SDED becomes San Diego EarthWorks

What's in a name? A lot less confusion, maybe.

by Chris Klein

  fter eight years of hosting the Earth Day EarthFair in Balboa Park, plus numerous other educational and commu- nity service events, San Diego Earth Day is changing its name to San Diego EarthWorks. Why? The reasons lie in ongoing public confusion about the organization, plus its current charter of functioning year-round.


Way back then...


SDED got its start in 1990 as the Earth Day Coalition literally a coalition of local environmental groups cooperating to produce an event for the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. The event, EarthFair '90 in Balboa Park, was a fabulous success, with 60,000+ attendees, 215 exhibitors and more than 200 volunteers participating. Those of us who put it on were elated, but thought that it was over for another decade or so.

Until early 1991, that is, when we started to be flooded with calls asking, "When is the fair this year?" It became clear that a reprise was called for, and San Diego Earth Day, operating under the fiscal wing of Jim Bell's Ecological Life Systems Institute, took shape. EarthFair '91 was event bigger and more successful a real surprise given the lack of national media that had attended the previous 1990 event.

And so, the annual EarthFair became a San Diego fixture. SDED incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1992. In 1993, the organization began hosting events at other times of the year: lectures, walks, fundraisers, etc. For example, currently the Community Restoration and Renewal project brings together hundreds of volunteers to clean up and restore natural and urban sites around the county.




You might think: with such a positive history, with an annual event that gets wide press coverage and has been attended by, perhaps, 10 percent of the population of San Diego County, everybody must know about San Diego Earth Day, the organization. But it just ain't so. Many people say, yes, they wouldn't miss "that Earth Day fair" in Balboa Park every year, but have no idea who puts it on (or, that it's called EarthFair, for that matter).

Now, in the global scheme of things, this isn't really critical the important things is that they attend. Yet, the strong association of Earth Day with a single spring event is confusing when SDED hosts an event in, say, October.

So, to help distinguish the organization as an entity, and to better represent our year-round activities, SDED is becoming San Diego EarthWorks working together for the Earth. The paperwork to effect the change is in progress and a new logo is being designed.

New name, same folks, and a renewed committment to ensuring a clean, healthy, prosperous future.