Jessica Geiszler, Marketing & Public Outreach Manager, County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation
2019 was a big year for volunteers with the Department of Parks and Recreation. We provided 4,582 individuals with opportunities to plant trees, clean parks, maintain trails, assist with special events, lead educational tours, run patrols and staff offices – and a select few were approved to live on site, to provide after-hours support!
Two hundred group projects were scheduled at 40 parks and preserves – the most prominent being a multi-venue park maintenance and beautification project tackled by 650 students of St. Augustine High School – now their annual commitment for Giving Tuesday.
Another notable partnership was with I Love A Clean San Diego; staff coordinated 18 projects on creek cleanup and watershed protection attracting 694 volunteers – 288 of them under the age of 18!
The Department of Parks and Recreation also hosted 20 native tree and vegetation planting events, engaging 178 adults and 150 youth in efforts to support the department’s tree preservation program and the County’s overarching Climate Action Plan.
“We’re always actively looking for people who can help keep things clean, safe and fun,” said Cheryl Wegner, Volunteer Coordinator for County Parks.
She added, “We’ll also be focusing on teaching volunteers to use the County’s new Volunteer Management System (set to launch by summer). This brings us into the 21st century, with real-time updates and a better way to organize our large pool of volunteers and park locations.”
Wegner set an audacious goal of grossing $2.5 million in volunteer hours last year– a number that the department surpassed, thanks to incredible contributions from local residents and businesses. Wegner looks forward to the department continuing to exceed this impressive benchmark again this year.