SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Sitting in the heart of San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park has 65 miles of trails, as well as boating and picnic areas. You might call it a hikers and bikers paradise, as it provides eight thousand acres of pure outdoor enjoyment for more than two million visitors each year.
"Mission Trails Regional Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country," says Jennifer Morrissey, the Executive Director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, the park has seen a big increase in visitors, which is great. But it has also created a few problems.
"Because we have so many more people," says Morrissey, "we are seeing that there is more wear and tear on the trails."
Prior to the pandemic, some of the park's hundreds of volunteers would help maintain the trails. But for the time being, that program has been suspended.
"Unfortunately, we don't have volunteers at the park right now. They do everything, from helping on the trails, to staffing the visitors center, to beautification projects. So right now, within the park, there is a lot of work that needs to be done."
That work takes money. And that is why Morrissey says 'Giving Tuesday' is the most important fundraiser of the year.
"There is a matching progam in place, so that every dollar people give will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of our donors. .Funds that we raise through 'Giving Tuesday' can go towards trail maintenance, restoration, and educational programs we are doing online right now.'
While donations are always important, they are even more critical during this pandemic.
"We just want to make sure the park continues to be maintained, protected, and available to the entire San Diego community."