Despite strong community support and heroic efforts by Coastal Commissioner and San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, the Coastal Commission did not support saving the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk at their March hearing.

We were disappointed by the decision, but vowed not to give up -- and we haven't! Our Boardwalk Brigade on Saturday, March 21st was almost 200 strong! We rallied and hiked, biked, and jogged along the Boardwalk to show our support. 

The Boardwalk is getting lots of positive press from local TV, news, and radio -- you can find links to all the footage and articles, as well as learn more about what's happening and the latest updates, here.

Read Greg Cox's defense of the Boardwalk, published in the Union-Tribune on March 27th.

We need to keep up our efforts to save the Boardwalk! Receive updates on the Boardwalk issue in real time with our new Save the Boardwalk app -- use a QR code reader on your smart phone to scan the code below to download it.

Scan this QR code with your smart phone, or tap to open the app if reading on a phone

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk Trail!



Sundays, April 12, 19, 26
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Note: The Farmers Market will be CLOSED on April 5th.

Now - May 3
Legacy of the Land - Art Sale and Exhibition
Hosted by Art in Nature Alliance

Saturday, April 4
8:30 am - 11:30 am
San Pasqual Valley Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Member Jim Beckman

Friday, April 10
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
KPBS LunchHour with SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Saturday, April 11
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Hike All the Way Across Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East
8 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Attendant Bill Augustus
More info or call (760) 765-4098

Saturday, April 11
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Second Saturday Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Ranger Bryan Ward

Saturday, April 11
9:00 am
SDRVC Pre-Earth Day Hike at Ramona Grasslands Preserve
4 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by SDRVC Conservation Manager Jess Norton

Sunday, April 12
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
5K Fun Mud Run
Trails affected: Piedras Pintadas & Bernardo Bay Trails

Sunday, April 12
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Email david@sdrp.org for meeting location
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Ranger David Hekel
Sunday, April 12
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Kanaka Loop Trail Hike
7 miles, moderate
Hosted by San Diego County Parks Staff

Thursday, April 16
8:30 am
Exec Trek at Del Dios Gorge
10.4 miles, moderate
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Saturday, April 18
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Email jake@sdrp.org for meeting location
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Ranger Nico de Paolo

Saturday, April 18
8:30 am - 10:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
1 mile, easy
Co-hosted by Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock and San Dieguito River Park Rangers

Sunday, April 19
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Foxy Half Marathon
Trails affected: Piedras Pintadas and Bernardo Bay Trails

Sunday, April 19
8:30 am
 Coastal Walk and Yoga on the Beach
4 miles, easy
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Sunday, April 19
10:00 am
Coastal Sage Scrub Plant Community Talk
Meet at the Del Dios Highlands Preserve:
Hosted by San Diego County Rangers

Sunday, April 19
10:00 am
Del Mar Lagoon Day Interpretive Hike
Meet at the San Dieguito Lagoon Entrance Monument on Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Co-hosted by SDRP Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay and Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee

Sunday, April 19
5:00 pm
Del Mar Lagoon Day Program
Hosted by Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee

Sunday, April 19
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
24th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction
Meet at Camp Stevens:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation
Cost: $75/person
RSVP by April 3 to info@volcanmt.org

Saturday, April 25
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sky Island Trail Hike
Meet at VMF Volcan Mountain Nature Center: 
1.5 miles, easy
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Education Coordinator Kathleen Beck

Saturday, April 25
10:00 am
The History of the Cuyamacas and What's Happening to the Oaks
Hosted by San Diego County Parks

Sunday, April 26
10:00 am
Volunteer Trail Service Project
Call (760) 765-4098 for exact meeting location
Hosted by San Diego County Parks


For hikes, all mileages are approximate.


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


Join our Meetup group to learn more about upcoming hikes and events in 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:









Latest News & Updates
Exploring Our Sense of Place Applications
pen for 2015-2016
We're accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Exploring Our Sense of Place program! This popular program in the River Park sells out every year.

Exploring Our Sense of Place is a unique series of field seminars that allows participants to experience the River Park in all seasons, to follow its path from mountain to sea, to encounter plant, animal, and human inhabitants, and to connect to the River Valley with their hearts and minds.

It consists of a welcome reception, seven excursions guided by experts throughout the year, and special "reflection time."

