sPARK Awards 2023 Winners

Forever Balboa Park hosted the inaugural sPARK Awards on March 29, 2023. The newly created sPARK Awards recognize people and organizations that amplify Balboa Park’s distinct and positive impact on the region, by recognizing those undertaking creative, collaborative, and imaginative work. 

More than 170 guests gathered to honor three awardees in three different award categories: 

Igniting Innovation

Girl Scouts San Diego,
The Incredible Race

Girl Scouts San Diego, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, hosted an Incredible Race scavenger hunt in Balboa Park that incorporated the park’s landmark locations and cultural organizations. The program engaged 300 girl scouts in a range of STEM-related challenges to grow their STEM interest and confidence, foster teamwork, leadership, and
critical-thinking skills.

Crossing Boundaries 

Mingei International Museum, 
San Diego Design Week 

Mingei International Museum’s San Diego Design Week (SDDW) celebrates the San Diego/Tijuana region by creating a forum for exchange and connection across disciplines and industries. SDDW attracts thousands of participants annually throughout the cross-border region. All program information is bilingual, with someprogramming taking
place in Tijuana.

Enhancing Ecosystems 

San Diego Urban Timber 

San Diego Urban Timber works with the City of San Diego to repurpose heritage trees in Balboa Park that need to be removed for safety by milling the wood and turning it into artful creations. The items produced continue to sequester the wood’s carbon by limiting decomposition. San Diego Urban Timber also works with the city to plant and maintain replacement trees.

Award winners were selected after careful review of nominations by a volunteer Selection Committee. A $5,000 cash prize was provided to each awardee’s nonprofit of affiliation or choice from Park Catalyst sponsor San Diego Foundation to fuel continued innovation and curiosity.

The sPARK Awards 2023 were made possible by San Diego Foundation and other generous sponsors, including A.O. Reed Co., Burnham Center for Community Advancement, Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Evans LLP, Enjet Media, Industry of Hues, and Cohn Restaurant Group. We look forward to your participation at next year’s sPARK Awards!

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