We're so grateful for your support during REI's Every Trail Connects campaign! Incredibly, the campaign only lasted just over 37 hours. Thanks to your 6,765 votes, we earned $33,825 -- and then, REI gave an extra $10,000 to every trail in the campaign, bringing our total to $43,825 for the Coast to Crest Trail!

Our partnership with REI is far from over -- we hope you can join us for a service project on National Public Lands Day on September 26th! 

Now, we're looking forward to the 6th Annual River Valley Fest! You'll learn more about what we have planned in this newsletter -- make sure to reserve your spot!

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park! Don't forget to renew your Conservancy membership and invite your friends, too!



Sundays, September 
6, 13, 20, 27
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, September 12
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
1.7 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Rangers

Sunday, September 13
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Felipe Franco-Ortiz

Saturday, September 19
8:30 am - 10:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
1 mile, easy
Co-hosted by SDRP Rangers and Buena Vista Audubon Member John Haddock

Saturday, September 19
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Coastal Cleanup Day
Various locations, including San Dieguito Lagoon, Gonzales Canyon, and Lake Hodges
Hosted by I Love a Clean San Diego
Register at

Saturday, September 19
6:00 pm
Sunset Hike and Amateur Astronomy Night
1.5 miles
Hosted by San Diego County Park Attendant Bill Augustus

Sunday, September 20
10:00 am
Yoga at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Sunday, September 20
10:00 am
Meadow Restoration
Hosted by San Diego County Park Rangers

Saturday, September 26
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
2nd Annual Safety Fair
Come say hi to the SDRP Rangers at their booth!

Saturday, September 26
9:00 am - 11:00 am
National Public Lands Day Service Project
Co-hosted by SDRVC and REI
Limited to 75 participants

Saturday, September 26
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sky Island Trail Guided Hike
Meet at VMF Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
3 miles, easy
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Education Coordinator Kathleen Beck
RSVP to Nicole McMillan:
(760) 765-2300

Sunday, September 27
10:00 am
Meadow Restoration
Hosted by San Diego County Park Rangers

Sunday, September 27
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Full Moon Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
3 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC


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
Tickets on Sale for 6th Annual River Valley Fest!
Save the date -- the Conservancy's biggest event of the year is happening at Morgan Run Club & Resort on Sunday, October 11th! 

Last year's River Valley Fest was our most successful yet, and with your help, we plan to top that this year!

Don't miss delicious desserts from Claire's on Cedros, live entertainment from guitarist Bill Fleming and keyboardist Kevin McCully, and silent and live auctions led by auctioneer extraordinaire Steve Hamann!

Just to pique your interest...some of the auction items we've received are:

A romantic getaway from Cordiano Winery and The Ranch at Bandy Canyon...Ceramic art and in-studio workshop with Olivenhain artist Alex Long...Hot air balloon rides...Wine tasting party for up to 18 people...Clubhouse season admission passes for the 2016 summer season at the Del Mar Race Track...

With more to come!

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


Volunteer at the River Valley Fest!
So much of the success of the River Valley Fest depends on our awesome volunteers! We need help before, during, and after the event on October 11th with:
  • Set-up (starting at 11:00 am)
  • Registration
  • Silent auction/mobile bidding -- We are using Greater Giving Mobile Bidding software this year. Volunteers with experience using this software would be greatly appreciated!
  • Live auction
  • Check-out

Learn about how to volunteer and sign up here!

River Path Del Mar Progress and Additional Grants
The Coastal Commission's hearing for the City of Del Mar's Coastal Development Permit for the River Path Del Mar was postponed to its September meeting. We're still on schedule to begin construction in late September-early October once all the approvals and permits have been received.

The Conservancy is thrilled to announce we've been awarded two more grants for the River Path Del Mar:

These grants will help fund the construction of the portion of River Path Del Mar from Jimmy Durante Boulevard east to the Old Grand Avenue Bridge, providing scenic vistas of the lagoon wetlands and interpretive information of the flora and fauna.

photo by James Coffee

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

Currently, 65% has been committed through a $150,000 grant provided by the County of San Diego through District 3 Supervisor Dave Roberts; $73,000 in private donations received by the Conservancy; $56,500 in grants received by the Conservancy ($2,000 from Edison International, $20,000 from the Tippett Foundation, $20,000 from the Zable Foundation, $7,000 from REI, $6,000 from the Del Mar Foundation, and $1,500 from the California 10/20 Race), and $35,000 through the City of Del Mar, including a $5,000 grant from the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley.

The Conservancy has raised $128,500 of our $150,000 goal! We are welcoming donations to the River Path Del Mar project here!
Meet SDRP Ranger JJ Paetow
The San Dieguito River Park has hired a new ranger, JJ Paetow!

JJ graduated from CSU San Marcos in the fall of 2014 with a degree in Biology with an emphasis in ecology. Over the past two years, he has volunteered at Mission Trails Regional Park, working hand in hand with the rangers.  

JJ is an avid hiker, mountain biker, and soccer player. He is the assistant coach for the West Hills High School soccer team. He is looking forward to becoming a part of the SDRP family and hopes to contribute some of his knowledge to make this great park even better. Say hi when you see him on the trails!
Trish Boaz and Kevin McKernan on KOGO
Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz and River Park Executive Director Kevin McKernan were interviewed on the public radio show Community Connections in August. They spoke about the positive impacts the River Park and Coast to Crest Trail have on the community -- listen to a recording of their interview here!

