The Story of Urban Corps’ Founding

In the beginning… Governor Jerry Brown had the foresight to turn to history for a community-level solution marrying youth development with environmentalism. He created the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1976 as a legacy to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, the visionary program founded in 1933.

Justice Anthony Kline was Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Jerry Brown at the time and witnessed the establishment of the California Conservation Corps. In later years, as a judge in the juvenile justice court system, he recognized the need for more programs which would to turn young lives around and saw the Corps model as a perfect fit. Drawing on his knowledge of the CCC, he made it his mission to establish local Conservation Corps throughout the state. Justice Kline first went to then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein with the concept and she became a major supporter. With their leadership, the first local corps was created in the San Francisco Bay area. Justice Kline then turned his attention to the rest of the state and started making phone calls. Among those to receive a call was a former colleague in the Brown Administration, The Honorable Lynn Schenk. Ms. Schenk adopted his passion and got the ball rolling with San Diego City Council Member Wes Pratt. Meanwhile San Diego resident Mrs. Marion Wilbur and her husband Bud, an original member of Roosevelt’s’ “Tree Army,” were putting pressure on Mayor Maureen O’Conner about the need for a local corps in San Diego. It was the synergy generated by this thoughtful group of citizens along with the entire original steering committee, city staffers and countless community and business supporters who together created what is now known as the Urban Corps of San Diego County. They helped raise over $125,000 in local donations as seed money, hired Sam Duran as founding Chief Executive Officer and three months later the first twenty corpsmembers were hired. Under Duran’s ongoing leadership, Urban Corps has gone from a great idea to an enduring reality.

Throughout the years, many more have contributed to the success of the Urban Corps. We honor and thank all those individuals for their role in the historical development of an organization that made and continues to make a difference in the lives of our most valuable resource, our young people. Today Urban Corps provides environmental job training and educational opportunities to more than 400 young people annually-young people committed to changing thier lives, needing a second chance, or just an opportunity. Focusing on the life-changing impact of a good education, strong work ethic and service to one’s community, Urban Corps now contracts with nearly 300 sponsors—local government, non-profit organizations, businesses and corporations. These contracts make possible temporary employment and job training for Corpsmembers while supplying numerous services to our sponsors. Corpsmembers are identified by the Urban Corps’ trademark green uniform as they participate in paid work experience and community projects. Projects include Graffiti Abatement, Recycling, Environmental Projects and Urban Forestry.

2011 Accomplishments

  • Received Energy All-Star Award from the California Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Employed 318 youth ages 18-24 in the Fire Fuel Reduction Program, a $1.1 million ARRA-funded contract through SD Workforce Partnership. UCO leverages the program to $1.7 million and crews help create 250 acres of fire defensible space
  • Completed 1,508 hours of volunteer community service in the City of San Diego
  • Planted 1,000 trees
  • Over 600,540 pounds of recyclable beverage containers diverted from local landfills.
  • Removed 2 million square feet of graffiti from throughout San Diego County
  • Environmental Services removed more than 40,000 cubic yards of brush and litter
  • Graduated 80 corpsmembers with their high school diploma; 95% of grads moved on with either a job or enrollment in post secondary education
  • Assemblymember Toni Atkins was the Keynote Speaker at the March Urban Corps Charter School Graduation; Mark Cafferty, CEO of San Diego Workforce Partnership served as Keynote Speaker in June, and Senator Christine Kehoe gave the Keynote Address to graduates at December’s commencement ceremony.
  • Presented the TreeSmart education presentation to 1,410 San Diego students
  • Collaborated with local urban forestry groups on a number of high profile tree planting events, including the “Barefoot Eco-Runner” events which promoted global reforestation efforts.
  • Toured the Columbia Delegation, a group of international government and law enforcement officials visiting from Columbia by way of the U.S. State Dept.
  • Urban Corps' Recycling ECO Center is spotlighted in action in a 3-minute NBC feature including an interview with Corpsmember Benjamin Williams.
  • Installed urban gardens at Morse High School and the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center
  • Established our own independently held charter school – Urban Corps Charter School – through a partnership with the Mono County School District and boosted CM enrollment by 30%
  • The Gateway Mural debuts on Rosecrans and Jefferson streets featuring the best of San Diego areas including a large depiction of the Urban Corps program along Jefferson St.
  • UCO’s GreenBuild program awarded $25,000 for a Mobile Green Building Learning Center module
  • The yearend fundraiser in honor of CEO Sam Duran’s 75th birthday raises more than $100,000 in unrestricted funding and helps kick off a 10-to-1 challenge campaign to raise $1 million.
  • The SD Foundation’s “giveBIG” matchday helps Urban Corps raise more than $40,000 in funding in a 36-hour period in December
  • Awarded $150,000 from the Gary and Mary West Foundation to operate the Corps-to-Career career services and counseling department.
  • University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest private university, awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Corps graduate Andrew Miller.
  • Featured in the SD Union Tribune multiple times with 2 local cover stories on the Fire Fuel Reduction Program and a front page photo of Corpsmembers working on San Diego’s channels and drains.


