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Challenge: Back to School 2021

Meet Tyden Chinowsky: Getting His Hands Dirty + Making A Difference

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I get to meet a lot of teens running WIT and today you get to meet one of them! This teen has been truly doing "Whatever It Takes" for his community. Through literal storms and setbacks he has remained committed and now all who live in the area get to benefit from his perseverance.

Tyden Chinowsky is a great reminder that when we see a problem we shouldn't turn away. Instead we should see it as an opportunity to be the one who creates the solution!

Let's just jump right in ... why did you decide to launch Native Del Mar?

The land surrounding the Del Mar bluffs had recently been devastated due to the construction of Del Mar’s multi-use pathway. My 13 year old self would walk by this


every day to go surfing, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that someone needed to take action. Before I knew it, I found myself filling that role. I reached out to the city requesting to participate in their Adopt-A-Spot program, so I could help restore that area. I prioritized planting native plants because I felt it could help the community connect more with nature and that part of the bluffs.

Since you created Native Del Mar, what are 3 things you’ve done that you’re excited about or proud of?

  1. We installed hillocks and placed boulders weighing up to 2 tons on them

  2. Gathered a community of volunteers who help me maintain the site

  3. Created a website and social media to help spread awareness

Have you experienced any setbacks with running Native Del Mar? How did you handle them?

It can be tough dealing with the tricky rules and regulations of the City of Del Mar. Trying to add on to our site is often a long process. I think patience and persistence are key to trying to resolve this problem. So, I try and stay on top of my emails and requests. For example, right now we have a request in to install a chess table for the community. We are waiting to hear back!


When you look ahead a few months … let’s say summer 2024 … what goals do you have for Native Del Mar?

We recently got nominated to participate in the San Diego Native plant society garden tours this upcoming April, so that's exciting! A couple weeks we ago we brought in a truck and placed mulch on our are, so the goal now is to maintain the beauty! I'm also hoping we can start work on our expansion towards the southern end of our site. The goal is to remove the ice plant and add in hillocks and possibly even boulders so it can blend in with our site and further show off the beauty of our native plants.

OK that sounds like a lot of exciting goals! Do you get volunteers to help you? Are there different ways people can support Native Del Mar?

I always post event dates and time on our instagram, so if you don't mind getting a little dirty, you can just follow our instagram and look out for our events. Otherwise, our website has a paypal link where people can donate to our 501c3 cause or even purchase notecards where the profits will all directly go towards purchasing plants and maintaining the land.

You shared you've been running Native Del Mar for a few years now, who has helped you along the way? Any organization or people you’d like to recognize?

I’d love to thank my family for always supporting me and helping me plan our events.


Similarly, Del Mar Mayor Tracy Martinez has been amazing in supporting me in this process. I'm also grateful for everyone who has helped us spread the word. Anna Laurel did a great piece of Native Del Mar that really helped us! A big thank you to the City of Del Mar Public Works for being so helpful in finding boulders and other utilities for my project, as well as giving me the opportunity to participate in the Adopt-A-Spot program. And thank you to you for this interview and the opportunities to share our work with more people!

It's my pleasure - you're doing great work! So, how can people connect with you and Native Del Mar?

My website is a great way for people to connect, as we have an email service where you can ask me questions, and we also have a donation page where you can help support our project. Similarly, our instagram is another way people can connect with me. I read all of my comments and dm’s, and when you follow our page and like our videos you are helping me expand our reach, which I truly appreciate.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have no doubt you will inspire people of all ages to not look away when they see an area of need, but instead take action and be the solution!

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