After the final excursion, Explorers are asked to evaluate their experience -- the average response is 4.7 out of 5! Many past Explorers say that ESP is a life-changing experience.

Learn more and submit your application here.



River Path Del Mar Taking Shape
The City of Del Mar presented the final design of the River Path Del Mar project to the San Dieguito River Park JPA Board at its meeting on Friday, March 20th. View it here.

The City of Del Mar and the Conservancy have been working with the various stakeholders involved in the project including the River Park JPA, Lagoon Committee, property owners in the project area, and interested residents.

The total project cost is estimated to be $475,000. This cost includes project design, entitlements and easement acquisition, environmental review and mitigation, and construction.

Currently, 50% has been committed through a $150,000 grant provided by San Diego County District 3 Supervisor Dave Roberts office, $73,000 in private donations received by the Conservancy, $20,000 in direct funding provided by the City, and $10,000 via the Riverview Development Agreement. As of March 2015, the current funding gap is approximately $222,000.

Find out more about the project here. We are also accepting donations to match the $150,000 grant. If you would like to donate, please click here
Legacy of the Land Opening Gala
We had a wonderful night at the Opening Gala for the Legacy of the Land Plein-Air Air Exhibition at California Center for the Arts, Escondido!

Look for more details and photos from the event in the next issue of Currents, which will be sent to SDRVC members at the end of the month.

The exhibition and art sale continues at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido through May 3rd. The hours for the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, where the exhibition is held, are:

Thursday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Admission to the Museum is $8. Learn more here.

all photos by James Coffee

San Diego Magazine Recognizes 
the River Park & Conservancy
We were so excited to see the April issue of San Diego Magazine -- the River Park and Conservancy received a couple mentions!

Two River Park trails -- Santa Ysabel Preserve and Lake Hodges trails -- made it to the top 10 of the 50 best trails in the County! See the full list here.

The Conservancy was recognized in their "Best of North County" feature for "Best Outdoorsy Programming," with the Exploring Our Sense of Place program, coastal hike & yoga at the beach, and the Birdwing getting mentioned!

An Osprey Family on the Lagoon Trail

by Ginni Kitchen, SDRP volunteer


An osprey is a large, strikingly marked raptor that weighs 3-4.5 pounds and has a wingspan of 5-6 feet. Its diet is almost exclusively fish so it lives near rivers, lakes, and coastal marshes. In March 2014 the Del Mar fairgrounds had two osprey nesting platforms built in the dirt parking lot on the east side of Jimmy Durante Blvd, near the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk. Two previously-established nests on light poles within the fairgrounds were then moved to the platforms.

pair of ospreys fixed up the eastern nest almost immediately. A telescope mounted near a bench on the Boardwalk allowed up-close-and-personal views of the nesting birds. The male could often be seen diving talons-first into the river to provide for his family. One of two chicks -- a female -- survived to adulthood. Juveniles have a white edge to their wing feathers, which made it easy to distinguish her from the adults while the parents taught her to fish for herself.


Osprey juvenile (left) with mother on Grand Avenue Bridge, 2014


Recently a pair of ospreys began courting at the Lagoon Trail again. Female ospreys often have a "necklace" of brown feathers on the breast, but despite comparing 2014 photos to 2015 photos, I'm not sure if this is the same bird. Male ospreys usually have pure white breasts, making them impossible to tell apart. Their courtship lasted about three weeks, with the male providing fresh fish instead of roses.


Male osprey proving how well he can provide, 2015

This year they're using the western platform. The male brought most of the nesting material, which the female arranged to her satisfaction.

Male (with outstretched wings) landing with more nesting material, 2015

I think the first egg was laid on March 2nd. Eggs are tasty snacks for gulls and crows if they are not guarded, and the female has not left the area since then and is usually lying in the nest. The incubation period is 36-42 days, so the first chick should hatch sometime after April 7. It will be a while before we see little heads popping up, so this story is...to be continued!

Osprey family, Lagoon Trail, 2015



Bald Eagle at Lake Hodges
Have you seen this River Park resident yet?

Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay and Park Ranger Bryan Ward were leading a group of middle school students around Lake Hodges in March, and they mentioned a bald eagle was recently seen in the area. Sure enough, the students noticed the eagle perched just off the trail and started pointing in disbelief. He stayed around for a rendition of the national anthem from the students! What an amazing experience!