  • Completed construction and renovations on the Urban Corps site and held a grand opening and ribbon cutting to debut the green campus including the Recycling ECO Center, Rooftop Garden, Community Room and Sustainable Vehicle Wash
  • Completed 31,560 hours of volunteer community service in the City of San Diego
  • Planted 2,382 trees
  • 5 million beverage containers collected amounting to over 500 tons of recyclables diverted from local landfills.
  • Removed 1,946,749 square feet of graffiti from throughout San Diego County
  • Restored 5,805,000 square feet of habitat in the City of San Diego and built 5,000 linear feet of trails
  • Graduated 61 corpsmembers with their high school diploma
  • San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald was the Keynote Speaker at the February John Muir Charter School Graduation. Assemblymember Mary Salas, 79th District, was Keynote Speaker at the June graduation. And San Diego Unified School Board President Richard Barrera was Keynote Speaker at the October graduation
  • Employed 167 youth ages 18-24 in the Summer Youth Employment Program, a $425,000 ARRA-funded contract through SD Workforce Partnership
  • Received a 2010 EARTH Award from San Diego Earthworks
  • Partnered with SDG&E Sustainable Communities Program to put solar panels on the Community Room roof
  • Partnered with SDG&E to create the first Sustainable Experience Kiosk to highlight the solar panels, the site’s green features and the future of renewable energy
  • State Department Delegation from Pakistan tours Urban Corps seeking best practices of effective NGOs
  • Awarded 5 Environmental Enhancement &  Mitigation contracts through Caltrans
  • Redevelopment Agency’s Green Street Community Enhancement Program extended one year
  • Rooftop Garden featured on Channel 7/39 and Channel 4 San Diego
  • Planted 1,000 trees in one day through the San Diego Healthy CommuniTrees event produced for United Voices, a statewide organization who arranged the day of volunteer service in honor of national Make a Difference Day. In total 4,000 trees were planted in California.
  • Michael Priegel awarded San Diego Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award
  • Received an Orchid Award for Social Sustainability from the San Diego Architectural Foundation
  • $1 million contract awarded through Workforce Partnership for fire fuel reduction; UCO leverages an additional $700,000 for this project through various sources including CALFIRE, City of San Diego, and Viejas.
  • Sam Duran awarded San Diego Business Journal’s CEO of the Year Award