New Bench on the Piedras Pintadas Trail
On Tuesday, August 25th, the San Dieguito River Park replaced the bench at the lookout point on the Piedras Pintadas Trail with a new one built by local Boy Scouts. The old bench had been there for some time and was showing the effects of a hard, weathered life. The Park does this type of maintenance on a regular basis and usually just moves on to the next project without trail users noticing.

But this time, as the rangers were installing the bench, several trail users stopped to express their gratitude and share why the Piedras Pintadas Trail is important to them. It's great to see how the simplest things the rangers do can have such an impact on the community.

Thanks Elaine and Gary Davis for sharing your photo on the River Park Facebook page!

Coming Up in September
& Beyond
Ranger-Led Walk at 
the San Dieguito Lagoon
Sept. 12th
This easy, 1.7-mile walk will be led by a Park Ranger along the San Dieguito Lagoon. Topics will include the lagoon restoration project, plant/wildlife identification and updates on current Ranger projects. Come discover the beauty of the Lagoon with us!

When: Saturday, September 12th at 9:00 am - 10:30 am 
Where: Dust Devil Nature Trail (map)

Yoga at the Birdwing 
Open Air Classroom 
at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Sept. 20th
Join yoga instructor Susan McCrea for a relaxing, coastal yoga session at the Birdwing -- every third Sunday of the month! Bring your mat, all levels welcome.

When: Sunday, September 20th at 10:00 am
Where: Birdwing Open Air Classroom (map)
DirectionsFrom I-5, take Via de la Valle exit and go east. Turn right on San Andres Drive and turn left into driveway to parking area. There is a short, easy hike to the Birdwing from the parking area.
National Public Lands Day 
Service Project with REI
Sept. 26th
Join REI as they team up with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to clean up for the River Path Del Mar Trail Extension Project. We need volunteers who love trails to come out and help with vegetation and debris clean up in preparation for the construction of the River Path Del Mar Extension Project.

All volunteers should be in closed-toe shoes, bring reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if they have them. All volunteers will receive a free REI Stewards T-shirt (while supplies last). 

This project is a joint venture and includes the support from several stakeholders, including the City of Del Mar, San Dieguito Lagoon Committee, the San Dieguito River Park JPA, San Diego County District 3 Supervisor Dave Roberts, Southern California Edison (SCE), North County Transit District (NCTD), the McHugh Family Trust, Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, and the Del Mar Foundation.

When: Saturday, September 26th, 9:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Lagoon Viewpoint at Old Grand Avenue Bridge (map)
Register here (note this is limited to 75 participants)

Full Moon Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Sept. 27th
Join us for a family-friendly hike by the light of the moon along the berm that is surrounded by the San Dieguito Lagoon -- a special treat! Don't forget your flashlights! Dogs on leash are welcome!

When: Sunday, September 27th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Where: San Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area
Directions: Take the I-5 freeway to Via de la Valle. Go east on Via de la Valle. Turn right on San Andres Drive (by California Bank and Trust at 2775 Via de la Valle). Park along San Andres, then access the trail at the kiosk, or go through Park gate and follow signs to park in the Staging Area.

What Happened in August
Dedication of Peter Douglas Wetlands
An interpretive panel honoring Peter Douglas (1942 - 2012) was placed overlooking the San Dieguito Lagoon on August 11th. Peter was the principal author of the grass roots proposition that created the California Coastal Commission in 1972 and led to the subsequent Coastal Act in 1976. He later became the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, a post he held from 1985 - 2011, where he was a fierce and often controversial guardian of the state's 1,100-mile shoreline.

Over 40 people attended the ceremony. Speakers included Don Mosier (Chair of the JPA Board of Directors), Peter Shapiro (SDRVC President), Trish Boaz (SDRVC Executive Director), Adam Birnbaum (City of Del Mar Planning Manager), Susan Hansch (Coastal Commission Chief Deputy Director), Diane Coombs (San Dieguito River Park), Dwight Worden (City of Del Mar Councilmember), and Jacqueline Winterer (Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley).

Coastal Commission staff at the plaque

Several current and past staff of the Coastal Commission joined in saluting Peter, a man they admired and miss. We encourage you to stop and take time to read the new plaque installed to the right of the entrance to the staging area off San Andres Drive. It is a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to the San Dieguito River Park.

Hidden Hike in Pamo Valley
The Conservancy and some intrepid hikers explored a little-known part of Pamo Valley in August. Beyond the beautiful views, we saw some very large animal tracks and very large spider that kept us on our toes!

La Colonia Boys & Girls Club Connects 
with Nature at the Birdwing
Thanks to the City of Solana Beach Community Grant we received in January, the Conservancy and River Park were able to expand our Connecting People with Nature program to the La Colonia Branch of the Boys & Girls Club. On August 3rd, we hosted 120 club members at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom for a fun afternoon of nature education and art. 

These students, ranging from kindergarten through high school, learned about animal tracks and skulls, examined a snakeskin under a microscope, and made their own seed balls with native plants. 

They also created their own nature art and competed in a Lagoon Detective scavenger hunt. Special thanks to all our great volunteers that helped make this event a great success!