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San Bernardino Back to Nature

Youth Served
Community Activity Days
Nature Area Trips

Amount $605,321
Grantee City of San Bernardino
Award Year 2022
Funding Source General Fund, Outdoor Equity Program
Project Type Program Operation
Project Status


Conduct the San Bernardino Back to Nature Program for residents near the Rudy C. Hernandez Center in the City of San Bernardino. This program will include approximately 72 activity days in the community for approximately 2,000 participants and 42 trips to natural areas for approximately 2,200 participants during three years of programming.

Activities in the community will include community park clean up, conservation education, family overnight camping preparation and youth overnight camp preparation.

Trips to natural areas outside of the community will include youth overnight summer camp at Camp Elk Summer Camp in Wrightwood, teen overnight Camping in Wrightwood, family overnight summer camp Silverwood Lake in Hesperia, winter overnight family camp in Cedar Glen, Sea World San Diego, North Etiwanda Nature Preserve, and Santa Monica Pier Preserve.

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Community Home Base Location
222 North Lugo Ave San Bernardino, CA 92408
County San Bernardino
Assembly District AD 45 James C. Ramos (D)
Senate District SD 23 Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R)
Congressional District CD 33 Pete Aguilar (D)

Annual Report Details

Programs may span from one year to multi-year, not to exceed four years. The specific length of the program is contained in the description above.

Category Total
Youth Served 670
Days for Activities in the Community 14
Nature Area Trips 7

List of Educational Goals Achieved


Environmental Education: The outdoor program provided participants with hands-on experiences to learn about and appreciate the natural environment. Through activities such as nature walks, wildlife observation, camping trips, and environmental discussions, participants gained a deeper understanding of local ecosystems and the importance of conservation.

Team Building and Leadership Skills: The program incorporated team-building exercises and leadership development activities, fostering collaboration and interpersonal skills among participants. Engaging in outdoor challenges and problem-solving scenarios encouraged teamwork and the development of leadership qualities.

Experiential Learning: The outdoor program prioritized experiential learning, allowing participants to engage with nature actively. Whether through community cleanups, day trips, or camping experiences, participants gained practical knowledge through direct, hands-on experiences. Cultural Appreciation and Diversity

Education: The program incorporated elements that exposed participants to diverse cultures, traditions, and historical aspects of the outdoor environment. This approach fostered cultural appreciation and understanding among participants, contributing to a broader perspective.

List of Formed Partnerships


Fam Camp Collaboration with Back 2 Nature:

Accomplishments: Fam Camp was crucial in elevating our family camping experience by providing specialized training for the Back 2 Nature staff. This partnership contributed to enhanced service quality and customer satisfaction. Lessons Learned: Establishing targeted training programs can significantly impact collaborating entities' skills and service delivery, fostering a more seamless and enjoyable experience for end-users.

1. Supply Trailer: Accomplishments: Fam Camp's provision of a well-equipped trailer of supplies greatly enriched our camping trip. This enhanced the overall convenience and comfort of our camping adventures, contributing to positive feedback from participants. Lessons Learned: Strategic resource provision by partners can alleviate logistical challenges, demonstrating the importance of thoughtful collaboration in enhancing the overall experience for all involved parties.

2. Reservation Support for California State Park: Accomplishments: Fam Camp facilitated the reservation process for camping in a California state park, streamlining the administrative aspects for our group. Their involvement ensured a smooth and hassle-free experience for participants. Lessons Learned: Partnering with entities that can navigate bureaucratic processes and provide administrative support is invaluable, showcasing the importance of well-connected collaborations for successful event execution.

3. Waiver of Camping Fees: Accomplishments: Fam Camp demonstrated generosity by waiving the fees associated with camping in a California state park. This financial support made the outdoor experience more accessible and affordable for participants. Lessons Learned: Financial considerations should be part of partnership discussions, and when partners can contribute by alleviating costs, it significantly enhances the overall impact and accessibility of the program. In summary, the partnerships forged with Fam Camp during the first year from the grant award to December 1st, 2023, have yielded substantial accomplishments, including enhanced staff training, improved logistical support, and increased participant affordability. These achievements underscore the importance of strategic collaborations in optimizing program outcomes and participant satisfaction. Ca State Parks Fam Camp Program played a pivotal role in enhancing our family camping experience. Offering the Back 2 Nature staff training was a valuable resource. Additionally, they generously provided a well-equipped trailer of supplies, facilitated our campground reservation, and graciously waived the associated fees for camping in a California state park.

YMCA Camp Elk Collaboration: Accomplishments: YMCA Camp Elk played a pivotal role in our program's success by securing reservations for 79 children aged 7-17. Their partnership ensured a smooth process and extended a discounted rate, making the outdoor experience more accessible to a diverse group of participants. Lessons Learned: Collaborating with organizations prioritizing accessibility and affordability can significantly broaden the reach of programs, fostering inclusivity and community engagement. Youth Recruitment Support: Accomplishments: YMCA Camp Elk will help recruit youth, contributing to the program's goal of filling all available spots. Their involvement showcases a commitment to community engagement and the Back 2 Nature program. Lessons Learned: Engaging partners in the recruitment process is essential, highlighting the value of shared responsibilities and the collective effort needed to ensure program success. Outdoor Education Initiatives Accomplishments: YMCA Camp Elk provided valuable opportunities for youth to learn about the natural fauna in the area. Additionally, they organized activities for participants to stargaze and explore the night sky, fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment. Lessons Learned: Partnerships that bring unique educational components to the program contribute to a more enriching experience for participants, emphasizing the importance of diverse learning opportunities.

