The San Diego County Parks Society has been around for almost 35 years supporting county parks and open spaces to help provide an enriching experience for all park goers. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the San Diego County Parks Society is committed to promoting the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation and assisting in the support of its programs. The organization was formed when a budget crisis occurred and a number of citizens came together to help county parks and recreation programs continue despite financial hardship. The success of the program is a testament to the value of community members taking ownership and making a difference to better their community.
“Our organization is here to help provide services outside of the parks and recreation budget – we provide some small help when needed,” says current San Diego County Parks Society President, George Hanson. “We help provide amenities in the parks and sponsor events including Summer Movies in the Park, It’s How We Live!, and many more. We want to help bring families together and encourage individuals to get outside and enjoy our beautiful environment here in San Diego.”
Hanson has been a part of the organization for many years, and has valued the partnership with the County to support a quality physical environment for the community.
“Our partnership with the County of San Diego has been a fruitful relationship for both parties,” says Hanson. “The Department of Parks and Recreation has always been a good partner to work with – this particular group of employees are some of the finest group of people I’ve ever come in contact with.”
Throughout the years, Hanson has seen an increasing need to preserve and support county parks and recreation.
“Recreation is re-creation – especially in urban crowded environments like San Diego. Chances for outdoor recreation are becoming fewer and harder to get connected to due to our busy lifestyles,” says Hanson. “It’s important that we can provide opportunities for people to get outside and re-create themselves by hiking in parks, fishing, camping – all of these things that get people out of their routine so they can be physically and mentally healthy.”
“The health of the society often relies on its leisure opportunities – some type of outlet for people,” says Hanson. “These opportunities are here to help people and [this commitment to parks] needs to be renewed through each generation”.
How can you get involved to help support parks and recreation and make a difference?
“Join the San Diego County Parks Society. It’s a great way for community members to get involved in supporting a healthy physical environment and a thriving community”.