Updated: Mar 10
Volunteerism is the heart of the greater Julian area. We care for each other and the success of the community. Just about every need is filled by volunteers. There is not an organization in this town that will turn down a helping hand. Volunteering and attending community events is also an excellent way to make some new friends, gain a sense of greater purpose, and you’ll probably fall deeper in love with this place like us “old-timers.”
WARNING: This post is long! For a while now I have felt that our community needed one go-to list of resources for everyone to get involved. So I sat down and compiled this list. Our fantastic community uses grassroot organizations to fill any need, and that is why the post is so long. This community is just too AMAZING. Below are over forty ways you can get involved in Julian. YES! 40+ WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.
Seeing all 40+ community organizations that serve the greater Julian community makes me feel so proud to live here. The spirit of service is incredible. There really is a group for everyone. I hope this also inspires those who may not see a group that catches their interest right off the bat—please go start it! Julian is a place of opportunity. I am proof of that.
I often say, “What you put into the community is what you get out of it.” I have always believed that this community has helped me become who I am today. I am mountain made. (Pun totally intended.) After compiling this list, I feel even more convinced of that.
I encourage you to skim the list and reach out to an organization or two or three or ten and join their amazing efforts to make Julian the best it can be. I truly hope this post inspires you as much as it did me.
If volunteerism isn’t your thing, please support these community organizations through donations and by attending local events.
I also want to point out that all information I’ve provided is for normal business operations and not those modified in response to the pandemic. Please check with each individual organization for any COVID-related changes.
School Boards - The greater Julian area has three school districts: Julian Union High School District (JUHSD), Julian Union Elementary School District (JUESD), and Spencer Valley School District. Each district is governed by a board of five elected community representatives who oversee school operations. Our schools are always in need of volunteers, board members, and financial contributions to various fundraising efforts.
Architectural Review Board of the Julian Historic District - The ARB consists of seven Julian residents appointed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. This board uses the architectural design guidelines set forth by the Board of Supervisors to ensure the authentic look of the Julian Historic District. All new construction and exterior changes on any building within the Julian Historic District must be approved by the ARB prior to starting the project. The ARB meets once a month on the first Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. in the lower level of the Julian Town Hall.
Water District Boards- The greater Julian area has multiple water districts. Each district elects a board to oversee the operations. These boards are responsible for supplying their area with fresh water. Just to name a few: Julian Community Service District (JCSD), Majestic Pines Community Service District, Pine Hills Mutual Water Co., Cuyamaca Water District, Pine Hills Mutual Water Company, and Wynola Water District.
Julian Community Planning Group - Elected by the registered voters in the community planning jurisdiction, the planning group is a board of advisors to the administrators of the County of San Diego. Board members must live in the planning area and serve four-year terms. These community representatives are given the opportunity to advise and assist the County of San Diego officials on matters of planning and land use in the Julian planning area. This group meets in the Julian Town Hall on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
Jess Martin Park Advisory Committee - JMPAC is a committee of seven members who are residents or property owners in the community of Julian and have an interest in issues related to Jess Martin Park. They provide information and recommendations to the Department of Parks and Recreation regarding the annual operations and budget for landscape maintenance at Jess Martin Park.
Local Non-Profit Organisations and Clubs
Julian Woman’s Club - The Julian Woman’s Club is a local group of women dedicated to the community. Throughout the year they hold a variety of events that have become treasured community traditions, such as The Julian Wildflower Show and Heritage Quilt Show. Additionally, every year they award multiple college scholarships to Julian High School students. Meetings are held at 1:00 p.m. at the clubhouse on the first Wednesday of each month, except during July and August.
Julian Dark Sky Network - The Julian Dark Sky Networkwork aims to preserve the dark skies of Julian, CA. This group also puts together a variety of astronomy-related events.
Julian Daffodil Project - Over the last 30+ years, Julian local Sally Snipes and her daffodil ambassadors of all ages have planted over 4 million bulbs during the winter. Each spring, their efforts bring much joy to the community and a little friendly competition. Make sure to plant your bulbs in time to compete in the Daffodil Show!
Julian American Legion - The Julian American Legion is a huge part of our community. Within the American Legion Post there is also the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and the Women’s Auxiliary. This group of community members raise money for just about any need by hosting Sunday breakfasts, Friday night dinners, and a variety of events. The Legion Dance and 4th of July BBQ have become beloved traditions in the community. The Auxiliary has also built up lots of momentum with a Ladies Auction.
