, Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation
It is our pleasure to apply our expertise to support MTRP Foundation in their efforts to preserve and protect such a beautiful area of wildlife and nature in San Diego.