RiverScape )
News from the San Dieguito River Park October/November 2006
In this issue
  • Hike for Your Health!
  • $550,000 received for Treatment Pond project
  • We Need YOU!
  • The Busy Season
  • "Stargazing in the San Pasqual Valley"
  • Old-Fashioned Holiday Charm
  • Celebrating 20 Years of Progress
  • Saving The Best For Last!
  • A Request to You
  • Greetings!

    Welcome to Autumn! Get out, get active, and discover what's happening around the River Park!

    Hike for Your Health!

    Now that cooler days are here it's a great time to take a hike! The folks in this picture are hiking on the new Santa Fe Valley Trail near the Crosby Estate on Del Dios Highway. Check out the new fall activity calendar and plan to join one of the scheduled group hikes with the Conservancy,Rangers, or Canyoneers. Each hike offers something unique!

    Wear comfortable shoes and always carry water; these are the two most important rules of hiking. River Park hikes are generally rated in terms of difficulty. A good rule of thumb, however, is to note how long the hike is scheduled for -- a four hour hike is usually much more strenuous than a one to two hour hike! There is no age limit on ability.

    So get out and get active and hike for your health!

    $550,000 received for Treatment Pond project

    The San Dieguito River Park has received a $550,017 Proposition 50 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board for the proposed freshwater runoff treatment ponds in the San Dieguito Lagoon.

    The project site, at the terminus of San Andres Road (east of I-5, south of Via de la Valle) is inundated with substantial urban runoff from a 313 acre residential watershed that is funneled via a culvert under a shopping center into the project site. It has been roughly estimated that a residential watershed of that size in San Diego will produce 5,453,712 cubic feet of stormwater each year, and twice that amount, or 10,907,424 cubic feet of urban runoff, each year. Left untreated, the runoff would go directly into the newly restored wetlands of the adjacent Southern California Edison Wetland Restoration Project, introducing sediment, oily water, chemicals and invasive species. This project will capture and treat that water before it is introduced into the estuarine system.

    Work will begin Fall 2007.

    We Need YOU!

    The San Dieguito River Park needs your help! The restoration of our Park's trail system and the creation of wildlife habitat are essential. Our weekend work projects have suffered this year due to the long hot summer! We just haven't had many volunteers to assist the Rangers with critical projects. But now that the weather is cooler we're hoping to see more individuals who are ready to come out and help! Pictured are volunteers from The Home Depot, who came as a group to help on trails and other park projects.

    Trail Maintenance work projects take place on the second Sunday of every month from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Habitat Restoration work projects take place every third Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. The quarterly Activity Calendar lists the location sites in advance. The sites vary according to the areas which require the most work. If we know you are coming (at least 48 hours in advance) we will provide tools and water. Just call (858) 674-2275 x14 and leave your name and number in your party. We'll be out there rain or shine!

    Trail work usually consists of using shovels, rakes, and loppers to clear debris from the trails. Habitat restoration projects entail watering, weeding, and spreading mulch and rock. We welcome everyone age 12 and above. This is an excellent way to earn hours, credits, and badges for environmental service!

    Please commit to just one work project a quarter. We want the trails and open space to be there for you and for the next generation!

    The Busy Season

    Field staff are always busy during the fall and winter with habitat restoration and planting projects, and they will be again this year. In addition, this year there are several big projects that will be keeping them on the go. San Dieguito River Park Rangers will be building parts of the Coastal Lagoon Trail and the Del Dios Gorge Trail, and making improvements to the Bernardo Summit Trail.

    Resource and Trails Manager Jason Lopez writes a column for the San Dieguito River Park website called "What's Growing On". "What's Growing On" is a series of field management articles, focusing on habitat protection and restoration, trail construction and management, and human impacts on sensitive resources.

    "Stargazing in the San Pasqual Valley"

    "Stargazing in the San Pasqual Valley" has been so popular over the last three months that we're looking forward to the next few months! The San Dieguito River Park sponsors astonomy education outreach in the San Pasqual Valley and the State of California Parks Department hosts the event. Held at the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park within the San Diego Archeological Center compound the site has proven perfect for viewing the night skies! Generous support from OPT (Oceanside Photo & Telescope) ensures that everyone has a chance to look through state-of-the-art telescopes. Look closely at the picture above to see all the folks ready to enjoy a night's viewing. For all those bringing their own equipment to the star parties, the observing field is marked off and open until 11:00 p.m.

    Presentations begin at 6:00 p.m. and last about one hour. The topics and speakers vary so check the schedule! This activity is family friendly and the River Park offers door prizes and water bottles to those in attendance. Keeping the skies dark is good for us and for habitat -- the programs are free of charge -- just come and learn and have fun!

    The San Diego Astronomy Association has given two memberships and Palomar Community College has donated ten tickets to the planetarium shows! We've given out star charts, books, a backpack with everything needed for charting the trails and the stars, and special lights . . . we want to promote awareness within the San Pasqual Valley and to advocate for dark skies. Educational programs about astronomy are part of a win-win activity!

    Star Parties are open to all, whether you come to the presentations or not -- follow the signs for parking and set up and for additional information on schedule, directions, or speakers, please call (760) 737-0370.

    Old-Fashioned Holiday Charm

    The Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead is part of the San Dieguito River Park -- located at the gateway to the San Pasqual Valley Agricultural Preserve, the house sits just off the Mule Hill/San Pasqual Trail on Sunset Drive. The restoration of both the house and grounds is in progress and visiting hours are on the weekends -- Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. (closed on holidays) Docents are on site to tell you about the rich history of the Sikes Family and the early days of Southern California. There is no admission charge and in the month of November you are invited to bring an ornament to share and take home a keepsake in return, courtesy of The Calico Club of Community Interface. Watch for the windmill between the trees, pardon our mess, and come through the open gate of the fenced area around the house. Take a step back in time!

    Celebrating 20 Years of Progress

    It was great fun on September 30th at the Bernardo Winery to see old friends and celebrate the many accomplishments that members of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy point to with pride since the group's formation in 1986. Honoree of the evening was Karen Berger, one of the founders and long-time supporter.

    During that time the Conservancy has grown from being a gleam in a few visionaries' eyes to having its own paid staff, owning natural open space land, and working as a full partner with the San Dieguito River Valley Joint Powers Authority in preserving the San Dieguito River Valley for the future.

    Saving The Best For Last!

    It's taken years and will take more years but truly worthwhile things take time! The ecological restoration of the San Dieguito Lagoon is definitely underway with the opening of the river mouth! If you are interested in the progress of the lagoon, please visit the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Learning Center (also known as the "Strawberry Stand") on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon! The San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Learning Center is located at the corner of Via de la Valle and San Andres off Interstate 5, adjacent to the Albertsons Shopping Center. Parking is available! For more information about the Wetland Restoration Project, please click here.

    A Request to You

    Many River Park supporters may not know that the River Park has converted from a print-based news distribution to an e-mail based distribution only. Therefore, please forward this e-mail to anyone you think would be interested. Then they can sign up for themselves if they wish to continue receiving the San Dieguito River Park's RiverScape newsletter. Thank you!

    Quick Links...

    email: sdrp@sdrp.org
    phone: 858 674-2270