Please join us for the Grand Opening of the Birdwing Open Air Classroom, located at the San Dieguito Lagoon on Tuesday, May 13 at 10:00!  As a part of the Grand Opening, we have partnered with many organizations to offer FREE public programs at the classroom each weekend through July. See the full program schedule below.




North San Diego Certified Farmers

Market - Rain or Shine!


May 4, 11, 18, 25

10:30 am - 3:30 pm

Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead



Spring Hike

Sunday, May 4

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Farmer Road Staging Area, Santa Ysabel Preserve East



Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon

Saturday, May 10

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Easy 2 miles

San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk



All About Julian Presentation

Saturday, May 10

10:00 am

Farmer Rd. Staging Area, Santa Ysabel Preserve East



Volunteer Trail Maintenance

Sunday, May 11

8:00 am - 11:00 am

Highland Valley Trail Staging Area




Tuesday, May 13

10:00 am



Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival
May 16, 17
A weekend dedicated to celebrating nature and the environment! 



Sunset Hike to

Volcan Mountain Summit

Friday, May 16

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Hubbell Gateway, Volcan Mountain Preserve



San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk

Saturday, May 17

8:30 am - 10:30 am

Easy 2 Miles

San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk



 Docent-Led Hike on the Five Oaks Trail

Sunday, May 18

8:00 am - 11:00 am

Sally Snipes, Volcan Mountain Foundation

Hubbell Gateway, Volcan Mountain Preserve



Spring Hike

Sunday, May 18

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Farmer Road Staging Area, Santa Ysabel Preserve East



15th Annual Scripps Ranch Civic Association  Community Fair

Sunday, May 18

12:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Canyoneers Walk on Piedras Pintadas Trail
Sunday, May 18
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Easy 4 Miles
San Diego Natural History Museum

Canyoneers Walk at Ramona Grasslands
Sunday, May 24
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Easy 5 Miles
San Diego Natural History Museum

Crest Canyon 
Bird Walk
Saturday, May 31
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Easy 2 Miles
San Diego Audubon Society

Sikes Adobe Creamery
Opening & Dedication
Wednesday, June 4
4:00 pm






May 6-7 



 24 Hours of Giving

From 11:59 pm on May 6, until 11:59 pm on May 7, make a donation to the Conservancy on our

giveBIG event webpage.


Your Donation Goes Further

The Conservancy will receive a percentage of an incentive pool based on donations made during the 24 hour giving period. 
Donors of more than $100 will receive a beautiful book written by Conservancy Advisory Board Member, Wolf Berger Ph.D. entitled "Coast to Crest and Beyond."



Help protect the natural legacy of the River Park with your gift during the giveBIG event.

Connect with the Conservancy



Connect with the 

River Park





Your membership helps us to fulfill our mission to protect  the San Dieguito Watershed for generations to come.




For more information, please visit these websites:


Grand Opening of the Birdwing Open Air Classroom
May 13
We are putting the finishing touches on the 
Birdwing Open Air Classroom at the 
San Dieguito Lagoon in preparation for the 
Grand Opening Event on Tuesday, May 13th at 10:00 am



Dave Roberts, County Supervisor and Chairman of the San Dieguito River Park JPA, will cut the ribbon to welcome the community to the new Birdwing Open Air Classroom.  Leaders from the Conservancy, the River Park JPA, and other public officials will join him to celebrate this occasion. 


Making it even more special, the Birdwing Grand Opening event takes place during Lagoon Days, an annual 3-day event during which 600 third-grade students from 

Del Mar learn about the importance of nature and the environment, including water quality, butterflies, coastal wildlife and native plants. The students participate in hands-on activities, see plants and wildlife through scopes, binoculars and magnifying glasses, write haikus and create art inspired by the nature they see at the lagoon.   


Parking is available in the River Park staging area on San Andres Drive off of Via de la Valle. The Birdwing Open Air Classroom is a short walk down the trail from the parking area. A River Park Ranger will be available with a shuttle for transportation to the classroom.

 see the map


Come help us celebrate! We look forward to seeing you at 

10:00 am on Tuesday, May 13th!

Free, Public Programs at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom
May - July
There is Something for Everyone at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom

For the Birdwing Grand Opening, the Conservancy and the River Park have partnered with other organizations and individuals to offer a series of free public programs each weekend through July.  The slate of programs offers something fun and interesting for all ages with a wide variety of interests.  


Schedule of Events for the 

Birdwing Open Air Classroom


Chaparral, Estuaries, & Grizzly Bears:  | May 17 l 10 am

Richard W. Halsey, Writer, Naturalist,Director, California Chaparral Institute

It is hard to believe that herds of grizzly bears roamed the shoreline of the San Dieguito estuary. Once bordered by beautiful, dense stands of chaparral, the estuary still provides a rich habitat for thousands of species. Join us as we discover the importance of this natural treasure and why it represents such a vital link to nature for all Californians. Enjoy a spirited, witty and moving discussion about connecting with nature followed by a hike at the lagoon with Richard W. Halsey. Sign Up!


