San Diego State University


San Diego State University
The Sage Project
Case Type
Program Stories
School Size
20,000 - 40,000
Focus Areas
Climate Action, Environmental Justice, Land Use, Policy, Social Equity
City Planning, Civil Engineering, Communication, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Justice, Equity, Food, Geography, GIS, Graphic Design, Nonprofits, Placemaking, Political Science, Public Adminisration, Public Health, Public Policy, Transportation

The Sage Project

Website |
Facebook | @SDSUSageProject
Instagram | @thesageprojectsdsu
LinkedIn | The Sage Project
Newsletter | Subscribe Here

The Sage Project is a program within the Center for Regional Sustainability at San Diego State University with a simple goal: tackling sustainability goals through community-based projects. Thousands of university students are eager to use their knowledge, skills, and creativity outside of the classroom, and faculty need impactful projects to offer these students. The Sage Project establishes partnerships with local communities that give SDSU students access to dozens of projects each year developed in close collaboration with the community. The result is a sustainable relationship between the university and surrounding communities. University faculty are given the connections and resources to seamlessly incorporate community-based projects into their courses, university students learn through real-world projects, and partner communities get immediate access to dozens of instructors and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields plus students with the drive and fresh perspective to offer innovative solutions to the community’s pressing problems.

CRS aims to expand its programming and initiatives to continue to make an impact on students, faculty, staff and the greater community at large, and to set an example for institutions around the world. By design, Sage and its sister programs help to move SDSU toward the “Fifth Wave” institutional goal of a culture that is transdisciplinary, collaborative, and problem-driven, by addressing global challenges at a local level, through collaborations across campus and with partners from business, government, nonprofits, and education.

Fun Facts about Sage

Sage has gone international via a partnership with the City of Tijuana, Mexico, on a project focused on helping improve parks through community engagement and education. In addition, through partnership with Sage, the City of Lemon Grove, CA, was the first US city to apply the UN Habitat’s climate action planning toolkit. Sage has also partnered with the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, a regional office of the California Water Boards, a State agency.

Year Program Established | 2013
Country | US
Federal Region of Program | 9

Public or Private Institution | Public
Number of students at institution | 35,000

Highlight Videos and Articles

SDSU Students Help Shape Climate Plan In Lemon Grove by Erik Anderson
Lemon Grove breezeway gets updated, fresh look by Karen Pearlman
Lemon Grove may be first in US to use UN toolkit for climate plan by Gary Warth
Project makes students city planners by Gary Warth
Student, city project goes international by Gary Warth
Universities Lend a Hand with Sustainability by the EPA’s Net Zero program
SDSU Devotes 25,000 Student Hours to Lemon Grove for Sage Project by Jonathan Goetz
Municipio lanza programa “Comuniparques” by the San Diego Red
SDSU NewsCenter: Mapping Out a Decades-Old Environmental Threat by Jeff Ristine
The Nation’s Health: California students adapt United Nations climate tool for universities by Aaron Warnick
SDSU’s Sage Project Tackles Homelessness in El Centro by Susanne Clara Bard
SDSU Researchers Receive Nearly  $800,000 in Grants to Assess National City’s Brownfields by Susanne Clara Bard

Community Partners

2013 | National City • Population: 60,000
2014 | National City • Population: 60,000  
2015 | National City • Population: 60,000  
2015 | Santee • Population: 56,000
2015 | San Diego • Population: 1,300,000
2015 | Tijuana • Population: 2,000,000
2016 | Lemon Grove • Population: 26,000
2017 | Lemon Grove • Population: 26,000
2018 | Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve
2019 | Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve
2019 | La Mesa • Population: 60,000
2020 | San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
2021 | San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
2021 | Lemon Grove • Population: 26,000
2022 | Lemon Grove • Population: 26,000
2022 | El Centro • Population: 45,000
2022 | San Diego Urban Sustainability Coalition
2023 | San Diego Urban Sustainability Coalition
2023 | City of National City • Population: 60,000
2024 | City of National City • Population: 60,000
2024 | Jewish Family Services of San Diego

Contact Info

Jessica Barlow
Program Director
(619) 594-3807

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