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“If it seems that the present suburban growth is too rapid, too poorly connected with public services, too extensive and homogeneous, too destructive of the land...then why does it happen?” 

Temporary Paradise? (1974)

The Back Country KAN explores best practices for suburban growth into undeveloped lands, and in particular, how to balance needs for housing, public services, and environmental conservation.

C-3 San Diego = Creating Civic Community ---> Knowledge to Action Conversations

C-3 San Diego's podcast, 'The Finest City', has been featuring introductions to the Civic Champions of the region's Backcountry via its Knowledge to Action Conversation Series hosted by Jennifer Whitelaw.  If you have yet to subscribe to the series you can check it out below.

Bri Fordham

Executive Director,

The Anza Borrego Foundation

The Magic of the Anza Borrego Desert: Bri talks about the Anza Borrego's remarkable conservation efforts, its ecological significance, and its role as a regional asset. From acquiring diverse properties to running educational programs and supporting groundbreaking research projects, Bri sheds light on the park’s multifaceted contributions to the community. 

Michael Beck


Endangered Habitats League

Ecosystem Protection and Environmental Stewardship: Michael talks about safeguarding ecosystems and promoting sustainable land use, the crucial role of the backcountry in urban life, the intricate web of species conservation through San Diego’s multiple species conservation program, and how growing wildfire threats impact our environmental preservation.

David Van Cleave

Senior Project Director, 

The Nature Conservancy

The Connectivity of Conservation: David Van Cleave has dedicated almost 32 years to the state park system, serving as park ranger, ecologist, and superintendent, and also as senior project director at The Nature Conservancy. David talks about what makes the backcountry so special, and conservancy through alternative energy sources and land acquisition. He talks about how the ethos of conservation in the backcountry has evolved, but also where we need to focus our efforts in order to have a successful future.

Amber Pairis

Founder, Climate Science Alliance

Transformational Adaptation and the Backcountry: Amber sheds light on the Climate Science Alliance’s commitment to honoring indigenous stewardship and building an inclusive community of partners, ensuring everyone has a seat at the table.  She talks about the Alliance’s inspiring initiatives, including Climate Kids and the Stewardship Pathways Training Program, that are paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future. 

Dr. Megan Jennings

Conservation Ecologist and Co-Director, 

Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at SDSU

Merging Science and Service with Community: As a research scientist at SDSU, Megan is based in the biology department and a co-champion for a new initiative at San Diego State, the Community Climate Action Network. Megan talks about the main issues facing San Diego’s backcountry, and the importance of collaboration between academic science, indigenous communities, and a wide array of disciplines in addressing climate change, highlighting the need for mutual respect and knowledge sharing. 

Eric Jones

Executive Director, 

Volcan Mountain Foundation

Applying Scientific Rigor to Stewardship: Eric discusses the Volcan Mountain Foundation’s innovative forest management strategies and its dedication to environmental education. He talks about how the organization preserves the mountain range through diverse ownership categories, its long-term planning efforts, and its unwavering vigilance in safeguarding this natural wonder. Eric shares how climate change has changed the conversation, and resources for those looking to actively participate in the stewardship of the mountain range and get their hands dirty in the pursuit of conservation. 


If You Have An Interest In...
Architecture / Landscape Architecture / Environmental Design
Land Use Governance & Planning
Natural Resource Management / Environmental Protection
Sustainable Economic Development / Rational Redevelopment
Climate Change Resilience / Responsive Communities
Social Justice / Environmental Justice / Public Health

Knowledge to Action Networks

C-3's Knowledge Action Networks (KANs) bring together local thought leaders from planning, design, policy, academia, community development, and more to discuss our region’s distinctive and pressing land use challenges.


Creating Civic Community (C-3) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and advocacy on issues of policy, planning, and design throughout the San Diego region. Federal Tax ID: 95-2593199


1041 Market St, #156

San Diego, CA 92101


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