If you've seen this majestic bird in the River Park, we'd love to hear about it -- and see your photos too! Share them with us on Facebook!
New Signs Installed Along Coast to Crest Trail

By Bryan Ward, River Park Ranger


Did you know that it's 22 miles from the San Pasqual Valley Staging Area to the top of Santa Fe Valley switchbacks? Or that Rattlesnake Viewpoint is 3.38 miles west of Del Dios Community Park and the Lake Hodges boat dock is 1.2 miles east of the park? 


All staging or parking areas and key trail intersections along the 22-mile stretch of Coast to Crest Trail from Santa Fe Valley to San Pasqual Valley (currently the longest continuous stretch open to the public) have a new sign with the distance and direction to various points of interest along the way. 


There are 25 new directional or point of interest signs in all to help trail users find their way -- look for them the next time you're in the River Park!


Coming Up in April
KPBS LunchHour with 
Executive Director Trish
April 10th
Bring your lunch to KPBS Shiley Studio on Friday, April 10th for a Q&A session with our Executive Director, Trish Boaz! Trish will be talking about our conservation efforts in the River Park, the Coast to Crest Trail, and more! This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. 

When: Friday, April 10th from 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Where: KPBS Shiley Studio (5200 Campanile Dr.)

Pre-Earth Day HikeApril 11th
Join the Conservancy as we start our Earth Day celebrations by hiking through the picturesque Ramona Grasslands Preserve. 

Listed as one of the "10 County Trails to Try in 2015," this easy/moderate hike will follow a four-mile loop trail that winds through grasslands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland habitats. This trail is great for the whole family, including dogs on leashes.  

When: Saturday, April 11th, at 9:00 am
Where: Ramona Grasslands Preserve -- the staging area and trailhead are located on Highland Valley Rd. in the unincorporated community of Ramona. Take Highway 67 North to Archie Moore Road (left turn, a little past Mount Woodson trail head). Follow Archie Moore Road until it turns into Highland Valley Road. The parking lot entrance is about .2 miles ahead on the left.
Distance: 4 miles, easy/moderate


Exec Trek at Del Dios Gorge
April 16th

Join Conservancy Executive Director, Trish Boaz for a 10.4-mile hike on the Coast to Crest Trail at Del Dios Gorge and North Shore Lake Hodges to Del Dios Park and back.





Though the river's flow is minimal now, you can view the Lake Hodges dam, constructed in 1918, and the narrow canyon's riparian vegetation, which is complemented by coast live oak. The natural landscape here is made even more dramatic by the granite outcroppings covering the canyon floor.


Ongoing restoration efforts in Del Dios Gorge are improving nesting and foraging habitat for the federally-endangered least Bell's vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher. The historic Hodges Flume winds along the north slope of the gorge, partially on trestles. The flume transported water by gravity from Lake Hodges four miles west to the San Dieguito Reservoir until 2003.


Hikers will observe many species of resident and migratory birds at Lake Hodges, which was designated a globally "Important Bird Area" in 1999. The reservoir, created when the San Dieguito River was dammed in 1918, is now a critical stopover for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. The hillsides around the lake are dominated by coastal sage scrub and recognized as one of the largest strongholds of the federally-threatened California gnatcatcher.


When: Thursday, April 16th at 8:30 am

Where: Coast to Crest Trail trailhead at Santa Fe Valley -- directions here.

Distance: 10.4 miles, moderate 

Register here



Lagoon Day 2015
April 19th
All are welcome to help the Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee celebrate Lagoon Day 2015!

The Lagoon Committee was established by the City of Del Mar in 1974 by a group of concerned citizens who recognized that the time to prevent the Lagoon from further development would soon be upon them. Their efforts and those that followed have helped in restoring the remaining wetlands to the health we view today. 

Their annual celebration on Sunday, April 19, 2015 will include an interpretive hike on the Lagoon Boardwalk, opportunities to learn about the recreational, educational, and volunteer opportunities at the Lagoon, a presentation recognizing those instrumental in restoring the Lagoon, and featured speaker Jacqueline Winterer. 

Get all the information and details on Lagoon Day here.

Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge for the event. 

