Giving voice to community needs and aspirations is at the heart of the Groundwork mission. Chollas Creek Watershed families have consistently and clearly demonstrated their commitment to improving their neighborhoods, restoring their natural resources, and addressing climatechange. Groundwork strives to support them in programs to bring conservation upgrades to their homes, empower them to serve as stewards to their creeks and canyons, and inspire them to advocate for change.



Hundreds of families are working with Groundwork to bring water conservation upgrades to their homes.


Groundwork was founded and is directed by leaders who live in the community and have dedicated themselves to bringing resources and recognition to the Chollas Creek Watershed.


Youth and their families volunteer annually and have successfully helped Groundwork restore over 30 acres of creek and upland habitat.


This year participating families received 50 rain barrels (420 gallons; captured 132,000 gallons of rainwater; diverted 372,000 gallons of greywater gallons to landscape; planted 116 trees for CO2 sequestration; conserved 430,040 gallons of water with low flush toilets/low flow showerheads.

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The EarthLab is an outdoor climate action park serving over 3000 students and their families each year. Working with cutting edge education and climate leaders regionally and beyond, EarthLab advances a new model of experiential education, technical training, and mentoring to activate the unparalleled potential of these underserved communities.



Over 3000 area students participate in on-going Earthlab programs


Groundwork is developing extended learning programs for students in 3-12th grades through after-school, weekend, and summer programs.


Groundwork has generated over $4 million in grant and philanthropic funding in support of EarthLab enrichment activities for Districts D and E students.


UC San Diego brings unparalleled resources to area schools through educational best practices, youth mentorships, and ongoing support of teachers and students.

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Natural Resources

Known largely to its early indigenous populations and even today to some of its elders, the watershed’s natural resources have been largely obscured by urbanization and under-investment. Groundwork works with communities and the elected officials who represent them to secure the funds to restore wetlands and uplands, create wildlife corridors, and enable creeks and streams to flow.



Groundwork is representing watershed families in the City of San Diego Park Master Plan process to advocate for the construction of needed parks and trails.


Groundwork staff and board members serve on the statewide Parks Now Coalition, working to bring millions of dollars in state funding to priority projects in the Chollas Creek Watershed.

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Energy Equity

Environmental justice-Groundwork’s restoration of creeks and canyons- is interwoven with economic, health, and energy equity programs. Groundwork advances community participation in the green economy through school-to-career and job preparation activities; promotes health through healthy home campaigns and pollution abatement; and leads renewable energy/clean transportation initiatives through residential and community solar projects and EV charging installations and purchase incentives.



Groundwork has just completed, and is poised to receive funding for, one of the first near zero net energy communities in California to bring green jobs and affordable renewable energy to our residents.


Groundwork has facilitated a first-ever Electric Vehicle fast charging station in Southcrest to support community interest in using electric vehicle rebates to purchase new and used electric vehicles.


Groundwork has worked with dozens of residents to install affordable rooftop solar and lower energy bills.

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