It's time! The 6th Annual River Valley Fest, the Conservancy's biggest event of the year, the event we've been planning for months, is happening October 11th!

New this year -- mobile bidding! 

This year you will be able to bid on silent auction items and raffle tickets via your cell phone at the River Valley Fest. This is a fun way to participate in the auction, so make sure you bring your cell phones fully charged. Mobile bidding is very easy -- check out this short video and read these guidelines to know what to expect as a mobile bidder. 

We're confident that this year's River Valley Fest will be the biggest and best ever! Don't miss a gourmet buffet by Morgan Run, delicious desserts from Claire's on Cedros, live entertainment from Bill Fleming and Kevin McCully, silent and live auctions led by auctioneer extraordinaire Steve Hamann, live animals from Living Coast Discovery Center, and surprise entertainment!

Reservations are filling quickly! RSVP here today! We hope to see you at Morgan Run Club on the 11th!

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, October 
4, 11, 18, 25
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

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

Saturday, October 10
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
2nd Annual Rancho BEERnado Festival
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by RB Sunrise Rotary Club
Cost: $40/person or 
2 people for $70

Sunday, October 11
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by SDRP Ranger David Hekel

Sunday, October 11
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wildcrafting with Traditional Apples & Manzanita "Apples"
Meet at VMF Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Co-hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Education Coordinator Kathleen Beck and Janice Bina-Smith
Cost: $20/person
RSVP to Nicole McMillan: admin@volcanmt.org or 
(760) 765-2300

Sunday, October 11
2:00 pm - Sunset
6th Annual River Valley Fest
Morgan Run Club & Resort:
Hosted by San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy
Cost: $125/person
Register here!

Saturday, October 17
8:00 am - 11:30 am
Lake Hodges Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Member Hal Benham

Saturday, October 17
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, October 17
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sky Island Guided Trail Hike
Meet at VMF Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
3 miles, easy
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Education Coordinator Kathleen Beck
RSVP to Nicole McMillan: admin@volcanmt.org or 
(760) 765-2300

Sunday, October 18
10:00 am
Yoga at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Saturday, October 24
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Exec Trek at Santa Ysabel East
7 miles, strenuous
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Sunday, October 25
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
3rd Annual Sikes Spooktacular
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP Museum Manager Anne Cooper
Cost: $3/person

All events are free unless otherwise noted.


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
River Path Del Mar Updates
The Conservancy is thrilled to announce we've been awarded a $20,000 grant from The Gerald T. and Inez Parker Foundation for the River Path Del Mar extension!

This 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.

We're also pleased to report that the California Coastal Commission approved the coastal development permit for the extension during its September meeting!

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, 70% 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, $76,500 in grants received by the Conservancy ($20,000 from The Parker Foundation, $20,000 from the Tippett Foundation, $20,000 from the Zable Foundation, $7,000 from REI, $6,000 from the Del Mar Foundation, $2,000 from Edison International, 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 $149,500 of our $150,000 goal! We are welcoming donations to the River Path Del Mar extension here!
Conservancy in the News
The Conservancy and River Park have been getting some great press lately! Last month, Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz published an op-ed in the Times of San Diego about the need to complete the Coast to Crest Trail. 

And Conservancy President Peter Shapiro was profiled in the Rancho Santa Fe Review!

Remembering Kent VanSooy, 1957 - 2015

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Conservancy member and volunteer Kent VanSooy. As the former President of the California Chapter of the North American Field Herping Association (NAFHA), Kent has been a long-time partner and supporter of the Conservancy and River Park. Most recently, on June 27th, 2015, Kent received the Conservancy's Volunteer Appreciation Award.

Kent was instrumental in expanding our Citizen Science Monitoring Program to include reptiles and amphibians. Under his guidance and supervision, NAFHA put out over 60 coverboards at the River Park office. NAFHA volunteers regularly inspect the coverboards and provide us invaluable data and photos of species they observe. Kent also led one of our most popular Citizen Science events to date -- a Herp Hike that was attended by over 20 people, who were lucky enough to get an up-close view of a California Kingsnake and Pacific Gopher Snake.

Over 150 people attended Kent's Celebration of Life at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom on September 26th. The event gave his friends, family, and loved ones an opportunity to honor Kent in a place he truly loved -- the River Park.

Thanks to the generous donations made in his memory, we look forward to carrying on Kent's work to (in his words) "gather more data on herp biodiversity, teach kids an appreciation of scaly and slimy things, and have some fun in the process!"

New Bridge Decking on the Coast to Crest Trail
Special thanks go to Boy Scout Geraint Hughes from Del Mar Troop 713 for replacing the decking on the bridge adjacent to Del Mar Horse Park on the Coast to Crest Trail! 