Stories, Art & Nature l May 17 l 2 pm

Susan Middleton, Librarian, La Jolla Country Day, Reflection Guide for Exploring Our Sense of Place Program & Annie Osborn, Art Teacher

Your children will be enthralled by lively readings of "Play With Me" by Marie Hall Ets and "On Meadowview Street" by Henry Cole - both inspired by childrens' interaction with nature. Between readings, participants will create art projects to take home.  After the program we will lead a brief hike along the lagoon to see and hear wildlife in nature. Sign Up!


Coastal Hike and Yoga on the Beach | May 18 | 8:30 am

Susan McCrea, Certified Yoga Instructor, Band Member of Soul Seduction

This is the perfect start to your Sunday. Join us for a half hour hike to North Beach followed by a rejuvenating 45-minute yoga session and a half hour hike back. All levels are welcome. Please bring a mat or towel and drinking water.  Sign Up!


REI Backcountry Skills | May 18 | 10am - 2 pm

Sunny Chang, Outdoor School Instructor at REI

Practice the basic principles of navigation with a map and compass including reading contour lines, colors and features of a topographical map. Discuss how to build a fire, protect against poor weather conditions and learn the basics of surviving a night in the wild. Bring a bag lunch and something to drink! Sign Up!


Beetles, Ants, Butterflies & More | May 24 | 10 am

Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Dir. Conservation Education, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research & Leana Bulay, Ranger, River Park JPA

Insects are some of the smallest but most abundant life in the San Dieguito River Valley. They represent the bulk of our planet's animal diversity and biomass! In fact, insects are responsible for keeping much of the watershed functioning. Learn about these fascinating little creatures and participate in a series of activities with live insects, butterflies, caterpillars and more. Sign Up!


Helen Woodward's Summer Critter Camp Demo | May 31| 2 pm

Helen Woodward Animal Center

Do your kids loooove animals? Join one of our ANIMAL-azing instructors as they give you a "sneak peak" of some of the coolest animals we have at our Summer Critter Camps! Let our feathered, furry, and scaly "teachers" inspire thought, knowledge and wonder in your little camper! Learn more about Critter Camp at Sign Up!


Trail Runners Boot Camp and Lagoon Run l June 7 l 8:30 am

Dr. Victor Runco, Clinical Director, San Diego Running Institute

For 14 years, Dr. Runco has been training and treating San Diego runners, Ironman athletes and ultra-marathon runners. He is the "Chief Running Officer" of Dirt Devil Racing and is an avid trail runner. Gain insight into the world of trail running, trail racing and how to find all of the amazing trails we have in San Diego, including the Coast to Crest Trail. You will learn how trail running differs from road running, how to be prepared (not sorry) and gain more confidence and experience in your trail running. Sign up!


Sky Hunters - Birds of Prey l June 7 l 1 pm

Nancy Conney, Director Sky Hunters Raptor Rehabilitation and Education

See live, non-releasable birds of prey up close! Raptors live in our communities and play an important role in maintaining a balance in nature. Learn about their habitats, what they eat, lifespan, family size and more.  Find out why many of these hunting birds are threatened and what you should and should not do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal.  Sky Hunters is a rescue sanctuary, rehabilitating and educating people about the conservation of birds of prey.

Sign Up!


Butterfly & Hummingbird Friendly Garden l June 14 l 10 am

Marcia Van Loy, UCCE Master Gardener

Discover the joy of growing a hummingbird and butterfly friendly garden. Learn the steps to create a beautiful, healthy and thriving nature wonderland. Discussed will be benefits to your garden, the types of plants and habitat that provide food sources and shelter and how you can keep the environment safe for these creatures. Marcia is a sought-after speaker and has shared her depth of knowledge with many regional gardening organizations.  Her garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and was featured in the San Diego Home and Garden Magazine's April 2013 edition.  Reference material will be provided.

Sign Up!


The Pond Habitat | June 14 | 1 pm

Kindergarten Students, High Tech Elementary North County

Come join the Kindergarten Pond Protectors to learn all about our local ponds! This is a perfect event for families. Hear an original children's book created by High Tech Elementary students about ponds and the creatures that live there. Learn about local habitat and species at the lagoon and join us for a short guided hike with interpretive stations. Sign Up! 


