San Dieguito River Park - Riverscape
San Dieguito River Park Riverscape, February 2011

The goal of the San Dieguito River Park is to support diverse and abundant plant and wildlife species in functioning ecosystems while providing appropriate public access and interpretation.

In This Issue
Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley
Sikes Valentine's Tea
Intermediate Birding
Water Quality Testing
Buddy Up
Canyoneers Hikes
Lagoon Ranger Walk
Farmers Market
HawkWatch 2011
Dynamic Duo
Trail Restoration
Plants of the Month



Farmstead Market

Sundays, 1:00 - 5:00pm


Hike Piedras Pintadas

Saturday, Feb. 5th

8:00am - 11:00am 


Hike Bernardo Mountain

Sunday, Feb. 6th

1:00 - 5:00pm

(This hike is at capacity.  See March 5th below) 


Lagoon Walk

Saturday, Feb. 12th

9:00 - 10:15am


San Diego Audubon Society Birding Course begins:

Saturday, Feb. 12th


Trail Restoration

Sunday, February 13th

8:00am - 11:00am  


Valentines Day Tea

Sunday, Feb. 13th

1:00 - 3:00pm 

Habitat Rehabilitation

Saturday, February 19th

8:00am - 11:00am 


Hike South Clevenger

Sunday, February 27th

9:00am - 11:30am 


Hike Bernardo Mountain

Saturday, March 5th

(details next newsletter) 


Quick Links...

Thank You Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley
We especially remember Alice Goodkind (founder of the Friends)

" We are standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us.

  They are saints and they are humans, they are angels, they are friends..."                          by Joyce Johnson Rouse

Alice Goodkind

Alice Goodkind

Alice Goodkind, civic activist, birdwatcher, local historian, and watercolor artist, left an enduring legacy of love for the San Dieguito River Valley; and her work is carried on today by the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley who monitor public and private works in the valley, lobby local agencies and landowners, advocate tirelessly for the preservation of the San Dieguito River Valley, and inform the public about potential conflicts affecting our sensitive natural resources. Their work at the coast and their members from Del Mar, Solana Beach, and San Diego, ensure continued support for open space.  Jacqueline Winterer is president of the Friends today.
February is for Valentines

Enjoy tea at Sikes.
Valentine's Day Tea
at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmhouse

Sunday, February 13th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Click here for a flyer 

Intermediate Birding Course
SDAS again offers its Intermediate Birding Course with Phil Pryde, Instructor.

Phil Pryde leads birding hike.

Phil Pryde (left) leading a birding outing at Lake Hodges.

San Diego Audubon Society (SDAS) will be offering its Intermediate Birding Course, designed for those with some experience in field identification of southwestern birds, and who would like to gain additional skills to enhance the enjoyment of their birding hobby.    

    The class will be conducted on six Saturday mornings, starting on February 12th, and will include at least two guided field trips.  The primary subject matter of the course will be on identifying the more difficult or confusing local species (such as Clark's and Western Grebes, etc.), but many other topics will be covered as well.

    This intermediate birding course is open to all.  Cost of the course is just $85 for Friends (i.e., members) of SDAS, $110 for non-members.   The course will be taught at the Tecolote Nature Center.  If you wish to enroll or have questions, call Phil Pryde, the course instructor at 619-465-9492.

Citizen Scientists Needed
The San Dieguito Lagoon

The San Dieguito Lagoon December 23rd, 2010.  An aerial view after the heavy rains.

(photo by Jim Coffee) 

We are looking for Citizen Scientists to perform water quality monitoring at the San Dieguito Lagoon Water Treatment Ponds!  We have partnered with San Diego Coastkeeper for special training of volunteers to come out on site and help once a month - volunteers will be asked to commit at least three times a year - so that we can carry out this special and much-needed work.  Please contact if you are interested in participating.  The next training session will be held on Saturday, March 19th and you must pre-register to attend!

Buddy Up

Hike or run with a friend.  Be alert, be aware of your surroundings, and stay safe.

There's only NOW in Nature - Be Aware - Everywhere!

Join the San Diego Natural History Museum "Canyoneers" on two hikes this month in the San Dieguito River Park!
Piedras Pintadas Trail at Lake Hodges
Saturday, February 5th
8:00am - 11:00am
Piedras Pintadas Waterfall

Piedras Pintadas Waterfall, February 2010

Hike through varied terrains and past a waterfall!  Learn about the Native American uses for plants in this area.

Read a trail description here.

