About the Laguna Canyon Foundation

Our Mission:

The Laguna Canyon Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, enhancing, and promoting the South Coast Wilderness Area. This 20,000-acre area of includes Laguna Coast and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Parks, Crystal Cove State Park, and the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve. We work to Keep It Wild!

The Laguna Canyon Foundation fulfills its mission by managing and supporting park volunteers in Laguna Coast and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Parks, providing educational and recreational programs and activities, coordinating land acquisitions, coordinating habitat restoration programs, and providing supplemental funding to our partner parks.

Our Roots - Land Acquisition and Conservation:

Since 1991 Laguna Canyon Foundation has worked to preserve the land within and around Laguna Canyon. With the creation of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso Wood Wilderness Park, the Foundation has dedicated itself to protecting and enhancing existing parkland as well as to preserving additional wilderness. Through contributions, we provide financial support for the parks and preserves within the regional, 20,000-acre coastal system. We encourage planned gifts to ensure future generations the joy of experiencing this wilderness. Over the past 20 years, the Laguna Canyon Foundation has:

  • Raised $2.7 million from more than 7,000 donors and helped obtain $7.8 million in state grants
  • Initiated a regional approach to the coastal park system
  • Created the South Coast Wilderness brochure as a guide to the parks within the 17,000-acre park system
  • Successfully promoted park support from neighboring cities
  • Built the Nix Nature Center at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  • Funded the nature center's interpretive exhibit program
  • Created a series of artist-designed orientation signs for Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  • Continues to promote the preservation of a wildlife corridor
  • Working with The Irvine Company over several years, the Foundation was instrumental in preserving the final Laguna Laurel parcel.

  • Our Philosophy

    Laguna Canyon Foundation reflects a unique partnership between community and environmental activists, civic and municipal leaders, and private property owners and developers. The Foundation's success has shown that by working together we can keep it wild!

    Our Current Work - A New Challenge

    Thanks to the efforts of incredible individuals and local non-profit groups, the South Coast Wilderness area is preserved in perpetuity and open for future generations to enjoy. However, our work and mission are not completed; this land we helped preserve still needs our help. To this end, the Laguna Canyon Foundation currently works to support our partner parks of the South Coast Wilderness area in the following program areas:

  • Park Volunteers & Public Activities - LCF manages Laguna Coast Wilderness and Aliso Woods Wilderness area's volunteers and volunteer led programs
  • Education - LCF provides field-based youth education programs for local schools and underserved schools. LCF offers internship opportunities to high school and college undergraduates
  • Resource Management and Land Stewardship - LCF coordinates and funds habitat restoration activities through our resource management and land stewardship program. In addition, through partnering with local universities LCF is engaged in ecological, geological, and biological research projects.
  • Park Support - LCF supports capital projects at partners parks by offering funding for interpretive exhibits, publications, and park infrastructure.
  • Land Acquisition -LCF continues to add to the South Coast Wilderness area by coordinating local land acquisitions with various stakeholders.

  • Learn more about our programs

    Our Staff

    The Laguna Canyon Foundation is run by a small and dedicated staff.

    Maxwell Borella - Executive Director

    Guinevare Breeding - Administrative Director

    Gigi Logan - Public Program and Volunteer Manager

    Jordan Van Durme - Education Coordinator

    Meg Jones - Development Consultant

    Mary Fegraus - Advisor

    Josh Boyle- Lead Educator

    Matthew Sutton - Environmental Educator

    Seve Sanchez- Environmental Educator

    Board of Directors

    Officers
    Derek Ostensen
    President
    Elisabeth Brown, Ph.D.
    Vice President
    Andrew Castellano
    Vice President
    Peter Kote
    Vice President
    Lance Vallery
    Vice President and Laguna Greenbelt Representative
    Michelle Kremer
    Treasurer
    Carolyn Wood
    Secretary

    Directors

    Mark Denny
    OC Park Representative
    Jane Egly
    City of Laguna Beach Representative
    Johanna Felder
    Village Laguna Representative
    Scott Ferguson
    Individual
    Martin Rhodes
    Ciry of Laguna Woods Representative