Press enter to begin your search

Watershed Hero Awards

A thank you to those who keep on giving

As a nonprofit, we rely heavily on donors and volunteers to help keep our programs running. We have hundreds of volunteers who help us every year and they make our programs so much more impactful! While we can’t recognize all our partners and volunteers in one post, we decided to issue Watershed Hero Awards for a few specific categories, including Team of the Year, Student of the Year, Educator of the Year, Steward of the Year, and Business of the Year.

Team of the Year — Easter Seals, led by Kelly Crutchfield.


Arroyo needs a lot of attention. Luckily, the Easter Seals—led by Kelly Crutchfield—have been tending to the garden and creek trail almost every week, making sure it remains pristine and beautiful. On behalf of the pollinators and everyone who uses the bike trail: thank you!

Student of the Year — Laken Bose, Cal State University San Marcos.


This year, we have taken on all third graders in the Escondido Union school district. While we’ve been able to hire additional staff, we rely heavily on the help of volunteers to keep the programs running smoothly. Laken Bose is one of our reliable volunteers who has helped with numerous field trips this year—including our Adaptations, Watersheds, Habitats, and Trout in the Classroom programs—despite her busy schedule as a student at Cal State San Marcos. She is pursuing her teaching credentials and will be graduating next year. Any school will be lucky to have her passion and enthusiasm in their classrooms!

Educator of the Year — Shelly Glenn Lee, High Tech Elementary North County.


One of our goals at the Conservancy is to inspire a love for conservation in local schools. This is easy when teachers share the same goals and values. Shelley Glenn Lee is a teacher at High Tech High Elementary North County and is committed to finding projects that expose her students to science in a hyper-local way. In addition to the wildlife camera monitoring project, Shelley also has had her students participate in our Trout in the Classroom program every year since we first launched the program. She works tirelessly to promote environmental education and foster stewardship at multiple grade levels and we are lucky to have her in our watershed!

Steward of the Year — Tina Meglich, Principal, Conway Elementary School.


You don’t have to be a scientist to be a Watershed Hero. Stewards come in many forms and professions—as Tina Meglich can tell you. As principal of Conway Elementary, she has created a space of learning for her staff and students to take leadership in their community and enhance the vitality of the Escondido Creek watershed. Aside from their newly installed pollinator garden, the students have participated directly with us in a variety of ways, including planting native plants on our properties, raising and releasing trout, and participating in our Habitats program. Plus, under Ms. Meglich’s supervision, Conway students engage in many other environmental projects at multiple grade-levels across the school that focus on the health of the Escondido Creek watershed, all with the goal of creating super stewards and building a better world.

Check out more of the students’ work here!


Business of the Year — San Diego Gas and Electric


Students all around the Escondido Creek watershed have been able to participate in the Trout in the Classroom program for the third year in a row thanks to funding from SDG&E. Their support has allowed students to understand watershed concepts with hands-on learning and outdoor excursions! This year, SDG&E also funded an upgrade to our Plaza Del Arroyo pollinator garden, which brought more habitat for wildlife and nature-themed artwork for the community. Their staff has been wonderful to work with and a number of them have come out to participate in restoration and clean-up events. We can’t thank you enough!