To view a description of most recently completed projects, click here.

Core Programs

Our Core Programs reflect our most important and basic (core) values to:

  • Preserve and enhance parkland, park structures, and infrastructure
  • Contribute to visitor safety & security
  • Enhance park access & understanding
  • Promote community & culture
  • Preserve Balboa Park’s legacy

Click here to read more about these ongoing and annual programs funded by the Friends of Balboa Park.

Arbor DayGreening the Park

  • Planted Trees in areas designated by Park & Recreation Department that are a part of the Balboa Park Tree Management and Reforestation Plan that includes maintenance, conservation, and replanting guidelines.  Tree groves planted and funded by Friends of Balboa Park since 2008 are located in five areas:  on the west side just east of the Lawn Bowling green between  Balboa Park Drive and 6th Ave., along Park Blvd near the War Memorial Building Lawn, along Golf Course Drive across the street from the Golden Hill Recreation Center, at Morley Field near Texas and Upas Street, and along the upper east rim of Palm Canyon along Pan American Road West behind the International Cottages.  Urban Corps of San Diego together with our volunteers assisted in the plantings.
  • Help us Purchase Trees for Arbor Day 2012! Your tax deductible contribution can help us plant more trees for future generations. Contact the office to find out how you can become a Balboa Park tree donor. A donation of $100 or more can purchase a tree in honor of or in memory of a loved one and will be included in the Arbor Day program.

Education Programs – Supporting Education in The Park

Together with the Balboa Park Educators’ Council, the Friends of Balboa Park:

  • Publishes Annual Summer Camp Brochure, a collaborative park-wide brochure promoting museum camps and education-centered summer youth programs. Download 2012 camp brochure here.
  • Sponsors Junior Friends of Balboa Park Program Brochure for families and organized youth groups. Click here for more information. Kids complete either an Advanced Scavenger Hunt or a Park-Patch Bingo then return to the Visitors Center for their FREE patches.
  • Funds Field Trips for over 2,000 children annually in Title 1 schools to visit museums in the park. Formerly supported by Balboa Park Kiwanis, the Friends of Balboa Park is seeking funding for this wonderful program. Contact the office if you can help! A $100 donation helps fund a class of 25 children on a field trip in Balboa Park and a $200 donation helps fund bus transportation for up to four classes of children on a field trip. Click here for more information.


Horticulture - Enriching the Park’s Natural Resources

  • Provide much needed infrastructure improvements to the Botanical Building in partnership the Park & Recreation Dept.  Friends of Balboa Park funded plant labeling equipment and expects to support future upgrades including enhanced floral displays and a volunteer docent program.  Click here for more information.
  • Sponsored the Butterfly Garden installation and re-dedication of the Zoro Garden in 2008, together with the San Diego Floral Association, CHIRP for Garden Wildlife, Inc., the San Diego County Master Gardeners, and the City of San Diego Park & Recreation.  The Friends funded a colorful new outdoor mural and brochures about the garden’s plants and butterflies. In 2010, further improvements were made with generous donation from the Danzig family, in memory of Geri Danzig, including a new butterfly mosaic bird bath.  Click here for brochure.


Park InfrastructureEnsuring the park’s legacy

  • Restored Historic Fountains and balustrades in front of the Botanical Building from 1915 historical photos and blueprints. Click here for restoration story board.
  • Installed  park benches to assist private donors to honor a loved one.
  • Improved  fencing to ensure safety at Nate’s Point Dog Park and partially funded a human and dog drinking fountain at Morley Field DogPark.


Light the Way – Reducing Energy Costs

  • Installed of  4,000 LED lamps along the Cabrillo Bridge and El Prado in 2008.
  • Realized Annual Energy Savings of $21,000 in electrical costs and 141,000 kilowatt-hours, equivalent to planting 65 trees
  • Collaborated with public and private partners including the City of San Diego and SDG&E.
  • Support the completion of LTW down El Prado by helping us to purchase the remaining bulbs (500+) at a cost of $5,000.

Special EventsEducating The Public About The Park

  • Hosts the Annual Millennium Awards Luncheon to recognize leaders, volunteers, and philanthropists in the park.
  • Convenes public forums to educate and inform the public about park needs and assets.  Advocates on behalf of Balboa Park to preserve park resources.
  • Staffs Information Booths at the December Nights Festival and distributes event information to the hosting organizations and vendors.
Interactive Information KiosksConnecting People to the Park
Friends of Balboa Park, together with our partner Kiosk Arts, finished installation of two new kiosks this fall.  Click here to view a map of all five locations. Look for our new updated kiosks in locations at the corner of Pan American Plaza just below the International Cottages and at the Inspiration Point Tram Stop.  The new kiosks feature touch screen technology that has a new look and feel, thanks to the work of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative who has been designed the software updates.   Information on museum exhibits, performances, park tours, and special events are available to kiosk users as well as map locations for all the park’s features including restaurants, restrooms, museums, gardens, and attractions.   Each Kiosk offers FREE WiFi, an ATM,park map, and sponsor messages from our partners.   Thanks to funding from Las PatronasBalboa Park Trust at The San Diego Foundation, and the Thursday Club, we are now putting the finishing touches on a multi-year project that helps connect people

Project Wish List

Over the last several years we have identified high priority projects that benefit the park as a whole and which further our core values to preserve, protect, and enhance the park for everyone. These projects present multiple opportunities for your involvement. Your personal commitment makes a meaningful difference and we invite you to participate based on your own interests for making the park a better place. All projects described have the support of the Park & Recreation Department, stewards for the park’s maintenance and well-being. Major projects require significant support from $5,000 to install a historic sign to $100,000 to refurbish the water feature in the Botanical Building. The goals, timeline and budget for these projects are highlighted along with contact information.

Click here for more information.