HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope that 2015 finds you well. We can't wait to kick off another exciting year at the River Park! From the Del Mar River Path Extension to California 10/20 to the Legacy of the Land Plein Air Art Gala -- and that's just the first few months!

Like everyone else, we're thinking about resolutions -- in our case, how can we resolve to better serve our goal of connecting people with nature? How can we get more people to experience the natural and varied beauty of the River Park? How can we better preserve and restore the resources within the watershed? We have many plans in store for 2015 and look forward to sharing them with you!

We're honored that you choose to support our efforts in the River Park. It's thanks to your support that our conservation, education, and recreation programs are possible.



Sundays, January  

4, 11, 18, 25   

10:30am - 3:30pm

North San Diego Certified

Farmers Market

Rain or Shine!

Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido


Saturday, January 10  

9:00 - 10:30am 

Second Saturday Ranger-
Led Walk at the San
Dieguito Lagoon 

Meet at the San Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area

2 miles, easy 

Hosted by San Dieguito  

River Park Ranger Bryan Ward  


Sunday, January 11  

8:00 - 11:00am  

Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Meet at Old Coach Trail
Staging Area "North"
Hosted by San Dieguito
River Park Ranger David Hekel 
RSVP to Leana Bulay 


Saturday, January 17  

8:00 - 11:00am 

Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Meet at the Ysabel Creek Rd. Staging Area
Hosted by San Dieguito
River Park Ranger Jake Gibbs
RSVP to Leana Bulay


Saturday, January 17  

10:30am - 11:30am

Wildlife Presentation:
Creatures of the Mountain

Held at the Julian Library:

1850 Hwy. 78,Julian, CA  92036

Co-hosted by Volcan  

Mountain Foundation and  

Biologist Mike Puzzo 


Sunday, January 18
8:30 - 10:30am

Coastal Walk &  

Yoga on the Beach  

Meet at the San Andres Dr. Interpretive Kiosk 

4 miles, easy
Co-hosted by SDRVC and
Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Sunday, January 18  

10:00am - 1:00pm 

Kanaka Loop Trail Hike  

Meet at the

Farmer Rd. Staging Area,
Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East
7 miles, moderate
Hosted by San Diego
County Parks Staff


Thursday, January 22  

8:00 - 10:00am 

Exec Trek on
Highland Valley Trail
Meet at the Highland Valley
Trail Staging Area
4.2 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz


Saturday, January 24  

9:00am - 12:00pm 

Sky Island Trail Hike  

Meet at VMF's Volcan

 Mountain Nature Center:  

22850 Volcan Rd.,


(at the gate at the beginning of Volcan Rd./end of Farmer Rd.)
Julian, CA  92036
1.5 miles, easy
Hosted by Volcan Mountain
Education Coordinator
Kathleen Beck
RSVP to Kathleen Beck at VMFEducation@VolcanMt.org
or (760) 518-3273


Saturday, January 24  

10:00 - 11:00am

The History of the Cuyamacas and What's Happening  

to the Oaks 

Meet at the Farmer Rd. Staging Area, Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East
Hosted by San Diego
County Parks


Sunday, January 25  

10:00am - 12:00pm

Canyoneers Hike at
Crest Canyon

Meet at Crest Canyon North
Interpretive Kiosk:
2707 Racetrack View Dr.Del Mar, CA  92014 

2 miles, easy
Hosted by San Diego Natural History Museum Volunteers


For hikes, all mileages are approximate.


Please visit our website for more details and full events calendar. 










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:









Run the California 10/20 with Team SDRVC!

It's a race and a party! Join Team San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and run the California 10/20 with us on February 15, 2015!  


Run/walk the 10-mile course through Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas and get entertained by 20 live bands along the way. Former Eagle, Don Felder, will headline the finish concert.  


We've been selected as a local non-profit partner and California 10/20 is donating $1,500 to the Del Mar River Path Extension project!

Register for the race at: http://www.cal1020.com


First Exec Trek of 2015

Join us for the first Exec Trek of 2015! We'll be hiking on Highland Valley Trail.

This easy, 4.2-mile hike will be hosted by Executive Director Trish Boaz. We'll meet at 8:00am on Thursday, Jan. 22nd at the Highland Valley Trailhead.

All the details here!
Save the Date - Plein Air
Art Gala & Exhibit
Mark your calendars now -- Legacy of the Land, a Plein Air Painters Art Gala & Exhibit, will take place at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido starting in March!

Purchase tickets now for the Opening Gala on March 21st. This will be your first chance to purchase artwork from Plein Air painters documenting California's rural, urban, and ocean landscapes. The paintings will remain on display at the California Center for the Arts through May 3rd.

Portions of the ticket and painting sales will benefit the Conservancy. Learn more about the Gala and Exhibit on the Plein Air Painters of America website, and purchase tickets here!


San Diego International Wine Show
We were honored to be selected as the focus charity for the San Diego International Wine Show! This two-day event, held on April 25-26th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, will feature wines and wine experts from all over the world.

The Conservancy will receive $5,000 for our conservation, education, and recreation programs. Learn more and purchase tickets here

Have You Gone on a Hike Recently?
by Ginni Kitchen, Trail Patroller

For a great hike, let me recommend San Dieguito River Park's Bernardo Bay trail. It has finally gotten cool enough that fellow trail patrollers Amy and Lynn and I can walk it every Thursday after work.

