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SDG&E Awards $1 Million to Environmental Champions Amplifying Support for Local Initiatives

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will award close to $1 million in grants to 30 recipients of the 2024 Environmental Champions Award Grants, continuing the

tree planting

 company’s long-standing commitment of supporting local environmental initiatives through habitat restoration and urban greening projects. Since its inception in 2011, the program has provided critical funding to numerous nonprofit organizations, with over $10 million invested in community-based environmental efforts in the past seven years alone. 

“SDG&E is committed to driving positive environmental change through strategic collaborations with local organizations,” said Estela de Llanos, SDG&E vice president, land and environmental services and chief sustainability officer. “By increasing our grant amounts this year, we hope to amplify the impact of these initiatives, fostering healthier and more sustainable communities.” 

For 2024, SDG&E has increased the range of grant awards to between $20,000 and $40,000, up from previous years. This enhancement aims to provide more substantial support to initiatives that can help improve the local environment in San Diego County and southern Orange County.  

Reflecting SDG&E’s dedication to diversity and inclusion, more than 85% of this year’s Environmental Champions grants benefit diverse and underserved populations. Program delivery ranges from Palomar Mountain to Tijuana River Valley to Borrego Springs, to help share the benefits of environmental progress equitably across the region.   

One Environmental Champions grant awardee is San Diego Children and Nature (SDCaN), who intends to use its $35,000 SDG&E grant to install one community garden and three schoolyard pollinator gardens, integrating local wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.  

“These funds will contribute to urban greening in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and Lemon Grove, increasing biodiversity and serving as inspiration for other schools and communities to follow suit,” said SDCaN Executive Director Tara Faud. “Additionally, these gardens can engage the community in dialogue about the many benefits of ‘greening’ the places we live, work and play.” 

SDG&E provides additional support to grantees and other organizations in the form of volunteerism and personal donations. SDG&E employees gave more than $800,000 in personal donations through payroll deductions to nonprofit organizations last year alone. SDG&E also hosts several volunteer programs including Environmental All Stars and SDGivE which pair employee volunteer projects with smaller charitable grants.  

2024 SDG&E Environmental Champions grantees include: 

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, in partnership with Wildcoast Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association Bayside Community Center 
Botanical Community Development Initiatives California State Parks Foundation Circulate San Diego 
Coastal Roots Farm Downtown San Diego Public Spaces Foundation Earth Discovery Institute 
Fallbrook Land Conservancy Forever Balboa Park Garden 31 Community Initiatives 
Global Action Research Center, in partnership with Berry Good Food Foundation Healthy Day Partners Indigenous Regeneration 
Leah’s Pantry, fiscal agent for Barrio Botany Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation Nature Collective 
Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center Paradise Gardeners Project New Village, in partnership with Treedom 
San Diego Canyonlands San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative San Diego Parks Foundation 
San Diego River Park Foundation, in partnership with YMCA  Servicing Every Soul Tree San Diego 
UC San Diego Foundation, Scripps Oceanography/Birch Aquarium Urban Corps of San Diego, in partnership with CA State Parks Volcan Mountain Foundation 

For more information about the Environmental Champions grant program and to see a full list of this year's award recipients and their featured projects, please visit www.sdge.com/community

SDG&E Awards $1 Million to Environmental Champions Amplifying Support for Local Initiatives