The Red Cross - The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers in our area to help with evacuation centers and disaster relief.
Julian Chamber of Commerce and Julian Merchants Association - As you know, Julian is a tourist destination and with that comes a great deal of responsibility. The business community works hard to maintain the town's standards of hospitality. The local businesses are always very generous in supporting the community. You don’t need to have a business to join, and we always encourage you to shop local first.
Friends of the Julian Library - Friends of the Julian Library is a 501c(3) organization that is dedicated to supporting the library. They raise funds to purchase newly published books, DVDs, music CDs, recorded books, etc. to enhance the library’s collection. They also provide a wide variety of educational and entertainment programs to the library, such as Music on the Mountain (monthly performances of musicians and songwriters), Arts and Letters (presentations by people from all areas of knowledge), and reading programs for children. The Julian Library offers a wonderful selection of programs from fitness to educational fun like story time.
Senior Volunteer (Sheriff) Patrol - “The Sheriff’s Department sponsors a Senior Volunteer Program for individuals 50 years and older who want to serve their community by promoting safety and service programs (in crime prevention) and valuable assistance to the public at sheriff patrol stations. The Senior Volunteer Patrol is staffed by individuals who are asked to volunteer a minimum of six hours a week and attend one monthly meeting. Duties range from assisting with administrative work, patrolling neighborhoods, and checking on the welfare of elderly or disabled persons.”
Julian Triangle Club - The Julian Triangle Club is known for its old-fashioned 1870s old fashioned melodrama. This theatrical performance has been a long-standing tradition in the community. The club also holds other theatrical performances, raising funds to provide multiple Julian High School students, like me, with college scholarships.
The (Mountain) Lions Club - This group of men and women raise money for local scholarships for Julian High School Students.
Julian Backcountry Collaborative - The Julian Backcountry Collaborative brings together all sectors of our community to develop coordinated strategies to promote the well being of our students, families, and community. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in the Julian Pathways, Inc. office.
Julian Historical Society - Since 1963 this group of local historians has been working hard to preserve Julian's past for future generations. Julian Historical Society volunteers staff the Stageline Garage and Witch Creek Schoolhouse Museums on the first full weekend of each month. On the fourth Wednesday of each month, the society hosts a general speaker at the Witch Creek Schoolhouse, which is open to the public. This is a great way to learn our local history!
Julian Pioneer Museum- The Julian Pioneer Museum houses an amazing array of artifacts depicting the history of Julian. Thanks to an amazing group of volunteers, the museum is open to the public.
Julian Pioneer Cemetery - For the last 150 years, the Julian Pioneer Cemetery has been the final resting place of the town's most loved members. David Lewis has spent a tremendous amount of time uncovering much of the lost history of Julian and tending to the cemetery. He could use help maintaining the grounds. On busy tourism days, locals regularly check the cemetery to make sure visitors are respecting our community members.
Volcan Mountain Foundation (VMF) - “The mission of the Volcan Mountain Foundation (VMF) is to strive with intention to conserve and acquire land and practice respectful stewardship through education, public outreach, and resource management to preserve Volcan Mountain in its natural state for future generations.”
Julian Apple Growers Association - These local farmers are dedicated to “promoting the continuation of the growing of apples in Julian, CA—pears too.”
Julian Community Heritage Foundation (JCHF) - “JCHF was founded to preserve the history of the community of Julian and to promote the quality of life of persons of all ages living, working, and visiting in this community.” This non-profit has been actively working on a new initiative for the development of the corner lot on Main St. and Washington St. Our vision is the creation of a Julian town square and would serve as a community park and outdoor amphitheater. Julian town square will be an epicenter of art, theater, and community gatherings.”
Julian 4th of July Parade Committee - Every year this committee puts together a spectacular small-town parade. For over twenty years, residents and visitors have lined the four-block parade route through Main Street Julian to celebrate our nation's birthday. Julian’s 4th of July Parade is possible thanks to many generous donors and volunteers. If you would like to be a sponsor or make a donation, please visit the Parade Committee's website. Thank you for your support!
California Wolf Center - “The California Wolf Center consists of a diverse group of people throughout California who all share one common goal; to recover wolves in the wild... California Wolf Center is dedicated to the return of wild wolves to their natural habitat and to the people who share the landscape with them. We foster communities coming together to ensure wolves, livestock, and people thrive in today's world. The not-for-profit is completely funded by people like you. Donate (or volunteer) today and forever know that you made a difference for wolves in the wild.”