  • Celebrated 20th Anniversary of service to San Diego’s youth and community.
  • Completed 4,263 hours of volunteer community service in the City of San Diego.
  • Planted 1,879 trees
  • Held VIP 20th Anniversary Event with speakers Attorney General Jerry Brown, Justice Tony Kline, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Congresswoman Lynn Schenk.
  • July 23, 2009 declared Urban Corps Day in the City of San Diego.
  • Implemented a 20th Anniversary Brochure & “$20 for 20” Fundraising Campaign which raised over $25,000 over the course of the year.
  • Welcomed new board members Bob Benson and Diane Chalmers.
  • San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio was the Keynote Speaker at the October John Muir Charter School Graduation and Mike Niggli, COO of SDG&E, was Keynote Speaker at the October graduation.
  • Graduated 39 corpsmembers with their high school diploma.
  • Employed over 260 youth ages 14-24 in the Summer Youth Employment Program in partnership with Workforce Partnership and funded by ARRA.
  • Received $167,000 in ARRA funds through California ReLeaf.
  • Received $200,000 from Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI) grant.
  • Was one of four finalists for Sempra Energy Foundation’s Environmental Champion’s Award and was granted $50,000 for the Rooftop Garden.
  • Received Best Urban Forestry Program of the Year award from the California Urban Forests Council.
  • Received the 2009 Outstanding Recycling Program award from the California Resource and Recovery Association.
  • Secured $2,181,720 in Prop 84 funding for watershed conservation projects throughout San Diego, including funding for acquisition of Moore St. property for Emergency Services Trainings.
  • Received $275,000 in CDBG funding from the City of San Diego
  • Received $7,500 from AT&T, and generous donations from The Sudberry Family Trust, Charlotte Nielsen, and
  • Partnered with LEAD Action Team to enhance the Corps-to-Career Dept. and host the First Annual Corpsmember Job Fair in July, attended by 14 employers and schools.
  • Received grant of in-kind access to Resume & Job Search Tools worth $42,000
  • Received the 2009 San Diego Excellence in Energy Awards (SANDEE) from the Center For Sustainable Energy


  • All staff moved into the newly renovated administration center
  • Welcomed new board members, Dan Smith, President of El Dorado Properties, Dick Freeman, Vice President of the San Diego Padres and Annette Curtis, Owner, Glen Curtis, Inc.
  • Lt. Governor John Garamendi toured the Urban Corps
  • Chris Young of the San Diego Padres was the Keynote speaker at the June 27th High School Graduation
  • Graduated 70 corps members with their high school diploma. 23 went on to full time college
  • Corpsmember Dionte Floyd received a $10,000 scholars ship from Price Charities and was featured on KPBS radio
  • Urban Corps hosted the two-day Quarterly Meeting of the California Association  of Conservation Corps (CALCC)
  • Recycling tonnage increased by 48%
  • Partnered with San Diego Waste Management for a pilot community educational program
  • Contracted with the greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District to carry out their BID services
  • Received a grant of $400,000 from the Gary &Mary West Foundation for Corps-to-career
  • Received $1.9 million from AB3056 to help fund our Recycling Education Community Outreach Center
  • Received $475,000 towards the Recycling Education Community Outreach Center from the San Diego Redevelopment Agency
  • Received $495,000 in CDBG funding
  • Awarded $230,000 from the San Diego Foundation
  • In addition Urban Corps received $15,000 from Qualcomm for the Corps-to-Career Program, $50,000 from Bank of America, $15,000 from the Parker Foundation, $12,000 from point of entry events,  $10,000 from AT&T, $6,000 from Pardee Homes, $11,000 in general donations
  • LEAD selected Urban Corps as a community partner for their LEAD 2009 class
  • Partnered with Workforce Investment Partnership on a National Emergency Grant which employed citizens displaced in the 2007 California Wildfires
  • Urban Corps work to restore burn areas was reported on by KUSI News and KGTV Channel 10 news
  • KPBS aired a 30-minute special devoted to the Urban Corps, highlighting 8 corps members and their life struggles
  • News coverage for Urban Corps recycling partnership with Qualcomm Stadium was seen in the Union Tribune, Sign on San Diego, Voice and Viewpoint and on PBS Radio
  • Congresswoman Susan Davis and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives Dan Beard, toured the Urban Corps and made a presentation to staff and corps members on the “Greening of the Capital”.
  • Corps Member Joe Carreon was awarded the California Association of Local Conservation Corps’ Corps Member of the Year Award at a special event celebrating CALCC’s 15th Anniversary


