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For nature. For the future.

For 150 years, The Nat has been a champion for the environment. Our founding members helped establish Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We’ve protected some of San Diego’s most cherished canyons and hiking spots. Countless species and habitats are healthier because of our work. We've brought generations of visitors closer to nature through our programs and exhibits.

The next 20 years are critical to nature’s future. Which is why The Nat’s role is so critical, too. Despite the successes, active stewardship of our natural world is more important than ever as climate change takes a bigger toll. Never in our history has it been so important to think about the future. This is at the core of our $50 million fundraising campaign.

With your help, we can get big things done to preserve, protect, and nurture nature in this amazing place we call home. Join us in helping nature thrive.

Yes! I'm here for nature.

Read on or click here to learn more about our plans and prioroties.

We will do more than ever to connect people with nature.

Our 150th anniversary in 2024 isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. It’s about pushing forward with big, bold ideas. There’s so much more to The Nat than our building in Balboa Park. Even so, there will be a lot happening inside and outside these walls in the next few years. Here are just a few of our major projects.

Planting a garden for all.

We’re celebrating our anniversary with a gift to the community—an outdoor exhibit of interconnected gardens that will be free to all to enjoy. The native plant garden will be a beautiful addition to Balboa Park. More importantly, we want it to inspire people to plant for a healthier future.

I'm here for the garden

Keeping our canyons healthy.

Our Healthy Canyons project works with local residents and conservation groups to better understand our network of canyons and the important role they play. Our canyons keep San Diego green, and we want to find new ways to keep them healthy for wildlife and future generations.

I'm here for the canyons

We will do more than ever to protect the ecological record.

Our job isn’t just to collect things. It’s to protect them—forever. Our research collection serves as a library of life in our region and helps answers questions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. Already, our specimens have helped explore solutions to problems as diverse as the treatment of Alzheimer’s to the effects of pesticides on marine life. Safeguarding our collections for the public good requires staffing, equipment, and ideal conditions for preservation.

Our fossils are going back underground.

San Diego is one of the most fossil-rich areas in the country, and our collection is an important repository for many of them. As our collection grew, it was split between two locations. But that’s changing. For the first time in decades, our paleontology collection will be located in one place, providing greater access to curators, visiting researchers, and the public.

I'm here for the fossils

Greening the building.

We’re updating our lighting and HVAC systems and replacing our Atrium skylights with new materials that offer better insulation and UV protection. These upgrades not only save energy, but they help safeguard our specimens. Our collections are irreplaceable, and it’s essential to have optimum conditions so they can be studied for generations.

I'm here for the long haul

We will do more than ever to invest in research and the people who do it.

Our research makes conservation possible. Every day, our scientists are out in the field, conducting research throughout Southern California and far down into the Baja California Peninsula. And what we learn, we want to pass on. One of the most important things we can do is cultivate a new generation of scientists to carry on our important work. An agile research department means we can react quickly to conservation-related needs and do more long-term planning.

Prepare for a future that's coming fast.

Preserving nature in San Diego is a group effort, and one of the most important things we can do is help others do important work. That’s why we’re creating the Biodiversity Accelerator to provide start-up funding for conservation and research projects, allowing us to help other groups do essential work in addressing emerging issues.

Ensure our good work continues.

Many of the region's top scientists work here, and we intend to keep building expertise. Endowments allow us to continue to attract great talent while guaranteeing stability and long-term support for research and programs. Our goal is to endow curators and fund collections care, fellowships, equipment, and field expeditions.

You can help nature in our region thrive.

We still have so much to learn, do, and discover. That’s why, every day, we’re here for nature. And we look forward to having you here with us.

Give now, or contact VP of Philanthropy and Engagement Eowyn Bates at or 619.255.0172 to learn how you, too, can be here for nature. Now and for the next 150 years.