Forever Balboa Park announces its annual sPARK Awards: Celebrating Innovation in Balboa Park to recognize the people and organizations that amplify Balboa Park’s distinct role and increase the park’s positive impact on wellbeing through creativity, collaboration, and imagination. Nominations are now open with a deadline of March 15. Entries can be made on the website at

Winners for outstanding achievement in three categories will be celebrated at a special event on May 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Tickets to the awards ceremony and celebration are open to the public and available at different price points, including discounted tickets for Balboa Park employees, and young professionals.

Balboa Park is a source of health and wellness, economic benefit, and cultural enrichment for the San Diego region and beyond. The sPARK Awards are designed to honor this and the individuals, organizations, and groups that advance meaningful park experiences, deeper and broader connections, and environmental wellbeing and sustainability. Winners in three categories will be selected from among the nominees by a volunteer Selection Committee whose members come from diverse experiences and backgrounds and share a love for Balboa Park. Each awardee will be given a $5,000 cash prize from San Diego Foundation to their nonprofit of affiliation or choice, to fuel continued innovation and curiosity.

The three award categories are Igniting Innovation, Crossing Boundaries, and Enhancing Ecosystems. Igniting Innovation recognizes innovation, imagination, and risk-taking related to Balboa Park, particularly efforts that spark new ways of viewing or experiencing Balboa Park, leading to increased opportunities, possibilities, and potential. Crossing Boundaries acknowledges interdisciplinary or cross-sector collaboration that demonstrates Balboa Park’s multifaceted impact, specifically cross-disciplinary, organizational, cultural, generational, or other boundaries that make connections among nature, art, science, performance, learning, history, and civic engagement. The Enhancing Ecosystems award recognizes outstanding efforts that enhance Balboa Park ecosystems, expand environmental stewardship within or through Balboa Park, or support the connection between Balboa Park’s natural spaces and community health.

The sPARK Awards ceremony on May 9 includes a cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a speakers panel focused on innovation and change-making in San Diego, and the awards presentation. Early Bird ticket pricing is available through March 15. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite. For more information on the sPARK Awards and sponsorship opportunities, visit