Coming Up in October
Ranger-Led Walk at 
the San Dieguito Lagoon
Oct. 10th
This easy, 2-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, October 10th at 9:00 am 
Where: San Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area (map)

Yoga at the Birdwing 
Open Air Classroom 
at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Oct. 18th
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, October 18th 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.
Exec Trek: Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East
Oct. 24th
Join Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz for a 7-mile hike in the beautiful Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East. We will be traversing the scenic Kanaka Loop Trail, which is rated strenuous.

photo by James Coffee

The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve is as rich in biological and cultural resources as it is in scenic beauty. The Preserve's rolling hills are dominated by coast live oak and Engelmann oak woodland, non-native grassland and dense stands of chaparral studded with manzanita. The different vegetation communities throughout the Preserve support a variety of wildlife species, many of special status. The Kumeyaay inhabited this area for thousands of years, successfully utilizing the natural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley as they traveled between the mountains and the coast. 

When: Saturday, October 24th, 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Farmer Rd. Staging Area (map)

3rd Annual Sikes Spooktacular
Oct. 25th
Join the San Dieguito River Park and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for the annual Sikes Spooktacular! There will be 8 stations of fun activities for kids of all ages. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

When: Sunday, October 25th, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
Cost: $3/person
For more information, email anne@sdrp.org.

What Happened in September
Trail Chat with REI
The Conservancy partnered with REI to host a "Trail Chat" on September 1st at Lake Hodges. This informal event was designed to engage thought leaders, influencers and key stakeholders to share updates on trail work being done in San Diego County including challenges and successes. The discussion focused on the REI mantra that a life outdoors is a life well lived. All participants attested to how spending time outdoors improves lives, communities, society, and the planet. 

The group committed to help influence the continued funding of trails and other outdoor places, and spreading the word about the value of trails and the outdoors.

Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Citizen Science Plant Hike at 
Bernardo Bay with HTeNC
On September 3rd, the Conservancy and River Park continued our educational partnership with High Tech Elementary North County in San Marcos. Fifty 4th graders joined Conservation Manager Jess Norton and Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay at Bernardo Bay for a native plant hike. Students learned about the importance of native plants in the local food web, collected samples for their field notebooks, and finished the morning with a nature-based scavenger hunt.

San Diego Cooperative Charter School Field Trip to the Bernardo Bay Natural Area
River Park Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay and Park Ranger Bryan Ward hosted fifty 5th grade students from San Diego Cooperative Charter School in Linda Vista last month. The field trip program was multidisciplinary, incorporating natural and cultural history and geography. 

Students learned about the importance of the San Dieguito River watershed and how it's affected people throughout history. The hike also covered the rich biodiversity of the Lake Hodges area and how restoration efforts have helped threatened and endangered species.

Students also learned how to use GPS units to search for temporary geocaches placed for the field trip. They learned the basics of how the GPS units worked, from satellites orbiting Earth, to learning about latitude and longitude, to using a map for finding the next geocache.

Most of the geocaches contained puzzle pieces that had half of a photo on one side and half of a description on the other side. As they went along finding more geocaches, students would be able to match the two coordinating puzzle pieces to learn an interesting fact about the area. Some of the geocaches also had items that the students could trade, like feathers, shells, rocks, and acorns.

Stantec Employees Volunteer at the Lagoon Pond
On September 15, the Conservancy welcomed volunteers from Stantec's San Diego offices as part of Stantec's Community Service Day, a company-wide, worldwide event. These rock star volunteers worked at the Lagoon Pond restoration site, removing invasive plants and planting 255 native plants -- all in the pouring rain! Thanks Stantec employees for your hard work!

Coastal Cleanup Day
The Conservancy, River Park, SDG&E, and the 22nd Agriculture District partnered to host over 200 volunteers at the San Dieguito Lagoon for I Love A Clean San Diego's Coastal Cleanup Day on September 19th.

Volunteers covered over 5 miles, filling a 40-yard roll-out trash container with 3,360 pounds non-native plants and collecting over 150 pounds of recycling.

Other activities included planting 250 native plants in a restoration area, potting 350 cuttings of willow and mule fat, trimming a mile of trail, repainting a curb and eight Lagoon Trail benches, and removing trash via kayak. There was also a Children's Art of Nature station, where over 20 children made an art pieces.

This countywide cleanup consisted of more than 100 different cleanup sites, and 7,000+ volunteers. California Coastal Cleanup Day is the state's largest volunteer event. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.

National Public Lands Day Service Project with REI
As another aspect of the Every Trail Connects campaign, the Conservancy partnered with REI for a service project on Saturday, September 26th -- National Public Lands Day, a day dedicated to volunteer efforts to improve, maintain, and care for public lands. About 100 volunteers joined us at the San Dieguito Lagoon to clear debris and prepare the site for the River Path Del Mar extension. 

Super Harvest Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse Hike
Nearly 200 hikers were treated to a lagoon-side view of the Super Harvest Moon
total lunar eclipse on September 27th. The Full Moon Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon is one of the Conservancy's signature hikes and one of our most popular family events. This free hike gave people a rare opportunity to walk along the berm in the center of the lagoon -- an area not normally open to the public.