Community Engagement and Night Sky Exploration: Accomplishments: YMCA Camp Elk facilitated community engagement by offering opportunities for youth to explore and learn about the night sky. This initiative aligned with the program's educational goals and created a sense of wonder and curiosity among participants. Lessons Learned: Collaborating with partners that bring a sense of wonder and curiosity to the program enhances the overall impact and aligns with the mission of fostering a love for outdoor exploration. In summary, the partnerships established during the first year with YMCA Camp Elk, from the grant award until December 1st, 2023, have resulted in significant accomplishments. These include enhanced accessibility through discounted rates, successful youth recruitment efforts, and engaging outdoor education initiatives. The lessons learned underscore the importance of partnerships prioritizing inclusivity, shared responsibilities, and diverse learning experiences for program success.

Collaboration with Cajon High School: Accomplishments: Cajon High School played a vital role by providing dedicated volunteers crucial for successfully executing community cleanups. Their involvement ensured the completion of tasks essential for enhancing the local environment and fostering community well-being. Lessons Learned: Partnering with educational institutions can be instrumental in securing enthusiastic and committed volunteers, highlighting the significance of engaging with local schools for community-oriented initiatives.

Community Cleanup Achievements: Accomplishments: Through the partnership with Cajon High School, a series of community cleanups were completed, contributing to improving local aesthetics and environmental health. The collaboration demonstrated the positive impact that collective efforts can have on community beautification. Lessons Learned: Establishing partnerships focused on shared community goals fosters a sense of ownership and pride among participants, emphasizing the importance of collaborative initiatives for tangible positive outcomes.

Youth Engagement and Community Service: Accomplishments: Cajon High School's involvement provided a platform for youth engagement in meaningful community service. Students actively participated in the cleanups, fostering a sense of civic responsibility, and instilling a commitment to the well-being of their local community. Lessons Learned: Collaborations with educational partners contribute to project success and serve as valuable opportunities to instill a sense of social responsibility and community involvement among the younger generation. Enhanced Local Partnerships: Accomplishments: The partnership with Cajon High School facilitated stronger connections within the local community. It encouraged a collaborative spirit, emphasizing the importance of fostering relationships with educational institutions as key contributors to community development. Lessons Learned: Building partnerships with local entities establish a foundation for sustained community engagement, showcasing the significance of forging relationships beyond specific projects. In summary, the collaboration with Cajon High School during the first year, from the grant award until December 1st, 2023, yielded significant accomplishments, including successful community cleanups, enhanced local partnerships, and encouraging youth engagement in community service. The lessons learned underscore the value of educational partnerships in achieving shared community goals and fostering a sense of responsibility among the younger generation.



Engage Community Stakeholders:

Collaborating with community stakeholders proved highly effective in participant recruitment. Local schools, community centers, and youth organizations can be valuable partners in spreading awareness and encouraging participation.

Inclusive Family Involvement:

Emphasizing family participation in outdoor activities enhanced program engagement. By structuring activities to accommodate all age groups and promoting a family-friendly atmosphere, the program became more appealing and accessible. Balancing the diverse needs and preferences of different family members can be challenging. Offering a variety of activities with flexible options can help address this, ensuring inclusivity for all family members.

Multifaceted Advertising Approach:

Utilizing multiple advertising platforms, including online channels, local publications, and community bulletin boards, maximized visibility and outreach. A comprehensive approach helped capture a broader audience and diversified participant demographics.

Interactive and Informative Campaigns:

Creating interactive and informative campaigns increased participant interest. Detailed information about the program and visually appealing content contributed to higher engagement levels and a greater sense of anticipation.

Community Feedback Mechanisms:

Establishing feedback mechanisms allowed for continuous improvement. Regularly seeking input from participants and community members provided valuable insights, helping refine future program offerings based on community preferences.

In summary, for future outdoor programs, the recommendation is to work closely with community stakeholders, encourage family involvement, adopt a multifaceted advertising approach, create interactive campaigns, and create feedback mechanisms. These strategies can contribute to program success, while addressing potential challenges through proactive communication and flexibility in program design.

Other Program Goals

Service Learning/Career Pathway/Leadership Opportunities
  • 50 residents will Volunteer with the City Of San Bernardino Back to Nature Program.
  • 60 residents will become Youth Camp Counselors with the San Bernardino Back to Nature Program.
  • 60 teen residents will participate in an Environmental Stewardship Program where they will lead and Plan community Clean-ups.

Inland Empire Resource Conservation Program will provide environmental education.

YMCA Camp Elk will provide Nature Education During overnight Youth Camping.

California Conservation Corps will provide education on careers in the outdoors.

City of San Bernardino Department of animal services will provide education on how to safely take pets into natural areas.


25 youth residents will take part Teen Environmental Stewardship Club meetings once a month. Teens will plan park and community clean-ups and recycling efforts on a continuous basis. Teens will be encouraged to engage in Civic Leadership. This program will continue to be offered by the City of San Bernardino Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department after the grant performance period.

Annual Reports Start in December 2023!

Grantee will report the number of children served, partnership accomplishments and lessons learned, how educational goals were achieved, and unforeseen challenges and recommended solutions, with the goal of inspiring and building capacity for future outdoor program providers throughout California.