The beginning of November we were greeted by a few birds, including a few gorgeous American White Pelicans and two White-tailed Kites. The next week there were even more birds on the water, and a Greater Roadrunner stood on a rock, posing in the sunshine for me. A little further down the trail, we saw a pair of coyotes on the shore. One coyote slunk into the bushes, but the other stayed in the open, looking at the birds on the water (possible dinner?) and up at us on the trail. He was the epitome of calmness.

Last week there were dozens of White Pelicans circling over the lake and flashing their black wing markings. The Western Grebes are just starting to practice "rushing," a courtship display where two birds run across the surface of the water, side by side, with their necks curved gracefully forward. American Wigeons and Green-winged Teals are appearing, the males sporting lovely green eye masks. You don't have to know one bird from another -- we're just learning! -- to enjoy watching hawks soar, ducks dabble, hummingbirds hover, and all the other wonderful creatures along this trail. We have even seen Mule Deer under Lake Hodges' pedestrian bridge at sunset. And last year we saw a Bald Eagle!

The SDRP webpage provides trail maps to help you find all our great trails. Bernardo Bay is an easy hike -- only 1.6 miles. If you have time, don't do the loop, but go out and back along the water. This will increase your distance a bit, but who knows what you'll spot the second time around that wasn't there the first time. Hope to see you on the trail soon!

all photos by Ginni Kitchen

San Dieguito Lagoon
Historical Ecology Report

by Shawna Anderson, AICP


A fascinating study on the historical ecology of North County's six coastal lagoons, including the San Dieguito Lagoon, was published in September 2014, and is available for free download at this website: http://www.sfei.org/projects/north-san-diego-county-lagoons-historical-ecology-study 


What was the San Dieguito Lagoon like in the late nineteenth century? How was it commonly used and how much area did it cover? How has the river changed over time and what events led to its current configuration? Answers to these questions and more are found in this study, funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy, which explores and documents the ecological characteristics of San Diego's North County lagoons circa the late 1700s to late 1800s and contrasts them to today's conditions including historical depictions, in-depth analysis, maps, and explanations of lagoon dynamics over time. The study also explores the historic changes in watershed dynamics including water flow, water quality, and lagoon inlet tidal prisms.


San Dieguito Lagoon's 345 square-mile watershed is by far the largest watershed of the six North County lagoons, four times the next largest watershed (Los Penasquitos) and over 15 times the size of the smallest. Historically, the inlet at San Dieguito was not permanently open to the ocean, instead it was often blocked by a sand bar across the lagoon mouth. During the dry season flows from the river to the ocean ceased and wave action created the accumulation of sand at the mouth. This was exacerbated throughout the first half of the 20th century mostly from the reduction of freshwater flows after the construction of the Hodges Dam. The study's in-depth analysis of inlet dynamics uses the San Dieguito Lagoon as a case study.


All the north county lagoons are covered extensively providing the historic context for the current state of our unique lagoon systems and a glimpse into early exploration and settlement of the area. The hope is that a better understanding of the historic ecologic context and evolution will help guide and better inform restoration decisions in the future.

Become a Wildlife Tracker!

by David Jones, Dust Devil and Trail Patroller


The San Diego Tracking Team (SDTT) is made up of volunteers dedicated to promoting the preservation of wildlife habitat in San Diego County through citizen-based wildlife monitoring. They conduct wildlife surveys to evaluate the health of key species, the connectivity of open space areas, and the efficacy of the City and County's Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plans. Scientific advisers from public resource agencies and academic institutions oversee these activities, and the data produced is used in planning transportation and urban development projects throughout San Diego County.


SDTT is planning to work with the River Park to create a team of wildlife trackers to monitor wildlife activity in our park. They offer a series of three training classes (Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced) to teach SDRP volunteers to do this surveying work, which includes learning to recognize the tracks that different creatures leave in the soil.   


photo by Ginni Kitchen

This is an ideal activity for the River Park's rangers and volunteers to get involved in. Measuring the number of animals in the park, and how the numbers rise and fall over time, will provide invaluable data to track the effectiveness of our current programs and help plan future park programs.  


We are planning to form a group of volunteer wildlife trackers who would complete wildlife surveys about four times a year. The next SDTT Beginning Tracker Class starts in February 2015 and consists of one weekday evening (February 18) and one Saturday (February 21).


This is a great opportunity to learn more about the River Park's native species! If you're interested in participating, please contact: Jess Norton, Conservation Manager, at jess@sdrvc.org. 

Del Mar River Path Extension:
Planning Begins!
Thanks to public donations and several grants, we are excited to move forward with planning the Del Mar River Path Extension! Our first planning meeting was on December 3rd, where we heard valuable input from residents about the River Path. We're presenting a project update to the Del Mar City Council on January 20th.

We are so excited to make progress on this project throughout 2015! Look for more updates throughout the year!


City of Solana Beach Grant
We're thrilled to receive a $2,000 grant from the City of Solana Beach in December! The funds will benefit our Connecting People with Nature Program!