River Bugs Are Cool! - San Diego, CA

by The San Diego River Park Foundation
Activity Type: Hiking, Stewardship, Water Activities, Other
Region: Pacific West

Support citizen science field trips to the San Diego River to empower 700 healthier, happier kids to steward and explore nature!

$4,800 Raised out of $4,800
17 Funders
0 Days Remaining

Please describe your project in more detail.

Kids live in a world that is increasingly electronic.  Technological advances have, in many ways, improved our world, but they have also put electronic devices in the hands, homes, and schools of nearly every kids.  Today, the average kid spends 7 hours in front of electronic media.

This has huge impacts, not only on the health and happiness of the child, but also on our environment.  

The San Diego River Park Foundation believes that in order to reconnect these students to the parks, natural science and outdoor play, we must invest in fostering the next generation of stewards and environmentalists.

Through our education program for elementary school students, we provide an opportunity for kids to participate in real citizen science in the field on the San Diego River.  These field trips provide multiple benefits:
  • Benefit to the child:  Kids participate in flexibly-structured nature exploration, with docents guiding their experience.  This is designed in a way to foster a sense of awe, taking advantage of the serendipity of nature, spotting and documenting frogs, bobcats, aquatic invertebrates, spiderwebs and more.  They also connect the process of making these observations to scientific procedure, developing understanding and confidence in science.
  • Benefit to nature:  By participating in citizen science, students contribute to the body of data used by land and resource managers to monitor the health of the San Diego River ecosystem.
  • Benefit to the community:  For many of these kids (and their teachers), this is their first opportunity to explore these areas.  We hear frequent feedback that kids return with their families to these and other areas on the river for more exploring, now that the barrier of the first visit is achieved.  Plus, the improved health of the ecosystem through the work of these kids is a benefit to all future visitors.
We are seeking support to provide 24 buses to bring students from Title 1 schools to participate in the free field trip.  By providing transportation and fee-free programming, we can access additional students, and provide opportunities for over 700 under-served students who lack access to parks.

How many kids (grades K-8) will be directly engaged in this project?

This year, we will work with over 1,000 students through the River Bugs Are Cool program, and over 2,000 students through all of our education programs combined. 

What is the name or school district associated with the project?

We work many schools, located in San Diego Unified, Grossmont Union, and Mountain Empire Unified.

September 28, 2016 - Match your gift until Friday!

Great news. By raising $1000 by Friday (9/30) we will secure an additional $1000!

Double your Impact!


These funds will go first to providing King-Chavez Primary students the opportunity to enjoy the River Bugs are Cool program.  Hands-on science-based nature education programming with the San Diego River Park Foundation.

$200 provides one bus for about 30 students.  With the match, your $100 gift can secure an entire bus.

Thank you!


November 14, 2016 - Match Opportunity!

Donate now to have your gift matched!

Thanks to a generous offer from Dr. Phil Pryde, your donation will be doubled! Any amount helps, and with the match, a gift of $100 will bring 1 bus full of students out to the river.

November 1, 2016 - Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far! We have already had 90 kids come out to explore the San Diego River with buses funded by donors to this project.

We had so much fun with the 5th graders from King-Chavez school who visited the river. Students observed wildlife, learned about native plants, sampled river macroinvertebrates (and viewed them under a microscope) and more!

We have 300 more kids scheduled to join us and if we reach our fundraising goal we can bring them all out!