New brochures are available at the Balboa Park Visitors Center that highlight the many wonderful gardens of Balboa Park. The brochure includes a self guided walking tour of the West Mesa, highlighting 16 different areas of historical interest and tree locations. Other gardens are located on a central map with historical information about each garden. The Gardens of Balboa Park Brochure is made possible by a grant from The San Diego Foundation Balboa Park Trust.
First Arbor Day in Balboa Park, circa 1904
San Diego’s first Arbor Day celebration was on Saint Patrick’s day in 1904. Kate Sessions helped to organize that first planting, a community event attended by 3500 school children who came to what was then named “City Park” to plant 60 pine and cypress trees. Mary B. Coulston, then secretary of the Chamber ‘s Park Improvement Committee, solicited messages from Governor Pardee and President Theodore Roosevelt to be read to the children, thereby insuring avid press interest. To read more about Balboa Park’s original Arbor Day, click here to read the full article from “The Trees of Balboa Park: 1910,” from the Journal of San Diego History, by Nancy Carol Carter.
A classroom of 1st graders of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School gathered on April 29, 2013 to plant the beak of the bird in Bird Park. The park, at the corner of Upas & 28th St. in North Park, was created 20 years ago as a children’s entrance to Balboa Park. The children learned about native plants from Master Gardener and plant expert Lucy Warren who taught the children about the plants that were installed, with help from Park & Recreation staff and native plant expert Greg Rubin. To view the photo gallery, click here. For more information about the project, click here.
We celebrated National Arbor Day today with a special tree dedication, planting, and program at the site of a new tree grove at 6th Ave. and Quince St. in Balboa Park. Click here to download an event program. 100 2nd graders from Albert Einstein Academy attended and Tree advocates were on hand from the San Diego Urban Forestry Council to educate the children about the benefits of trees. Several speakers including Mayor Filner, City Council President Todd Gloria and State Assembly member Toni Atkins were on hand to help dedicate the new tree grove. Photos of the event may be viewed from our photo gallery.
Summer is just around the corner. Click here to download our collaborative summer camp brochure which has all the information you need to register:
Collaborative half day camp offerings that coordinate lunch time supervision and coordination so that your child may spend the morning at one camp and the afternoon in another;
Contact information for registration with each camp description.
- Published and funded by Friends of Balboa Park!
When the plants had gone dormant and the Park’s social calendar slowed sufficiently, Park & Recreation Department and Friends of Balboa Park completed the final work to recover from the damage to the Lily Pond in August of 2012. To read more about the repairs and restoration, click here.
To view a complete listing of donors for the repair and restoration project, click here.
To view our photo galleries of the recent activity, including event photos from the Lily Pond Celebration on February 25, click here.
Founder Betty Peabody. Photo by Sam Hodgson
We share with you here the wonderful remarks made by our Founder, Betty Peabody, at our recent Awards Luncheon.
Thank you Clark and Iris! All of you have certainly inspired all of us! How many of you were here for the 1935 Exposition? Franklin D. Roosevelt came to Balboa Park, both as Secretary of the Navy and later, as President. In a depression era speech he advised and encouraged Americans to “build from the bottom up.” To download and view the rest of Betty’s speech, click here.
“Santa” receives an Inspiration Award from Councilman Todd Gloria
Our 12th Annual Friends of Balboa Park Luncheon was held at the Balboa Park Club on Tuesday, October 30. To view the event photos, click here.
This year we honored Patrons of the Prado and the House of Pacific Relations/International Cottages for our Millennium Award honor for their years of service and philanthropy in the park.
Five volunteers from organizations in the Park received Inspiration Awards on the basis of their contribution of community service to the Park or to one or more of the Park’s organizations. Our congratulations to:
- Jane Cowgill – San Diego History Center and The Old Globe
- Betsy Gardner – San Diego Junior Theatre
- Kay Harry – San Diego Floral Association
- Mary Toomey – San Diego Natural History Museum
- William Swank – Community Christmas Center
We thank all of you who attended and especially our underwriters and sponsors!
Friends of Balboa Park is launching a major initiative focused on optimizing water management. We sponsored the creation of a comprehensive plan in the form of a roadmap to achieve the goal of making the parkland “water-wise” by 2020. “Water-wise” means optimizing water use, thereby helping make the parkland more environmentally sustainable. Decisions about the optimal use of water are based not only on reducing water usage but also on the systemic impacts of water use on other natural resources such as air, energy, soil, re-use/recycling of materials, etc. Achieving a water-wise parkland will leave a major legacy for future generations.To view and download the final report,click here to visit our Water-wise collaboration space online. Click here for the latest press release.
Friends of Balboa Park is proud to get you behind the scenes around Balboa Park. If you are a regular Park visitor, you have probably heard one of the noontime bell medleys coming from the California Tower. But few people know the process behind the sound. To read more about this fascinating instrument and its rich history in the park, and to find out how you can submit a song request, click here to view entire article submitted by current Carillonneur Gina Seashore.