10 Things About Rob Hutsel & San Diego River Park Foundation


“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”
– Dr. Seuss in The Lorax


The mission of the San Diego River Park Foundation is to engage people to take action to reimagine the San Diego River as a cultural, natural and recreational treasure where all people enjoy the benefits of the outdoors and nature thrives. Rob Hutsel, President and CEO of The San Diego River Park Foundation, helped start the organization more than 20 years ago when he saw an opportunity and need to bring people together to give the San Diego River a voice. Sadly, the river was polluted and not seen as the community treasure that it should be. Rob thought he could help change that and has.

#1 I grew up in Point Loma. Our house was just across a canyon from my grandparents, my aunt and uncle’s house, and where my great-grandparents had lived.


#2 As the fourth generation of my family that has lived in Point Loma, I was always told that San Diego is a very special place and that we should work to make it a better place. I see every day amazing people that want to also make a difference, and I feel I can help.


#3 Part of my family left Belfast in 1682 to come to what is now the United States, and I have always wanted to go there.


#4 I love going to Maine. I worked there for 10 summers and feel a strong connection to the slower pace and outdoor living.


#5 My wonderful wife Karen and I got married later in life and she continues to inspire me with her compassion, ability to find joy in the routine of life, and her desire to make a difference with her work at San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

#6 We have an amazing dog, Java; two guinea pigs Crystal and Obsidian, and several fish.


#7 I work toward a day when many people speak for nature.


#8 “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss is an amazing book and so relevant to the world we live in today. I so believe that nature in our neighborhoods is essential to life.


#9 I am not much of a bucket list person, but I would really love the day when we can release wild steelhead trout into the river in Mission Valley. That would be an incredible day.


#10 The San Diego River Park Foundation is creating a nature education and stewardship center in Mission Valley which will celebrate the San Diego River. Known as the River Center at Grant Park, it will inspire nature connections for thousands of kids annually and be the home for the thousands of volunteers engaged in river stewardship.

The San Diego River Park Foundation
Thursday, September 21, 2023
5:30 PM – 8 PM
The River Center at Grant Park project site
2450 Camino del Rio North in Mission Valley

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Kamran Saeed