The San Mateo County Parks Foundation kicked off our first Latino Conservation Week event, Caminata en la Naturaleza y Tacos at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve, on Saturday, July 15, 2023, in collaboration with the Hispanic Access Foundation, San Mateo County Parks, Friends of Edgewood, Redwood City Together, and San Mateo County Health. Latino Conservation Week (LCW) is an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation and has a goal of engaging and shining a spotlight on the Latino/e community’s strong conservation values. LCW provides an opportunity for the Latino/e community to enjoy the outdoors while learning how to protect our natural resources. This year, Latino Conservation Week was from Saturday, July 15th through Sunday, July 23rd with events happening nationwide. Since this was the first time the Parks Foundation hosted an event for LCW, we decided to pitch the opportunity at the North Fair Oaks Children’s Collaborative for Community Success Neighborhood Action Team (CCCSNAT) meeting. We were seeking a local organization that served people who had yet to experience their first field trip to a San Mateo County Park. After presenting to CCCSNAT, we received a request from Upward Scholars.
by Adriana Fernandez Arriaga
In the fall of 2021, the San Mateo County Parks Foundation created a new small grants program called Enhancing Equitable Access. The goal is to fund and support organizations that increase opportunities for people of color and low-income youth and their families to enjoy the many benefits of being in parks and around nature.
In the fall of 2022, the Foundation awarded grants to five organizations in south and coastal San Mateo County. In an effort to better reach organizations in the northern part of the county, a spring grant program was opened up and nonprofits were invited to apply. We are pleased to announce the three outstanding organizations that were awarded grants of $4,000 each. Read on to learn more about how each is expanding access to our parks, trails, and coastal areas for those who face barriers, such as a lack of transportation or an awareness about the parks themselves.