  • Graduated 45 corps members with their high school diploma. Keynote speakers were Assembly member Lori Saldana and Councilman Ben Hueso
  • Welcomed 337 youth into the program
  • Increased recycling tonnage by 48%, or 198 tons, for a total of 1,221,812 tons in 07-08 fiscal year; 24% of total tonnage increase coming from beverage containers alone.
  • Planted 1370 trees
  • Painted out graffiti county-wide
  • Kicked off the Capital Campaign initiative to complete the vision of a state-of-the-art facility for San Diego’s youth. The campaign will be co-chaired by board member Charlotte Nielsen
  • Submitted AB3056 Proposal in the spring for $2.2m toward new building construction and was awarded $2.1m from AB3056 in the summer
  • Renovation work started on the main building, which will house administration, financial and operations offices as well as John Muir Charter School.
  • Awarded the “Best Strategic Partnership” from the National Association of Conservation Corps (NASCC) for our partnership with the School of Leadership at the University of San Diego
  • Implemented the new Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Residential Rehabilitation (WEER) Program in partnership with the City of San Diego, and also worked with San Diego and San Ysidro redevelopment agencies on similar weatherization program for low-income and disability households
  • Awarded $250,000 from the California State Resource Agency for environmental protection and flood control work in Grantville.  
  • Awarded Earth Share of California’s Helen Glenny Award.
  • Awarded the San Diego Business Journal’s 2007 Heritage Award
  • Corps members met with state legislators during Government Education Day in Sacramento
  • Urban Corps environmental services department assisted in the San Diego Wildfires relief effort providing traffic control, partnering with the San Diego Chargers and the Salvation Army to collect donations for fire victims, and installing of 1000 linear feet of split rail fencing in Mission Trails that burnt during the Cedar Fires.
  • Performed city-wide litter abatement program in Carlsbad
  • Contracted with San Diego Unified Port District for graffiti removal
  • Provided on-going Chollas Creek litter, non-native vegetation, and debris removal and received new contract to provide continued habitat restoration of Chollas Creek including construction of a combination crib step/ deck project
  • Sent two staff and two Corps members to the James Hubbell workshop at the Esperanza School Complex in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Urban Corps’ Chief Executive Officer, Sam Duran, named Hispanic Hero by San Diego’s CW5. 


  • Mark Guglielmo, Vice President Operations, San Diego Padres Baseball Club joined the Board of Directors
  • Christine Moore, Director of External Affairs, AT&T California joined the Board of Directors
  • Received a national award for our partnership with the University of San Diego’s Leadership and Education Department for the Urban Corps Assessment and Counseling Clinic (UC-ACC) which brings 20 master degree students to work with Urban Corps students. 
  • Graduated a total of 33 corps members with their high school diploma.
  • Served a total of 429 youth from Jan 06 to 11/06.
  • Two corps members received $10,000 scholarships from the Price Scholarship Fund.
  • Awarded $3,500 in scholarships to graduating corps members.
  • Donated a new computer to each graduating corps member.
  • Recruited 14 volunteer classroom tutors/assistants from the University of San Diego.
  • Recruited volunteer classroom tutor/assistant from NROTC.
  • City Heights Family Health Clinic began delivering comprehensive health education and health services information on a monthly basis
  • Sent 8 corps members on an exchange program with Quebec, Canada and hosted ten 10 Canadians.
  • Partnered with Able-Disabled on the education component of their Youth Build Program.
  • Partnered with the City of San Diego @ Qualcomm Stadium to install recycling placards in the tailgate areas and at the entrance gates of the stadium.
  • Expanded recycling collection services at PETCO Park to include power blowing, pressure washing, and suites cleaning.
  • Expanded our program to include contracts with the cities of Escondido, Chula Vista, National City and Carlsbad.
  • Received an Earth Award from San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye on our recycling program at Qualcomm Stadium.
  • Partnered with Scripps Institute of Oceanography and UCSD on a Storm Water Management Plan, Source Control Best Practices (BMP) program.
  • Awarded an IMPACT Grant from the San Diego Foundation.
  • Hosted 3 groups of international visitors at the request of the State Department.
  • Received grant funding for 32 corps members for a Civic Justice Program with National Association of Service Conservation Corps and the Dept. of Labor.
  • Filed with Secretary of State to change organizational name to Urban Corps of San Diego County, thereby broadening our reach county-wide.


