Nate’s Point Reforestation
On January 26, 2016, over 30 volunteers took part in a massive tree planting event at the very popular Nate’s Point off-leash dog park. The planting of 18 trees was coordinated by the Balboa Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department and the national brand pet food maker Beneful, which had selected Nate’s Point as one of its 12 Dream Dog Park Project prize winners.
At the event, Beneful presented Director of Park and Recreation Herman Parker and Balboa Park Conservancy President and CEO Tomas Hererra-Mishler with the $20,000 prize check. Members of the Beneful dog park team then took part in the tree planting alongside volunteers and Conservancy and Park and Rec staff.
Beneful chose Nate’s Point for the Dream Dog Park Project because, according to Beneful Brand Manager Matt Basler, the company was inspired by efforts already being done to improve the Park and wanted to help out, by being present to both assist with the tree planting and to present the donation.
The 18 trees planted—jacarandas, tipuana tipus, and mahoganies—were chosen for the amount of shade and greenery they will add to the south end of Nate’s Point Dog Park. They were selected and brought in by the Park and Recreation Department, which also provided the necessary planting materials, including mulch and garden tools.
The $20,000 prize money paid for the jacaranda and tipuana tipu trees, planting materials, temporary fencing to be placed around the young trees, and a water-wise “bubbler” irrigation system that will automatically fill each tree’s water well on a pre-determined schedule. The mahogany trees were grown in the Park and Rec nursery from seeds provided by the San Diego Zoo. They present a unique addition to the Park’s forest. The remaining funds from the Beneful prize will go toward future enhancements to the dog park.
In addition to enhancing the landscape and visitor experience of Balboa Park, the tree planting helps fulfill goals of the city’s Climate Action Plan, San Diego’s environmental strategy, as Steven Hill, Senior Policy Advisor to City Councilmember Todd Gloria, pointed out at the planting event.
The Nate’s Point reforestation project exemplifies how the Balboa Park Conservancy is structured in such a way to enable public-private partnerships that result in enduring improvements that can be enjoyed by park visitors for generations to come.