When: Sunday, April 19th at 5:00 pm (interpretive hike on the Boardwalk at 10:00 am)
Where: Del Mar Powerhouse (1658 Coast Blvd.)
San Diego International 
Wine Show
April 25th - 26th

We're proud to partner with the San Diego International Wine Show for the 3rd straight year. The two-day event is held on April 25-26 at Del Mar Fairgrounds and will feature California's best wine from Napa Valley, Sonoma, and Paso Robles, as well as amazing wines from Italy, France, Spain, South America, Baja California, and more. A portion of all ticket sales will benefit the Conservancy.

When: Saturday-Sunday, April 25th-25th from 1:00 - 6:00 pm each day
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.)
Coast to Crest Trail Ale 
"Hoppy Hour"
April 27th
What's better than a cold beer after a hike in the river park? What about a cold beer, brewed with ingredients from the River Park, that benefits the Conservancy? 

We are excited to announce that we're partnering with Pizza Port Solana Beach to brew a special limited edition batch of "Coast to Crest Trail Ale," which will be sold exclusively at the Pizza Port Solana Beach location, with a portion of the profits going to the Conservancy! The proceeds we receive from the sales will go towards further development of the Coast to Crest Trail.

The Coast to Crest Trail Ale will be brewed with California Sagebrush sourced locally within the River Park! Try it for yourself at the "Hoppy Hour" kick-off!

When: Monday, April 27th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: Pizza Port Solana Beach (135 N. Hwy 101

If you can't make it to the Hoppy Hour kick-off, Pizza Port Solana Beach will be serving Coast to Crest Trail Ale on tap until it sells out!

Almost-Full Moon Hike
May 1st
Hike the Bernardo Bay trails under the light of the (almost) full moon!

When: Friday, May 1st at 7:15 pm
Where: Bernardo Bay Trail at Lake Hodges (directions)

River Valley Fest
"Connecting Communities"
October 11th
Save the date for the 6th Annual River Valley Fest!

Our biggest event of the year is happening at Morgan Run Club & Resort on Sunday, October 11th! Don't miss delicious desserts from Claire's on Cedros, live entertainment from guitarist Bill Fleming, and silent and live auctions led by auctioneer extraordinaire Steve Hamann!

More info on tickets and sponsorship options is available on our website.

When: Sunday, October 11th from 2:00 pm - Sunset
Where: Morgan Run Club & Resort
What Happened in March
EnviroFest at Knox Middle School

On March 12th, Executive Director Trish Boaz and Conservation Manager Jess Norton participated in the 2nd Annual EnviroFest at Knox Middle School, presented by the San Diego Girls Alliance. They taught the 7th and 8th graders about the plants, animals, and other natural resources and trails at the San Dieguito River Park.


Students tried to match "mystery skulls" to various animals, including coyote, bobcat, jack rabbit, rattlesnake, gopher, raccoon, and red-tailed hawk. They learned how to identify if an animal is a predator or prey based on their teeth, eye sockets, and ear canals. The star of the afternoon was the live cam video of a red-tailed hawk nesting on two eggs (now hatched!) in an undisclosed location in San Pasqual. You can view the live cam video here.

Other participants at EnviroFest included WildCoast, Rethink Your Drink Campaign, and Effulgence Yoga.

Red-tailed hawk on the live cam

St. Paul's Lutheran School Returns 
for More Pond Restoration
Special thanks to Mr. Payne and his science class for planting 175 native plants at our Lagoon Pond restoration site last month! This group from St. Paul's Lutheran School in Pacific Beach couldn't wait to return after helping clean up the site in February -- and they did it in record time (under two hours)! Great job by our young volunteers!


Watershed Explorers Program Kicks Off
The end of March marked the launch of the new Watershed Explorer Program with 25 students from High Tech High in San Marcos. This program, developed as a partnership between the Conservancy, River Park, Sikes Adobe, Volcan Mountain Foundation, and San Diego Archaeological Center, allows students to experience all aspects of the watershed from the headwaters at Volcan Mountain to the San Dieguito Lagoon. More details to come in our next edition of Currents, which will be sent to SDRVC members at the end of the month!

all photos by Jeff Holt
Herp Hike
We had a great turnout for our Herp Hike with the North American Field Herping Association (NAFHA) on Saturday! Twenty lucky people learned about our local reptile and amphibian species and got an up close look at a Pacific gopher snake and California king snake. Special thanks to NAFHA members Kent & Steve for sharing their knowledge and making this a memorable experience for all!