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

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

tree plantingSan 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 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