SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project

LA River

There's a look on a child's face the first time they see a caterpillar. Or when they are able to forget everything going on in their life, and enjoy a mountain bike ride. Through the SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project, we are making these experiences a reality by changing the way urban youth see the outdoors and helping them see themselves in the outdoors. It might be putting a native monkey flower plant in the ground, learning what a biologist does by making their own field notes, kayaking in the bay, or exploring the canyon lands near their school. 

The 2016 SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project Impact Report highlights the amazing experiences and opportunities the USFWS and its partners have provided youth in Southern California through the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program.

You can also read the 2014-2015 Impact Report.

Watch: Urban Wildlife Conservation: Southern California 

  • San Diego

    birding with john at South San Diego Bay

    As one of the most biologically rich areas in the world, San Diego provides tremendous opportunities to expose a diverse urban audience to nature within their own backyard.  Working with partners, the SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project has extended its reach into neighboring communities to engage new audiences in outdoor recreation, education, career development, and stewardship. Combining our efforts the Living Coast Discovery Center, Earth Discovery Institute, Zoological Society of San Diego and others, we are educating a diverse community of students and teachers, and engaging the next generation of conservation and nature enthusiasts who will ensure a future southern California rich in wildlife and wild places.  

    Video: Greater San Diego: Preserving Our Future

  • Los Angeles

    River Rover

    The SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project reaches deep into Los Angeles’ diverse urban core where the revitalization of the Los Angeles River is bringing back nature to urban residents. We are significantly expanding the vast potential of the Los Angeles Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, one of seventeen national Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships, to connect urban communities with the great outdoors. Our support and funding for building partnerships with the Friends of the LA River and being a community asset through the LA Conservation Corps also demonstrates the Service’s and Department of the Interior’s commitment to the landscape-level efforts of the Los Angeles River Urban Waters Federal Partnership. 

    Video: Urban Wildlife Conservation: Los Angeles - Restoration + Recreation

  • Ventura

    Condor Kids on Hopper Mtn with Joseph Brandt

    No other species is as iconic as the California condor in representing the success and value of partnerships and collaboration in preventing extinction. Throughout the range of the California condor, significant conservation is being delivered by a wide variety of agencies and partners. CondorKids, another Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership is an important contribution to the landscape-level conservation delivery by building long-term sustained support within local communities to educate children and their families about the plight of the California condor and foster a connection with the condor both inside the classroom and at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge.

    Video: Santa Barbara + Ventura: California Condor Recovery Program 

  • Contact:

    Chantel Jimenez

    SoCal Urban Refuge Project Coordinator

    San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex

    (619) 476-9150 X 105

    Chantel_Jimenez@fws.gov