Sandra B. Phelps-Wilson Horticulture Fund

logoEstablished in the memory of park lover Sandra B. Phelps-Wilson, this fund helps ensure Balboa Park has the resources it needs for the park’s beautiful and historical landscapes. Thanks to the vision of Sandra’s husband, Mr. Bob Wilson, Friends of Balboa Park has the honor of serving as steward of this important fund, accepting tax-deductible donations which are designated specifically and exclusively towards Balboa Park’s many horticulture and botanical needs.


Under the coordination of Friends’ Horticulture Committee and in partnership with the City of San Diego’s Park & Recreation Department, monies from this fund go towards such horticultural capital improvement projects in Balboa Park as:

  • Care of existing trees
  • Planting of new trees
  • Maintenance of existing landscape features
  • Design and installation of new landscaping features
  • Removal of dead or dying trees and other flora
  • Landscape irrigation systems
  • Soil preparation and site grading
  • Special botanical displays
  • Other botanical/horticultural elements within the boundary of Balboa Park in public view

Support Balboa Park’s horticultural beauty today.

Dedicate a Tree in Balboa Park

dedicate a treeFriends of Balboa Park has partnered with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department since 2008 to plant new trees in Balboa Park for future generations. This special partnership has provided an opportunity to incorporate the help of the public towards the future development of the Park. Trees within this program are available for a one-time $500 tax-deductible donation and can be dedicated to a loved one. Although there is no external plaque at the dedication site, donors or honorees will receive a certificate, tree specimen summary, and a map of the tree dedication site.  Contact  for more details.

‘Did You Know?’

A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means, two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four.

In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced by a car driven 26,000 miles.(National Arbor Day Foundation)

Dedicated Bench Program

dedicate a bench

Thank you for your interest in honoring a loved one through a bench dedication in Balboa Park! This is a momentous gift that available in designated locations throughout The Park.

Friends is the only organization that offers this rare opportunity to be a part of the Jewel of San Diego, and we are happy to work with you throughout the process to ensure this special gift is everything you wish it to be. Benches in Balboa Park can be donated by individuals, groups, families, and even organizations/local businesses as a way to commemorate various occasions or milestones.

As of December 2016, all designated bench locations have been dedicated. Check back soon for available bench locations. 

For any questions please contact or call (619) 232-2282.

Adopt-A-Plot Program


Friends of Balboa Park is proud to be extending the Adopt-A-Plot Program in partnership with the City of San Diego’s Park and Recreation Department through July 2017. This program is powered with dedicated volunteers from various backgrounds that include professional landscape designers, businesses, horticulture societies and garden clubs whose goal is to beautify Balboa Park. This project will help ensure the preservation of the Park’s rich horticultural heritage.

This is the first time that this type of program has existed in Balboa Park. Community members can adopt a plot and actually plant in our beautiful Balboa Park. Originally, this program was to only be for the 2015 Centennial. But with this program’s success, we have been able to extend the program through July 2017. We aim to continue to this partnership with community members and groups to elevate Balboa Park’s landscape for everyone to enjoy. We hope that you’ll join us for this journey.

Ways to Support the Adopt-A-Plot Program

Support is always appreciated and welcomed, here are ways to support:

  • Adopt a Plot. Any organization or business can adopt a plot and sponsor a designated planter bed for the duration of this program. You have the opportunity to design a layout, create a plant palette, and to bring your design to life!
  • Make a donation. These funds will be utilized for maintenance, equipment or plant expenses to update designated plots.
  • Share your time. Your time is valuable and we appreciate the time you spend with us in the gardens. Volunteers are an integral part of this program that builds connections between individuals, businesses and communities.

Donations can be made directly to support this project.

  • By phone: (619) 232-2282
  • By Mail: Friends of Balboa Park
    2125 Park Blvd.
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • Please made checks payable to ‘Friends of Balboa Park’
  • E-mail: for more information and so we may include your name on an e-mail list for alerts, volunteer opportunities and other updates about this program.

Volunteers  professional landscape designers, horticulture and garden societies and businesses are working to create new landscapes for key areas of Balboa Park including popular gardens in the Central Mesa, and many more acres of parkland in need of refurbishment. These projects help ensure the preservation of the Park’s rich horticultural heritage. To read the program summary, click here. For FAQs, click here.

Volunteers are an integral part of the success of Adopt-A-Plot. There will be an ongoing need for volunteers to provide assistance with planting and maintaining new gardens.


Landscape/Horticulture Proposals: 

Most plots will be for temporary landscape projects within Balboa Park. All proposals must conform to the City of San Diego’s standards and guidelines. Each plot proposal will be subject to the approval of the 2015HC.

Balboa Park Adopt-A-Plot Program Identified Plots – click here for an overview map and plot master list.

  • Click here for information on Balboa Park Adopt-A-Plot plots that Need Sponsors.

  • Click here for information on Balboa Park Adopt-A-Plot plots that Have Sponsors.

  • Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

The-Mall-in-Spring-4webTypes of Landscape Projects

Temporary- will be removed at the end of the 2015 celebration year. Landscape must be returned to the state prior to the temporary installation.

Permanent- landscape improvement will not be removed after celebration.

Special Event- an event during the celebration year (Dec. 31, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2016) that features a horticulture theme. This may be an annual garden club event that is expanded for the celebration year or a new event.

Donate to the Friends of Balboa Park Landscape Enhancement Fund
Examples of how donations will be used in Balboa Park are:

    • Plant trees to ensure a healthy park forest for the next 100 years.
    • Enhance the plantings in and around the Botanical Building and Lily Pond, and in the specialty gardens in Balboa Park.
    • Install and maintain color flowerbeds throughout the park.
    • Install and maintain plant baskets in the Central Mesa.
    • Provide interpretive signs and maps for horticulture displays and gardens.


Donation Levels:

Other Amounts:

Any amount is greatly appreciated!

For donations of $10,000 and above, please contact Leslie at Friends of Balboa Park

Donations can be made directly to support these projects via the Friends of Balboa Park:

    • By phone: (619) 232-2282
    • By mail:  Balboa Park Landscape Enhancement
      Friends of Balboa Park
      2125 Park Blvd.
      San Diego, CA 92101
    • Please make checks payable to “Friends of Balboa Park”
    • E-mail for more information and so we may include your name on an e-mail list for alerts, volunteer opportunities and other updates about this program.

final-logo-blue-SMALL-4-WEBPark and Rec LOGO 2008



Public Forums on Behalf of Balboa Park

HOH PhotosFriends of Balboa Park convenes public forums to educate and inform the public about park needs and assets.  We are Advocates on behalf of Balboa Park to preserve park resources.