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Friends of Balboa Park

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Friends of Balboa Park Announces the Completion of the Roadmap to Water-Wise Parkland in Balboa Park: Optimizing Water Use by 2020

Achieving a water-wise parkland will leave a major legacy for future generations

San Diego, CA, October 17, 2012 --( Friends of Balboa Park, the non-profit organization committed to preserving Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations through park-wide projects, announced today the launch of the Roadmap to Water-wise Parkland in Balboa Park: Optimizing Water Use by 2020.

The project, a major initiative focused on optimizing water management in Balboa Park, will create a national and international water-wise model. Community partners of the Roadmap include the San Diego Park & Recreation Department, San Diego State University, and other institutions and experts.

“Without critical management of water now and in the future, Balboa Park as we know it will perish,“ said Betty Peabody, founder of Friends of Balboa Park. “In all of the Park’s history, a project like this has never been done. We are proud to be the organization to take the lead on this important endeavor.”

In San Diego, Balboa Park faces significant resource constraints. As a living system, the Parkland depends on water, yet lives in a desert. The Roadmap will play a role in the Park’s 2015 centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama – California Exposition, and beyond, leaving an environmentally sustainable legacy for future generations.

“Balboa Park’s beloved landscapes must be maintained through the efficient use of water,” said Councilmember Todd Gloria. “The Friends of Balboa Park’s water-wise roadmap provides a comprehensive plan to better manage the park’s use of water ensuring that it will remain green and beautiful and will be a model for sustainability.”

The Friends of Balboa Park have sponsored the extensive roadmap plan to achieve the goal of making the Park “water-wise” by 2020. “Water-wise” refers to optimizing water use. 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.

The Water-Wise roadmap consists of a series of proposed projects that will ultimately optimize water usage. The projects are sequenced into a timeline by whether they are short-term (2012-2013), mid-term (2014-2015) or long-term (2016-2020). In addition, five topic areas for projects were developed, recognizing that the areas are inter-related:
· Smartscaping: Based on intended use of each area, optimizing ecological features, e.g., flora, fauna, land terrain/drainage, sun/shade patterns, soil composition, and the provision of water.
· Documentation: Mapping of existing water infrastructure along with measuring water use through audits and technology.
· Water Delivery: Employing improved irrigation methods; Capturing/reclaiming water for re-use in irrigation.
· Eco-tourism and Eco-education: Providing passive and active programs for visitors, students, and staff integrated under the umbrella of the “Balboa Park Center for H2O Experience.”
· Program Management: Keeping the initiative integrated, updated, evaluated, and communicated.

The roadmap involved assembling a group of people with expertise in water management, sustainability and related skills into a water-wise Community of Practice for Balboa Park’s parkland. This model also required involving key stakeholders who will have primary management responsibility to oversee the execution of the projects including the relevant staff from the City’s Park and Recreation Department.

Ongoing needed resources include expertise, funding and volunteer time. For more information or to contribute, please visit or call (619) 232-2282.

About the Friends of Balboa Park
Friends of Balboa Park is committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations through park-wide projects. Friends of Balboa Park was born out of the same commitment to civic-minded philanthropy that motivated San Diego’s leaders in the early part of the last century. Founded in 1999 by a group of longtime park volunteers, Friends of Balboa Park is dedicated to Balboa Park as a whole, initiating park-wide projects that transcend individual institutions and address human-scale needs.

For more information, visit or call (619) 232-2282.
Contact Information
Friends of Balboa Park
Jen Jenkins
(619) 232-2282

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