by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

A Friend to Balboa Park

Ann Wilson has a special place in her heart for Balboa Park. As a child she grew up in nearby Point Loma and was able to make frequent visits to the park. “I took ballet lessons there for years,” recalled Ann. “After Saturday morning ballet class my mother would take me to the zoo, a museum, or some other activity in the park.” In 2007 Ann reconnected with her beloved Balboa Park by attending a luncheon for the Friends of Balboa Park, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the park’s legacy for future generations through “park-wise” projects. “I wanted to get involved in a nonprofit civic organization as a volunteer,” explained Ann. “One thing led to another and I became chair of the Board of Directors in 2014.”

Name: Ann Wilson
Community: La Costa
Family: Four children and five grandchildren
Hobbies: Dancing, walking, hiking, quilting, cooking, entertaining, and attending arts and culture events such as concerts, theater productions, and dance performances
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: Dove Library, the beach


Ann finds her work with the Friends to be very rewarding. “When I walk or drive around the Park, it makes me proud to see all the improvements our organization has funded since our founding in 1999,” she shared. Some of these improvements include installing five information kiosks, repairing balustrades and fountains, funding floral displays in the Botanical Building, and renovating the Sixth Avenue Playground.

Although she is proud of all of the group’s projects, Ann feels her biggest accomplishment in volunteering is being part of the Water Wise Initiative project. “We have been working diligently along with City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department staff and other park stakeholders to improve efficiency of irrigation in the park, reducing water usage, while keeping the park green and beautiful for all to enjoy,” explained Ann.

Ann hopes that projects like this will continue to enhance Balboa Park and entice visitors to experience the park for all the wonderful things it has to offer. “I encourage people from North County to come down for a day and experience all there is to see and do there, especially during this Centennial Celebration year,” said Ann.