Unique Partnership Captures Cross-Border Message

SONY DSCFor today’s blog, ILACSD’s Development & Marketing Coordinator, Sarah, collaborated with Lucy Eagleson, Program Coordinator & Media Educator from Outside the Lens (OTL) to highlight one of ILACSD’s most cherished partnerships. Read on to learn more about how we meshed digital media and environmental stewardship to bring our Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art to life!

First, a little bit of background information about OTL, Lucy and how this partnership came to be.

Lucy spends a lot of her time as a Media Educator in San Diego classrooms, helping students find their voice within and express it through digital media arts. By looking at current and historical photography and films, students come to understand that a picture is often worth a thousand words, and sometimes even more. Lucy enjoys partnering with I Love A Clean San Diego for Kids’ Ocean Day because it brings together her passion for photography and making a difference in our community.

Kids' Ocean Day 2012
Kids’ Ocean Day 2012


ILACSD staff have worked together with OTL for Kids’ Ocean Day for many years now, but this year we threw Lucy a curve ball – a bi-national aerial art image. Without going into too many details, a bi-national aerial art image posed some challenges for Lucy and the Corporate Helicopter team, but at the end of the day we couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Lucy Eagleson - OTL
“I believe in the power of images and the stories they tell. Images speak where words cannot, and carry within them beautiful narratives that have the momentum to move people to change.” – Lucy Eagleson, OTL

Close to 1,200 students, their teachers and volunteers from both sides of the border came together to remove harmful pieces of beach debris along Border Field State Park and Playas de Tijuana. After the cleanup, one-by-one, the students filled into the aerial art outline to form this year’s cross-border aerial art image and commemorate the first-ever bi-national Kids’ Ocean Day! Below is one of our favorite pictures of the aerial art formation coming to life!

Students filling in the aerial art formation and patiently waiting for Lucy in the helicopter to capture the art from the sky!


This stunning image clearly demonstrates that we all need to do our part to protect our environment and that the ocean knows no borders. The message reads “UNITE POR EL MAR” which translates to unite for the sea. This image has received an overwhelming response on social media and from local media alike, for which we are extremely grateful.

First-ever bi-national Kids’ Ocean Day aerial art image!

It goes without saying that a special “thank you” goes out to Outside The Lens, Lucy, and the Corporate Helicopter team for capturing this powerful image!

Be sure to follow and like ILACSD and OTL on your favorite social media networks to stay connected to the great work happening year-round!

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https://twitter.com/iloveacleansd – @ilacsd

https://twitter.com/OutsideTheLens – @OutsideTheLens

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About Outside the Lens – Outside the Lens empowers youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community, and the world. Students see how the power of their photos can speak louder than words and even inspire change in the community around them. 



Meet Niki, taking photography to new heights!

Living in San Diego, we are fortunate to have so many local organizations making a difference in our community. We are happy to collaborate with Outside the Lens for this year’s Kids’ Ocean Day. Niki Even, Program Director at Outside the Lens, will be taking photography to new heights by becoming this year’s aerial art photographer. On June 6th, close to 1,000 San Diego youth will descend on Crown Point Shores in Mission Bay to send a clear environmental message to the community. These students will perform a beach cleanup, and then form a giant aerial art image of a child listening to a seashell and spelling out the word “LISTEN”, reminding San Diegans about the importance of listening to and living in harmony with the marine environment.

Photos by youth from Outside the Lens
Photos by youth from Outside the Lens

Niki Even has worked for Outside the Lens for the last 6 years, first as the lead media educator and now as the program director.  Her favorite part of each day is the ability to share the power of digital media to youth throughout San Diego County.   She is thrilled to continue the partnership with I Love A Clean San Diego during Kids’ Ocean Day, combining her love for photography and her passion for education regarding important community topics.

Outside the Lens empowers youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and their world. Their year-long outreach programs include a curriculum component called Water in Focus.  Here, students participate in a global photography project that calls them to action as they document the use, waste, conservation, and pollution of water through words and images.  I Love a Clean San Diego has participated in visiting Outside the Lens’ classrooms as guest speakers and partnered on community water events with Outside the Lens students.

Niki says, “[i]t’s always exciting to watch our students make a positive change in their personal habits or help create community change based on the images they took and the opportunity to see their world through a new lens, the lens of the camera.”

We are so excited to work with OTL once more and look forward to seeing the captured image.

16  Board #4-Hi Res