  • Served 387 youth
  • Planted 1,821  Trees
  • Collected 220 tons of recyclable materials
  • Removed 1,578,367 square feet of graffiti
  • Made 53 presentations to 1,590 middle school students on the importance of urban forestry
  • Graduated 29 Urban Corps students with their high school diploma
  • Assisted 175 youth in receiving their Class B and C Driving License\
  • Created an exchange program for youth between Quebec, Canada and San Diego, USA
  • Began a program to provide corps members with training in GPS mapping



  • Was honored for 15 years of service to the youth and communities of San Diego by San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy and the San Diego City Council and by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors 
  • Partnered with City of San Diego’s Metropolitan Wastewater Department to restore Adobe Falls, a riparian habitat, that was severely damaged some years back in a sewer spill (attached)
  • Partnered with the San Diego Padres and Petco Park to conduct recycling services at the park
  • Escorted 15 corpsmembers, to join almost 500 other youth from the California Association of Conservation Corps (CALCC), to Sacramento to take part in Government Education Day  
  • Graduated 20 students with their high school diploma
  • Joined with the City of Quebec to create an exchange program between the youth of Quebec and the youth of San Diego
  • Significantly updated our computer technology through a grant from the Waitt Family Foundation (WFF)
  • Angie Lucero, Vice President of Community Affairs at Bank of America, joined the Urban Corps Board of Directors



  • Urban Corps purchases a permanent facility in the Midway area of San Diego
  • Urban Corps staff and Corpsmembers pledge $20,000 towards UCO’s Building Campaign
  • Ken Seaton-Msemaji, President and Founder of the United Domestic Workers of America, joins the Board of Directors
  • Charlotte Nielsen, Community Volunteer and Co-Founder of Nielsen Construction Company, joins the Board of Directors
  • An Emergency Crew consisting of 35 young men and women is established for fire clean-up and erosion control after the worst fires in California history burn over 400,000 acres, and destroy more than 2,000 homes
  • Urban Corps is selected to partner with the NFL’s recycling team for Super Bowl XXXVII
  • 41 Corpsmembers achieve their high school diplomas through Urban Corps’ on-site charter school
  • Corpsmembers are showcased on an hour long NBC special featuring artists and architect James Hubbell


  • Partnered with Mayor Dick Murphy and the City of San Diego to establish Urban Corps of San Diego Urban Forestry Division, in response to the Mayor's goal of planting 100,000 tress by the year 2020.
  • Urban Corps, Mayor Dick Murphy, and Ellie Oppenheim, the Director of the San Diego Park & Recreation Dept., celebrated National Public Lands Day in Balboa Park.
  • Began work on the Crestridge Environmental Reserve, building trails and working with renowned architect James & Drew Hubbel, to build a state of the art green building.
  • Nick Stamos and Clarice Gaylord joined the Urban Corps of San Diego Board of Directors.
  • Purchase of 9 new vehicles, a new chipper, and a new vacuum recovery power washer.
  • Implemented the Corps-to-Career Program, which is rated one of the best in the state of California
  • Placed transponders in all recycling vehicles, making it possible to track each vehicle's speed and location at all times
  • Expanded our contract base to include high-profile legacy projects
  • Brought on Anne Bernstien as Director of Development.


