As the temperatures start to drop (a little!) throughout the county, some might want to retreat inside. Not us! Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the River Park. Bundle up (well, not too much) and head to some of the eastern trails, like Clevenger Canyon, for some gorgeous fall color. 

photo by James Coffee

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for this year's River Valley Fest! It was, once again, a beautiful day and wonderful event. You'll read more about the River Valley Fest and see some photos in this newsletter. 

As the year starts drawing to a close, we are busy as ever with the River Path Del Mar extension project (update below!), habitat management and restoration projects, and more hikes and outings throughout the park! Take advantage of the milder weather and venture on a longer or more strenuous trek this month -- we look forward to seeing you on the trails!  

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, November 
1, 8, 15, 22, 29
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Sunday, November 1
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

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

Sunday, November 8
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Lake Hodges South Shore Bird Walk
Hosted by SD Audubon Society Members Lisa Ruby and John Bruin
Limited to 16 participants

Sunday, November 8
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wilderness to Table - 
Wildcrafting with Acorns
Meet at VMF's Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Outdoor Educator Janice Bina-Smith
Cost: $20/person
Limited to 12 participants
RSVP to Nicole McMillan: or 
(760) 765-2300

Saturday, November 14
8:30 am - 11:30 am
Lake Hodges East/Bernardo Bay Bird Walk
Meet at Rancho Bernardo Community Park:
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Member Jeff Ebright

Saturday, November 14
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
1.7 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Rangers

Sunday, November 15
10:00 am
Bike Ride to the Creek
3 miles, easy
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bobbi

Sunday, November 15
10:00 am
Yoga at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Saturday, November 21
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Jake Gibbs

Saturday, November 21
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, November 21
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Furry Friend Hike
2 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC

Saturday, November 21
9:00 am
Hike All the Way Across Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve
8 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Attendant Bill Augustus

Sunday, November 22
10:00 am
Back Country Autumn Hike
7 miles, moderate
Hosted by San Diego County Park Staff

Saturday, November 28
9:00 am
Volcan Mountain Summit Hike
4 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Attendant Bill Augustus

Saturday, November 28
9:00 am
Coastal Sage Scrub Plant Community
Hosted by San Diego County Park Rangers

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
6th Annual River Valley Fest - Another Success!
Over 200 guests enjoyed an afternoon of music, delicious food, and beverages celebrating our 29th year of connecting people with nature. The event was a great success! Our guests were impressed with the quality of items and we raised over $50,000 for our conservation, education and recreation programs.

all photos by James Coffee -- see more on the Conservancy's Facebook page!

Thank you again for helping us preserve the natural legacy of the San Dieguito watershed. Next year we celebrate our 30th anniversary and hope you will join us in making it a very special event!
River Path Del Mar - Funding Goal Nearly Met!
The River Path Del Mar project is on track to be completed by the end of December 2015. A celebration for the public will be held in early 2016.

We have started a Crowdrise campaign to raise the rest of the funds needed for the River Path Del Mar project! All the permits have been acquired and project designs have been completed (view maps and designs at the City of Del Mar website). 

Please SHARE the Crowdrise campaign with friends and encourage them to donate!

photo by James Coffee

The Conservancy has raised $148,500 to match the $150,000 County grant for the River Path Del Mar. On September 16th, 2014, San Diego County Third District Supervisor Dave Roberts jumpstarted the project by granting the Conservancy $150,000 of County Neighborhood Reinvestment Funds. On October 13th, 2015, the County of San Diego granted the City of Del Mar an additional $60,000 for the River Path Del Mar project.

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, more than 83% has been committed through public and private grants and donations made to the project by Conservancy supporters. 

We are welcoming donations to the River Path Del Mar extension here!
SDG&E Awards Conservancy $6,000 Environmental Champions Grant
On October 26th, SDG&E awarded the Conservancy $6,000 in support of nature education programs that provide students from underserved areas in San Diego an opportunity to get outside to learn about the natural and cultural resources in the San Dieguito River watershed. As they experience the outdoors, traveling from Volcan Mountain to the San Dieguito Lagoon, students develop a "sense of place" and appreciation for the environment as they recognize the role they play in keeping the natural community a thriving ecosystem.

AmeriCorps NCCC Works in the River Park
In the spring of 2015, the San Dieguito River Park partnered with AmeriCorps NCCC to assist with habitat restoration within preserved lands in eastern San Diego County. 

The crew worked on invasive weed control, non-native tree removal, erosion control, plant propagation, and plantings. Along with habitat restoration, the crew helped rangers construct a new nursery with irrigation in Santa Ysabel Gorge, as well as adding onto an existing nursery in San Pasqual Valley. They also assisted in the maintenance and repair of the house in Santa Ysabel Gorge, which will be used as a research and educational center. 
The project's ultimate goal was to improve the health of the local habitat and help prepare the Santa Ysabel property to become a research station for those wishing to study these sensitive habitats. This project benefitted the local plant, animal, and human communities by providing new habitat and increasing the scenic beauty and usability of the land.

The River Park looks forward to future partnerships with AmeriCorps NCCC!

Congratulations Trish!
Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz was a finalist in San Diego Magazine's "2015 Woman of the Year" recognition. Trish exemplifies the values of the Conservancy and is a proven leader who, in just two years, has succeeded in moving our conservation, education, and recreation programs forward at lightning speed.

