Del Mar Foundation, San Dieguito River Conservancy honor world explorer at private event


Helen Thayer, a National Geographic recognized “Explorer of the Century,” was honored recently by two local nonprofits, the Del Mar Foundation and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, at a private event on Sept. 15.

County Supervisor Dave Roberts presented Thayer with a certificate of recognition on behalf of the County of San Diego at a luncheon held at the home of Rose Ann and Ira Sharp.

Guests included donors and supporters of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy’s “Birdwing” project, an open-air classroom that welcomed its first visitors in spring. Birdwing serves as a gathering place for visitors of all ages and abilities to learn about the abundant natural resources of the San Dieguito River watershed. The Del Mar Foundation supported the Birdwing project with a $20,000 grant.

Thayer’s life of adventure and exploration pays tribute to the value of preserving the natural environment. As a motivational speaker, and through her nonprofit educational organization, Adventure Classroom, Thayer inspires people to embrace integrity, demonstrate courage, and assume responsibility for their actions. She is the author of numerous best-selling books, including “Polar Dreams,” “3 Among the Wolves,” and “Walking the Gobi.”

The Del Mar Foundation promotes community cohesiveness, raises and grants funds, preserves open space, improves beaches and parklands, sponsors diverse cultural programs, and manages nearly $2 million in endowment funds to benefit the greater Del Mar community. Visit


The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring natural and cultural resources within the 55-mile long San Dieguito watershed. Visit