  • Urban Corps relocates to 725 13th Street, downtown San Diego.
  • Urban Corps receives a grant to fund a position for a Corps to Career program.
  • Waitt Family Foundation donates a PowerUP technology center.
  • Pangea Foundation donates furniture for the new computer lab.
  • Waitt Family Foundation donates computers for job development center.
  • Urban Corps begins restoration on the portion of the San Diego River called Mission Valley Preserve through Park Bond funding.
  • Terrell Gibbs is the first Corpsmember to be named as Crew Leader II.
  • Sandra Chavez soon after becomes our second Crew Leader II.
  • Urban Corps receives a Cesar Chavez Day of Service grant from the State of California.
  • MAAC Project hires Corpsmembers from the Weatherization Energy Efficient Rehabiliatation crew.


  • The old Naval Training Center in Point Loma NTC is scheduled for closure and Urban Corps is asked to relocate.
  • A Board of Directors retreat is held.
  • The Urban Corps begins an intensive recycling program at Coors’ Amphitheater.


  • The Urban Corps celebrates a decade of service with an Open House.
  • The Urban Corps establishes a relationship with the California Charter Academy to provide educational services.


  • Staff and Corpsmembers attend the National Hispanic Sustainable Energy and Environmental Conference.
  • Assemblywoman Susan Davis helps the Urban Corps of San Diego receive a $100,000 grant from the State Energy Commission to purchase four alternative energy vehicles.
  • A staff retreat is held to formulate a strategic plan.


  • The Urban Corps dedicates it’s Community Conference room to Bud and Marion Wilbur.
  • Assemblywomen Susan Davis helps the Urban Corps to receive a $60,000 grant from the State Energy Commission to buy alternative fuel vehicles.
  • The Seacoast Drive Interpretive Overlook and the Grove Street Footbridge Construction project were completed. At the dedication ceremony U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Michael Speer thanked Urban Corpsmembers for their work. The project enhanced the wetlands of the Refuge and Reserve to visitors with an unobstructed view of the largest remaining salt marsh in Southern California.


  • Pacific Telesis Foundation receives the prestigious Corporate award from The National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, based on the recommendation of the Urban Corps of San Diego.


  • Corpsmember Michael Allen is the first to be promoted to Crew Leader in the Urban Corps.
  • Corpsmember Jose Gonzales is the first Corpsmember to be promoted to staff.
  • Urban Corps assists in grand opening of the Conservation Corps Museum in San Luis Obispo.
  • Corpsmember Zoraida Abear is awarded a $500.00 scholarship to attend Southwest College.
  • In the month of July Urban Corps removes 70,680 square feet of Graffiti, sandblasting 4,989 sq. feet, and water blasting 1,201 sq. ft.
  • Earthshare of California presents Urban Corps the Helen Glenny Award.


  • Urban Corps receives grant from National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institute) to conduct a survey of all outdoor sculptures in San Diego County.
  • Pacific Telesis Foundation award Urban Corps $15,000.
  • Corpsmembers Cecilia Villatoro is the first Corpsmember to receive a GED certificate.
  • California Integrated Waste Management awards Urban Corps a Used Oil Recycling contract. The Urban Corps is the first Corps to receive such a grant.
  • Supervisor Epi Lopez took a crew of 17 Corpsmembers to the Northridge Earthquake to provide emergency assistance.


  • Corpsmembers work in Balboa Park's Alcazar Gardens.
  • Summer of Service projects: Balboa Park, Children's Museum, Cabrillo National Monument, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Torrey Pines State Reserve , San Diego Railroad Museum, and Barrio Logan Arts.
  • The National Association of Service and Conservation Corps selects San Diego as its site for its Annual Conference.
  • Balboa Park is the setting as over 250 Corpsmembers and staff from all over the United States build trails, prevent erosion, build exercise stations for over 2000 hours of community service.
  • Urban Corps is only California Corps selected to receive a federal contract from the Commission on National and Community Service to start the Balboa Park Service Corps.
  • Urban Corps is featured in TURNING IT AROUND, Corpsmembers changing communities/changing lives.
  • Supervisor Epi Lopez and a crew of 15 Corpsmembers respond to Laguna Beach Fires by providing erosion control for three weeks.