Bird Watching & Walk l June 21 l 8 am

John Haddock, Buena Vista Audubon Society, Whelan Lake Bird Walk 

You see them and you hear them everywhere, but how many birds can you identify? Birding can be daunting, especially for beginners. Get tips to help you think like a naturalist! Enjoy a brief talk followed by a hike to discover birds of the San Dieguito Lagoon and learn about the local ecosystem. Sign Up!


The Living Coast | June 21 | 1 - 2 pm

Tina Matthias, Program Manager Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast provides student-focused education through STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Learn about coastal environments, climate change and human coexistence with our natural resources using a watershed model and interaction with native critters. Sign Up!


Coastal Hike and Yoga on the Beach | June 22| 8:30 am

Susan McCrea, Certified Yoga Instructor,  Band Member of Soul Seduction

Start your day with fresh air and exercise at the coast!  Join us for a half hour hike to North Beach followed by a rejuvenating 45-minute yoga session and a hike back. All levels are welcome. Please bring a mat or towel and drinking water.  Sign Up!


Yoga at the Lagoon l June 28 l 9 - 10 am

James Danoff-Burg Ph.D., Yoga Instructor, Conservancy Board Member

Create inner peace and balance with yoga in nature. This 90-minute, gentle yoga session explores a series of Earth-themed Viniyoga poses flowing one into the next. With a spectacular view of the lagoon, you are certain to attain both inner and outer harmony and peace. Please bring a mat.  All levels welcome. Sign Up!


Introduction to Wildlife Tracking | June 28 | 11 am

Fred Kramer and Bob MacDonald, San Diego Tracking Team

The San Diego Tracking Team (SDTT) is dedicated to promoting the preservation of wildlife habitat in San Diego County through citizen-based wildlife monitoring coupled with environmental education programs.  For over 20 years, SDTT-trained volunteers have conducted wildlife tracks and sign surveys to evaluate the health of ecosystems in the San Diego region.  Get an introduction to the art of tracking the seldom-seen wildlife that lives in the San Dieguito River Valley. Hands-on activities will provide an opportunity to see and compare animal tracks in the dirt. Sign Up!


Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Grows Earth Heroesİ| June 28 | 2 pm

Ms. Smarty-Plants™ from The Water Conservation Garden

Join Ms.Smarty-Plants™ to save water and the planet! Your children will take an interactive journey with magic, music and fun through the water cycle, conservation, plant adaptations and much more. Each student will plant a drought tolerant plant to take home with them and take the Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Earth Hero Pledge. Ideal for kids K - 6th grade. We can change the world with our own two hands!

Groups Welcome. Sign Up!


Ranger Led Walk at the Lagoon l July 12 l 9-10:30 am

San Dieguito River Park Ranger

The entire family will enjoy this walk along the San Dieguito Lagoon led by a River Park ranger. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project as well as plant and wildlife identification.You will also get updates on current River Park projects and volunteer opportunities. Come discover the beauty of the lagoon with us! Meet at the San Andres Drive Interpretive Kiosk at the end of the cul-de-sac. Sign Up!


The Human Equestrian Bond l July 12 l 2 pm

Julia Erickson, Breeder & Owner of Freedom Song Ranch

Julia started a breeding operation in the mountains of Julian before moving it to Escondido. She is an expert in Arabians, Andalusians, and the cross between these, Hispano-Arabe.  Julia will discuss how breeders are using DNA and genetics to create "designer horses."  She will be bringing a very rare Golden Andalusian and their pony, Princess, who will delight you with some of her tricks and her precocious personality! Sign Up!


Equestrians in Nature l July 19 l 2 pm

Patty Heyden, Back Country Horsemen

The Backcountry Horsemen of California-San Diego (BCHC-SD) is dedicated to preserving trails and the back country through practicing and teaching "Leave No Trace" and "Gentle Use Principles."  As volunteers for agencies like the US Forest Service, the BCHC-SD is available to pack in tools and supplies using horses and mules, into areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited. Learn where the trails are and what equestrians can do to minimize human impact in our natural resources. Live horses will be at the presentation. 

Sign Up!


Coastal Hike and Yoga on the Beach | July 20| 8:30 am

Susan McCrea, Certified Yoga Instructor, Band Member of Soul Seduction

This is the perfect start to your Sunday. Join us for a half hour hike to North Beach followed by an invigorating 45-minute yoga session and a half hour hike back. All levels are welcome. Please bring a mat or towel and drinking water.  Sign Up!


Exploring Nature Photography l July 26 l 8 am-2 pm

Jim Coffee, James Coffee Studios

Photograph the San Dieguito Lagoon with photographer Jim and Cheryl Coffee.  After a short presentation, participants will explore and photograph the San Dieguito Lagoon from 7 different locations.  Participants should bring their cameras (still or video), extra batteries and a bag lunch.  The excursion will last approximately 6 hours, with participants driving and walking to the different lagoon locations. Sign Up!