Rob Hutsel, president and CEO of The San Diego River Park Foundation, is the recipient of the 2020 Stewardship Award awarded by the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter.
The Stewardship Award recognizes local leadership that has contributed significantly to environmental progress, vision, and stewardship or a combination of these items.
Said Brett Allen, ASLA President, “Rob Hutsel’s incredibly impactful efforts over the last two decades have been to preserve the San Diego River as a natural and cultural resource. His work is healing the river watershed habitat and unifying community members around the river through the creation of a comprehensive river park system. Like the San Diego River itself, Rob is an amazing and beloved asset to our community.”
In 2000, after a sewage spill dumped 34 million gallons of sewage into the San Diego River, Hutsel co-founded the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF), which he continues to lead as President and CEO. Since its conception, the SDRPF has had a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of the San Diego River watershed as well as the larger community of San Diego.
Hutsel’s tireless activism within the SDRPF has inspired a renewed commitment within the San Diego Community to protect and enhance the River as a place for recreation, habitat, and nature discovery.
In a few short years, Hutsel has helped galvanize a broad range of support for protecting the San Diego River Basin, including championing the successful passage of the San Diego River Park Master Plan and the subsequent River Park Legacy Endowment Fund.
His impact spans both the personal and political fields including volunteer programs, political advocacy, education centers, and public outreach. The following is a selection of his numerous successful projects and programs:
• The San Diego River Coalition
• The San Diego River Park Foundation volunteer programs:
The Clean and Green Team
The River Rescue
The River Assessment Field Team
• The San Diego River Park Foundation Land Procurement and Conservation
• The San Diego River Park Foundation Public Outreach and Education
• The San Diego Park Foundation Enhancement and Beautification
• The San Diego River Park Foundation Collaborative Efforts and Partnerships
• The San Diego River Discovery Center at Grant Park
• The San Diego River Heritage Museum
• The River Park
Said Allen, “Stewardship is at the forefront of our profession and we recognize that our organization and landscape architects, in general, have a leadership role in sustainability throughout the San Diego region.”