  • Corpsmembers are provided specialized computer-assisted education activities at the SER / Family Learning Center at the Boys and Girls Club.
  • The San Pasqual Recreation Trail is a major project in its enormous scope, volume of work, and total length; including the education and technical knowledge and skill required.
  • Dignitaries officiate at the opening of 14 miles of San Dieguito River Park Trail project.
  • President Clinton selects the Urban Corps as one of his "Summer of Service" projects.
  • Urban Corps participates in Hire-a-Youth program and recruits 125 young people in a week
  • The Los Angeles Times writes a front page story on Corpsmember Joshua Conrow about his work at the Star of India.


  • Balboa Park Grid Survey work consists of locating 162 temporary survey markers located throughout Balboa Park.
  • Corpsmembers provide the labor force for San Diego's low water use Demonstration Garden at the Mira Mesa Library.
  • Corpsmembers assist the City of San Diego in a Water Conservation Kit Distribution project.
  • Maritime Museum enters in a partnership with Urban Corps for preservation of an historic Maritime heritage. Corpsmembers work on the Star of India and other Museum vessels.
  • Corpsmembers sail on the Tall Ship Californian for a week.


  • Pacific Telesis Foundation awards a grant of $100,000 that provides a crew to work at the Hillcrest Receiving Home, Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Inc., San Diego Center for Children Foundation, San Diego Chinese Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego.
  • Urban Corps of San Diego receives a Recycling contract for $350,000 from the State Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling.
  • Fieldstone donates the Urban Corps first computer.
  • Corpsmembers Bruce "Jon" Picou and Kimberly Patrick are selected to participate in a exchange with the Committee of Youth Organizations of USSR. They worked for 30 days in Moscow area.
  • Mitchel Clark and Rafael Cortez are hired in an electric apprenticeship by Berg Electric Corp.


  • July 1st - Sam Duran is hired as the Executive Director.
  • October 30th - First 20 Corpsmembers are hired and begin work.
  • Projects include: Cowles Mountain Siltation and Erosion control, Miramar Filtration Plant Media Replacement, Harbor Drive Landscaping, Mission Trails Tree Planting. Rose Canyon Pampas Grass Eradication, Father Serra Trail Improvements, Black Mountain Trail Improvements, Polling Site Accessibility Survey, Memorial and Mt. Hope, Tree Planting and Maintenance, Marion R. Bear Natural Park Erosion Control, Tierrasanta Recycling, and Telephone Book Recycling.
  • Urban Corps first recycling project is started in Old Town with a $79,000 contract from Los Angeles Conservation Corps.


  • Mayor Maureen O'Connor and city council approve the creation of a Local Conservation Corps.
  • Mayor O'Connor appoints a steering committee headed by Councilman H. Wes Pratt to oversee the development of this new program.
  • Special Assistant to Councilman Pratt, Daniel Morales, is instrumental in the design of program and starts raising funds.
  • First advisory board is appointed to include: Forrest W. Brehm, Linda LeGerrette, Roger Cazares, Art Lujan, Glen Estell, Dr. Bertha Pendleton Richard Haack, Razia Richter, H. Wes Pratt, Lynn Schenk, Jim Hansen, Gaye Soroka, and Judge Napoleon Jones Jr.
  • First donations include: Techbilt /Paul K. Tchang, Fieldstone Company, Brehm Communities, Bank of America, San Diego Community Foundation, Ernest Hahn, Home Federal Foundation, Copley Foundation, and Price Company Charities.