Experience the Outdoors

  • image of man with bird
  • people on bikes at the beach
  • park staff and children
  • park staff and participants
  • people smiling at table

The Experience the Outdoors program is designed to improve awareness of, and to boost equity, inclusivity and accessibility in, park programs. 


Built by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, it takes a look at an already robust calendar of existing events, and adds additional activities to appeal to individuals and groups that have not historically been well represented in park programming.  


Existing activities include ranger-led hikes, interpretive programs, nature crafts, wilderness workshops, animal education and volunteer programs. They expose people to the beauty and benefits of nature while providing opportunities to socialize, exercise, learn something new, and build confidence in the outdoors.


Through the Experience the Outdoors program, there are now a greater number of programs that involve introductory-level instruction, in more urban locations, and with promotions in multiple languages with translation services options. More expensive sports like mountain biking, kayaking and camping have waived fees and free equipment, removing financial barriers to participation. 


The first year of the campaign drew an attendance off over 14,000 people and showed a 12 percent increase in regional park visitation. Every year, the program will be updated – continuing the most successful activities and introducing new ones to further expand a more diverse audience.


Parks are for everybody. We understand various limitations prevent some people from visiting parks and we are doing what we can to remove those barriers, one by one, by listening, learning, forming creative partnerships, and launching innovative programs like Experience the Outdoors.


We encourage you to participate in an upcoming activity.   


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