ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Creek Conservancy was recently awarded a $75,000 conditional matching grant from the Gerald T. & Inez Grant Parker Foundation to support the renovation of a building on the Mountain Meadow Preserve.
The building, named Boulder Outlook, will become the conservancy’s home for land conservation activities, including volunteer training and educational seminars. First, the nonprofit must reach its goal of raising $75,000 by Jan. 15 to ensure the full grant from the Parker Foundation.
“It was really exciting to get the grant because it’s pretty challenging to get funding for a capital campaign,” said Meghan Williams, development associate for the conservancy. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we’re happy and grateful to take, and I’m just hoping that we can raise all those funds in the time allocated.”
All of the funds raised will go toward the Boulder Outlook, which is part of the Mountain Meadow Preserve created by the conservancy and San Diego County Parks in 2018. In total, the conservancy is hoping to raise $650,000 to fund the project.
“We are thrilled to accept the challenge from the Parker Foundation to match this grant,” said Ann Van Leer, executive director at Escondido Creek Conservancy. “We raise the bar even higher for any new donation to The conservancy between now and January 15, 2022. Not only is there a matching donation from the Parker grant, but an anonymous donor has also agreed to match dollar for dollar any gifts to the Conservancy. One dollar from the Parker Foundation and one dollar from the anonymous donor will make it a $2 match for every dollar raised!”
Renovations for the project have started and, according to Williams, by giving to the Boulder outlook, essentially people would be donating to the conservancy’s land fund as the land fund is currently paying for the renovations.
“Now that we have this space, we will be able to host events at our offices, we will be able to do trainings at our offices and we would like to be able to offer the space to other nonprofit organizations to use for events in the future because you know, a venue can be really expensive,” Williams said. “So it will be a nice place that we can share with the community.”
Escondido Creek Conservancy also plans to make the building available on weekends for small group retreats, as well as a place for students of all ages to conduct research projects.
“We encourage people to donate to the future of the conservancy,” Williams said. “It’s a sustainable place for us to base our organization, as we will be paying rent to ourselves essentially, and it will open up doors for our programs, for volunteer opportunities and for future events. It’ll also open doors for community organizations, as well, that want to utilize the space.”
Those interested can learn more or donate at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/escondido-creek-conservancy/boulder-outlook.