South Clevenger Canyon
Sunday, February 27th
9:00am - 11:30am

 Spice Bush and monkey flower are a sampling of the many plant species here -- this lovely trail zigzags to the top of a peak for an elevation gain/loss of about 800 feet.  This is a 3-mile round trip.

Read a trail description here.  


Visit the Canyoneers website.

Join an SDRP Ranger and walk the Lagoon Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon.
Second Saturday Series
February 12th
9:00am - 10:15am
Do you want someone to talk to about the Restoration Project, the Railroad Bridge Upgrades, the Riverbend Revetment, the Eelgrass Transplanting, the Inlet Dredging, or the plans for extending the trail eastward . . . It's all going on! 
 (Meet at the kiosk to the Lagoon Trail at the end of San Andres off of  2775 Via De La Valle).

Don't forget the Farmstead Market every Sunday from 1:00pm - 5:00pm!
Donna Downing.

Donna demonstrates spinning.

Located at the gateway to the San Pasqual Agricultural Preserve, the market is open to the public and lots of fresh organic produce from Certified Farmers and food and Craft vendors also will be available for purchase!  Visit the historic home while you're here!  Click here for more info.

Featured Farmers Market Vendors:
Roots N' Fruits - Bob Myers is the owner of a small farm in Valley Center where he grows six varieties of persimmons, lemons, and figs!  They should be ripe by this weekend!  

Moonspinners Ranch

- Donna Downing is the owner of a sheep farm in Valley Center.  She is a spinner knitter who brings a small spinning wheel to market and demonstrates how yarn is spun from the fur of her sheep!  She has beautiful handmade items like socks, gloves, hats, and scarves for sale. 
HawkWatch 2011
Open to the public
Every Saturday, January and February 2011.
9:00am till noon.

HawkWatch 2011

Enjoy the hawks at HawkWatch 2011

Enrichment training was offered to volunteers of the San Dieguito River Park on Saturday, January 22nd.  We support the local efforts of groups like the Wildlife Research Institute, who are making it easy to connect with nature!

HawkWatch website

Image Gallery by Jim Coffee

Dynamic Duo
The Dynamic Duo, Bill and Tom

Bill (aft) and Tom (forward) enjoy a team building experience

on Lake Hodges!

Tom Brown and Bill McKinney are our Dynamic Duo Dust Devils!  (Say that fast!)

Tom came to the River Park after the 2007 Witch Creek Fires to see if he could help out and he's been helping ever since!  He even encouraged Bill McKinney to give it a shot and the two of them have been volunteering a good chunk of their time - it's lucky for us that they are both retired - working alongside the ranger staff on projects both big and small as part of the Park's "Dust Devils".  Their efforts have been invaluable and our gratitude is enormous!  If you ever meet them working out on the trails, ceremoniously place a small bit of trail dust on each of their left shoulders!

Ranger-led Volunteer Work Projects
Trail Restoration Work Projects take place every second Sunday of each month from 8:00am till 11:00 am.  Habitat Rehabilitation Work Projects take place every third Saturday of each month from 8:00am till 11:00am. 

The restoration of our Park's trail system and the creation of wildlife habitat are essential to providing a quality experience for all River Park visitors.  We need YOU!

Trail Restoration
Sunday, February 13th   Sunset Drive Staging Area
8:00am - 11:00am
(on the Mule Hill Trail near Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead)

Habitat Rehabilitation
Saturday, February 19th  
Ysabel Creek Staging/Parking Area   
8:00am - 11:00am

No reservations are necessary unless you are with a group of 5 or more! Contact for details and directions or visit our website Activity Calendar at   Please wear close-toe shoes and bring work gloves if you have them.
 We have gloves, tools, and water! If you are under 16 years of age you must be accompanied by an adult. 

Please note that Habitat Rehabilitation for March 19th and April 16th are already at capacity!  Trail Restoration Project volunteers are still needed. 

Featured Plants of the Month:

Monkey Flower and Nettle

This is the time of year that the sticky monkeyflower comes out, glowing peach or orange-red and radiating the landscape. When the season's right, they're accented by purple bush lupines. The flowers are beautiful but not too aromatic, although some say they smell like bubblegum! The flower is a common nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies.  These are found throughout the San Dieguito River Park.


There is a native stinging nettle in the Park but if you encounter it along the trail in high numbers it is probably the non-native species. The name usually refers to the strong burning and itching sensation you get when you handle it!  Formic acid, the chemical responsible for causing the irritation and itching, is the same substance found in an ant's bite. The many different species of nettle have been used historically for their medicinal value. They are abundant and out- compete the native plants.