2009 SRC Outstanding PSO Award

Community Outreach

University of California – Irvine
Planning Student Organization
Projects: Upper Newport Bay Restoration and Neighborhood Pride Day – Santa Ana

Read about the PSO's winning projects (pdf)

Community Outreach

Our goal for all UCI-PSO community outreach events has been to provide consistent support to existing organizations that strive to make a difference in communities. We focus our efforts on partnering with existing organizations because students have limited time and competing priorities that can make it difficult to sustain long-term volunteer efforts. Nonetheless, community outreach is an integral part of UCI-PSO.

The Upper Newport Bay restoration and the Neighborhood Pride Day in Santa Ana are two activities in which UCI-PSO organized the opportunity to make improvements in our physical and natural environments and to learn about issues related to planning. These two events demonstrate our commitment to community outreach and our goal of partnership.

We are especially proud of our contributions to both of these efforts.

Upper Newport Bay Restoration

Newport BayUCI-PSO has organized reoccurring opportunities for students to volunteer their time and hard work toward a local community-based initiative to restore the native wetlands of Upper Newport Bay in Orange County. Students were given a brief education about the impact of invasive species and then worked to identify and eradicate non-native plants, and to plant seedlings of native species. The continued involvement of MURP students in this restoration process will contribute to the overall improvement of the environmental quality of the bay.

These events ("ROOTS days") are operated jointly between the Orange County Parks Department and the California Coastal Commission. This activity brings students together with governmental organizations and community members of all ages to participate in a long-term restoration of a
critical wetland environment. The Upper Newport Bay is an important estuary in central Orange County. It provides natural filtration of pollutants to water running into the ocean, and a place for bikers, walkers, and families to enjoy the outdoors. Ongoing volunteer efforts have helped implement a multi-jurisdictional effort to restore the condition of coastal wetlands of Upper Newport Bay.

Neighborhood Pride Day

Santa Ana Neighborhood Pride DayUCI-PSO volunteers participated in the third annual Santa Ana Neighborhood Pride Day in Santa Ana along with other community teams and local residents.

Students worked to paint select houses, remove trash and old furniture, and replant yards with sod and flowers. These improvements make a tremendous difference in the neighborhood and help to restore the neighborhood’s pride.

The nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County, selects a block of Santa Ana to "make over." The activities of the Santa Ana Neighborhood Pride Day represent small changes in these communities that help to improve the overall character and quality of these neighborhoods.

Contact for more information on this project:

Josh Carrillo
APA-PSO Student Representative

Matthew Gelbman
Primary Contact