Julian Real Estate Association - Julian Real Estate Association puts on local caravans so realtors can see the new listings and stay informed of the options buyers have in the Julian real estate market. The association also provides scholarships to Julian High School students.
Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association - “The Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association was officially born in the spring of 1985. Operating under Forest Service standards, the volunteers have been providing quality recreation experiences and educating the visitors to the Descanso District of the Cleveland National Forest...The LMVA Trail Maintenance Crew maintains the approximate 35-mile trail system in the Mount Laguna Recreation Area, making it safer and more enjoyable for hikers, mountain bikers, and travelers on horseback...Maintenance consists of removing brush encroaching on the trail, tread maintenance, repairing erosion, and removing root balls and rocks.”
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association - CRSPIA supports the mission of California State Parks, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Palomar Mountain State Park through education and interpretive activities that enhance the visitor’s experience. CRSPIA accomplishes its goals principally through fundraising and supporting interpretive programs. Sources of funds include profits from the operation of a gift shop and bookstore, sale of firewood, membership dues, and various fundraising events.
Members receive a monthly newspaper, “The Stonewall Sentinel.” Your membership in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association, or donation to the association, will help effectively support the visitor-serving activities of the Department of Parks and Recreation at two premier southern California units, Cuyamaca Rancho and Palomar Mountain State Parks.
Alcoholics Anonymous - Meetings are held in the Julian Trading Post (across from the Fire Station 56).
Catholicism - Catholic churches include Santa Ysabel Mission and Cemetery, St. Francis of Assisi Chapel (in Warner Springs), and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. There is one priest for the area. Mass is said at various times throughout the weekend. At St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Mass is said daily. The parishes have religious education classes and hold a variety of events; the best-known are the Julian Annual Oktoberfest and Emerald Ball.
Hillside Community Church - Hillside is a non-denominational Christian church. In addition to Sunday service, the church holds the Julian Bible Club, youth group at Camp Julian Oaks, summer vacation bible school, and more.
Julian Methodist Church - Offers two Sunday services. While there, you may see bins with "Mountain Manna" written on them. Mountain Manna is a local food pantry providing monthly distributions to low-income families. In the fall, they have a huge rummage sale to benefit the church. You can always find a good bargain.
Calvary Chapel Julian - Since 1988 Calvary Chapel has been offering weekly ministries and services.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - They have a Sunday service.
Art and Culture
Wynola Pizza - Open Mic at Wynola Pizza is a big local hit!
Live Poets Society - no information at this time.
Julian Arts Guild - “The Julian Arts Guild was founded nearly half a century ago by local artists. Its purpose is to bring together artists, artisans, and community members for artistic, professional, and social purposes to stimulate and support the artistic interests of the community at large. The Guild provides a vehicle, through events, for the display and demonstration of works produced by its members. Throughout the years, the Guild has grown into a non-profit organization with three annual art shows, workshops, demonstrations, an artist studio tour, and speakers at monthly meetings. The Julian Arts Guild is made up of a diverse group of artists working in varied mediums, as well as literary writers and authors, and a choral group.”
Julian Arts Chorale - no information at this time.
Zumba - Zumba class is held once a week at the Julian Town Hall.
Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) - This group of parents and teachers is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of our local students.
Julian Youth Basketball (JYB) - “A group of volunteers agreed to band together to breathe some life into our youth basketball program. We are motivated from our own children’s desire, and on behalf of others, to become involved and pursue this opportunity to encourage community participation.”
Julian "Eagles" Booster Club - Athletics are a big part of the campus culture. Many students play more than one sport. The Booster Club works hard to support the local athletic programs offered. Your attendance at home games is always welcomed and embraced.
Students Events - Through the school programs such as ASB, FFA, theater, clubs, School Site Council, ASSETS (an after school program), and sports teams, our local youth host a variety of events. A few popular traditions are Homecoming Week, which includes a parade down the main street and a football game under the lights, the Halloween Carnival, the annual talent show, the annual Senior Auction, and a community-wide graduation celebration. The high school also puts on blood drives through the San Diego Blood Bank. Please support our youth in whatever way and whenever you can.
4-H - No information at this time.
Boy Scouts of America - No information at this time.
Girl Scouts - No information at this time.
Miss Julian and Teen Miss Julian Scholarship Pageant - “Miss Julian and Teen Miss Julian are youth ambassadors for the community of Julian, a beautiful town in East County San Diego. The young ladies of the Miss Julian Pageant system strive to become involved with organizations and citizens in Julian through community service and volunteerism.”