Governance: Building Institutional Strength

Donation Goals

Year 1: $43,472

Year 2: $43,472

Total: $86,944 for this two-year project


Due to its remote location and status as an unincorporated community, Borrego Springs has traditionally struggled to have its voice heard in the political power centers of San Diego and Sacramento. Thus, Borrego has a long history of being left out, forgotten, and not consulted when important decisions are made affecting its economy, infrastructure, and quality of life. To successfully respond to the increasing complexity and sophistication of the issues coming before the Stewardship Council, it must hire a paid, part-time Executive Director.


Since its inception in 2014, the Borrego Valley Stewardship Council (BVSC) has brought together public, private, and civil society entities to pursue outcomes that they have in common but may not always be specific to their individual missions. In the last six years, the Stewardship Council has served as a forum for community consensus and innovation, spawning several successful initiatives that continue to thrive today.


In 2020, the County is beginning the years-long process of updating its General Plan, which includes the Borrego Springs’ Community Plan. This update presents both a singular opportunity and a formidable challenge to the BVSC. To provide meaningful and timely input, the Stewardship Council must increase its ability to build a community consensus among its 40+ local businesses, organizations, and institutions represented. It must professionally respond to County requirements and timelines during the planning process.


Accordingly, the BVSC plans to:

  1. Broaden its membership base

  2. Conduct a year-long, community-wide “visioning” exercise

  3. Ensure elements are included in the Community Plan update that will result in a healthy, thriving, and sustainable future for Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego State Park


Becoming a respected player in the County’s general planning process will require additional financial resources and skills that BVSC does not currently possess. The costs related to hosting numerous symposia, paying consultant fees, travel costs, reprographics, refreshments, etc., have been borne solely by community volunteers. To successfully respond to the complexity, continuity, and sophistication required to accomplish a community visioning process and liaise with county officials, the BVSC must hire a paid, part-time Executive Director. This person will coordinate efforts, broaden membership, secure grants, plan and facilitate Council activities, symposia, and forums, and serve as a liaison to County planning officials during the general plan update for an initial two-year period.