People are taking notice of the Conservancy's recent accomplishments and Trish is building on this momentum by generating new partnerships with government, non-profit, corporate, and media partners for the Conservancy's programs.

We're proud of you, Trish!

Bernardo Mountain Habitat
Management Area Project
The Bernardo Mountain Habitat Management Area (HMA) Project is expected to provide at least 32 acres of new coastal sage/cactus scrub habitat on the south facing slope of Bernardo Mountain, which contains critical habitat for the survival of California Gnatcatcher, Coastal Cactus Wren, and other coastal sage scrub species. There may only be six Cactus Wren remaining on Bernardo Mountain and the new habitat is important for their survival.
The River Park has focused on creating cactus scrub and coastal sage scrub habitat in this area since 2004 and, based upon past experience, expects the 2016 project to be successful. A recent avian study demonstrated that the species of focus were using River Park restoration sites.
Thanks to Natural Resources Conservation Service funding, over 7,000 native plants will be planted in 2016, which will provide a large supplement to the usual 400-600 installed annually. The project will help the community protect local wildlife species that are struggling because of human encroachment, drought, and frequent fire. The trails that pass through this area are heavily used and it is important to the community that the trail use does not adversely affect wildlife.

Coming Up in November
Ramona Art & Wine Festival
Nov. 7th
The Conservancy and H.E.A.R.T. have partnered with the Ramona Community Foundation and the Ramona Tree Trust to fund the creation of a hand-painted mural depicting the Coast to Crest Trail in San Dieguito River Park! Please join us at this event to raise additional funds for this great art and awareness project!
Six Ramona businesses are hosting wine barrels, uniquely hand-painted by local fine artists, in a "Parade of Barrels" prior to being auctioned at the annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival.
Join Hatfield Creek Winery, 15 other local boutique wineries, 27 artists, 10 chefs, and vendors as we celebrate Ramona's local fine art, award-winning wines, and culinary delights. The popular event will benefit the Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project, a 501(c)(3) Corporation.  The live auction of barrels will go on all afternoon.

When: Sunday, November 7th, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Begent Ranch, 18528 Highland Valley Rd., Ramona
Cost: $75/General Admission; $150/VIP

Ranger-Led Walk at 
the San Dieguito Lagoon
Nov. 14th
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, November 14th at 9:00 am 
Where: Dust Devil Nature Trail Staging Area (map)

Yoga at the Birdwing 
Open Air Classroom 
Nov. 15th
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, November 15th 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.
Furry Friend Hike at Bernardo Bay
Nov. 21st
Bring your dog(s) and join us for an easy and family-friendly Furry Friends Hike along the Bernardo Bay Trail (approximately 2 miles), with an optional detour across the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, the longest stress ribbon bridge in the world! 
Hikers and their furry friends are encouraged to bring dog or cat food (dry or canned), treats or toys to donate to the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter. 

When: Saturday, November 21st, 8:30 am
Where: Bernardo Bay Natural Area (map)

Bottles & Wood Holiday 
Shopping Party
Dec. 3rd
The Conservancy is collaborating with Bottles & Wood for a holiday shopping party in December!

Visit the Bottles & Wood showroom on December 3rd from 5:00 - 9:00 pm for wine, cheese, and shopping for beautiful glassware, jewelry, and woodenware made from upcycled beer and wine bottles and reclaimed wood! 

Plus, with the coupon code SANDIEGUITO, you'll receive 10% off your purchase AND Bottles & Wood will donate 10% of the profits to the Conservancy! 

When: Thursday, December 3rd from 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Where: Bottles & Wood Showroom:
5039 Shawline Street (Clairemont-Mesa neighborhood)

What Happened in October
Casa de las Campanas Hike
A group from Casa de las Campanas, a senior retirement center in Rancho Bernardo, joined Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay for a hike around Lake Hodges last month. The group learned about the unique flora and fauna of the area and more ways they can support the Park through volunteer opportunities. 

Santa Ysabel Open Space Exec Trek
It was a beautiful day for our last Exec Trek of the year, led by Conservancy Hike Leader Bill Augustus. Eleven hikers and three of their furry friends joined the Conservancy for a scenic five-mile hike along the Kanaka Loop Trail at Santa Ysabel Preserve East.
Our trekkers enjoyed clear skies and stunning views of Volcan Mountain, the Kanaka Flats and surrounding areas. They were also treated to some native blackberries growing along the trail.

Be sure to join us on January 23rd for our next Exec Trek at Raptor Ridge!

Sikes Spooktacular Full of Halloween Spirit 
The 3rd Annual Sikes "Spooktacular" on October 25th was a frightful success! 
Where else but at Sikes Adobe could one find such an array of characters and children dressed up to celebrate Halloween?

To top it off, there were the "Ghosts of Mule Hill."

Thanks to our hard working rangers and volunteers, the Sikes Adobe grounds were transformed into a spook-filled territory of haunting creatures: giant spiders, ghoulishly green ghosts, and the witch. A grave yard came complete with markers and skeletons, while spooky furnishings decorated the inside of the farmhouse.  

Halloween revelers came for pumpkin bowling, apple peeling, web weaving, goo guessing, bat wing pinning, scavenger hunting, skull identifying, and mummy wrapping. To wind up the festivities, there was a spider piņata, which required strong arms and determination to break open. Don't miss this event next year; the "Spooktacular" is here to stay!