This is an exciting time in the River Park -- animals that haven't been that active during the winter (technically it's still winter...) are starting to move around more and we're seeing the earliest signs of spring migration. Things will really get busy for River Park wildlife in April, but if you visit some trails now and find a spot to sit quietly, you might start to feel an expectant energy, a building sense of things to come.

At the Conservancy and River Park offices, though, there is no "expectant waiting." Our activity levels are elevated and climbing even higher, as the Conservancy continues to plan 30th anniversary events (starting with Wax & Wine this month!) and the River Park moves forward with upgrades and restoration work. Plus, we have plenty of opportunities to interact with you this month -- have you seen all the hikes and events on our calendar?

We hope you can join us for one or all of the hikes, bird walks, and other events happening in March! 

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

Saturday, March 5
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Amateur Astronomy and Night Hike
1.5 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bill 

Sunday, March 6
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

Sunday, March 6
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Volcan Mountain Foundation's 25th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction
Meet at Camp Stevens: 
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation
Cost: $75/person

Tuesday, March 8
6:00 pm
Save Our Oaks: Gold-Spotted Oak Borer Panel
Meet at Julian Library: 
Hosted by Julian Library

Saturday, March 12
8:30 am
Furry Friends Hikes at Ramona Grasslands
4 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by SDRVC

Saturday, March 12
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
1.7 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Bryan Ward

Sunday, March 13
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Ramona Grasslands Bird Walk
3.5 miles, easy/moderate
Hosted by San Diego Audubon Society Members Peter Thomas, Nancy Christiansen, and Millie Basden

Sunday, March 13
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Meet at San Dieguito River Park Headquarters:
Hosted by SDRP Ranger David Hekel

Saturday, March 19
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Jake Gibbs

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

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

Sunday, March 20
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wildcrafting: Natural Dyes
Meet at Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Conservation Education Coordinator Janice Bina-Smith
RSVP: (limited to 14 participants)

Sunday, March 20
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Wax & Wine
Meet at Knorr Candle Factory:
Hosted by SDRVC
Cost: $50/person

Saturday, March 26
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Exec Trek at Bernardo Mountain
8 miles, moderate/strenuous
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Saturday, March 26
8:30 am - 11:30 am
Lake Hodges Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Member Jeff Ebright

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 the Conservancy's 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
Wax & Wine at the Knorr Candle Factory
We cannot believe that the Conservancy will be 30 years old in 2016.  Time goes by fast when you are working hard to secure the natural legacy of the San Dieguito River Park!

As part of our 30th anniversary celebration, we are hosting a Wax & Wine event at the Knorr Candle Factory on March 20th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Knorr is the #1 beeswax candle manufacturer in the world, located right in our backyard off Via de la Valle in Del Mar! 

Savor wine made in the San Dieguito River watershed as you stroll through Knorr's lush gardens and patios, or join David, one of Knorr's artisan candle makers, as he shows you how to make our own beeswax candles. 

In between, enjoy delicious treats prepared by Urban Kitchen Catering Group (Cucina Enoteca and Cucina Urbana), Jeremy's on the Hill, and Gaglione Bros.! Plus, guitarist Bill Fleming will provide live music.

The Knorr Candle Shop will be open and offering a 15% discount on any beeswax product to Conservancy guests.

Learn more about Knorr products here.

Priority registration will be given to Conservancy members -- click here to become a member.

Make your reservation here.
In Memory of Margaret Schlesinger
Margaret Schlesinger, the first mayor of Solana Beach, California and a long-time community and environmental activist in San Diego County, passed away at home with family in Solana Beach on February 9th, 2016 after a two-month battle with lung cancer. She was 80.

Ms. Schlesinger was born on May 18th, 1935 in Tampa, Florida, the daughter of a Baptist minister and the granddaughter of Christian missionaries in China. Her family and upbringing instilled in her a strong sense of the importance of helping others and social justice that would manifest itself in a long career in public service. Ms. Schlesinger attended high school in St. Joseph, Missouri and went to the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she received a B.A. in political science.
Ms. Schlesinger's involvement in politics began in the late 1950s in Washington, D.C. where she served as an intern at the Pentagon and worked on Capitol Hill for a Congressman from Indiana. Ms. Schlesinger married Patrick J. Schlesinger in 1959 and moved with him and their young son to California in 1963. Active throughout her life in the League of Women Voters, Ms. Schlesinger worked on political campaigns in Oakland and eastern San Diego County before moving to Solana Beach in 1978.
In June 1986, Ms. Schlesinger was one of the leaders of a group of residents who successfully incorporated Solana Beach to give the new city greater control over their local affairs. She immediately set to work with other civic leaders to provide tangible benefits to the city. These included the siting and construction of a new train station, which included the lowering of tracks under Lomas Santa Fe, the establishment of a new city hall, and the creation of a coastal rail trail that featured pedestrian bridges providing access over the railroad tracks to the beach.
After leaving city government in 1994, Ms. Schlesinger continued to work on issues related to her city work, including the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. She also remained active with a number of nonprofit organizations such as the League of Women Voters, the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, and the Coastal Community Foundation.
Ms. Schlesinger is survived by her husband, Patrick; her son, Patrick M. Schlesinger of Kensington, California; her daughter, Ann H. Garrett of Laguna Niguel, California; and five grandchildren.
A service will be held in memory of Ms. Schlesinger at 1:00 p.m. on March 19th, 2016 at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
Her family requests that donations in her honor be sent to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy online or via mail to:
3030 Bunker Hill Street, Suite 309-1
San Diego, CA 92109.

Watershed Explorers Program Launched!
Our Watershed Explorers Program, in partnership with the Conservancy and River Park, San Diego Archaeological Center, and Volcan Mountain Foundation, has kicked off! This outdoor education program brings students to locations throughout the watershed. 

Students from the Cesar Chavez Club at Monroe Clark Middle School were there for the launch on February 11th, starting at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead before traveling to the San Dieguito River's headwaters on Volcan Mountain. 

We're excited to follow along with these students and those from other schools as they explore the watershed!

Pets in the Park Photo Contest!
Does your pup (or any kind of pet) love the River Park as much as you do? Show us! Post your best photos of you and your pet in the River Park on the Conservancy's Facebook page or share them on Instagram using the hashtag #SDRVCFurryFriends

Check out some of the recent photos that have been shared:


Keep them coming! 

River Path Del Mar Update
We are happy to report that the Coastal Development Permit for the River Path Del Mar was extended. Construction is underway and will continue through May. 

Save the date of May 21st, 2016 for a joint celebration of Lagoon Day and the River Path Del Mar ribbon-cutting. Lagoon Day celebrations will begin at 9:00 am at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom, and the ribbon-cutting will be at the Grand Avenue Pier at 12:30 pm. More details to come soon!

Preliminary Results for Bernardo
Mountain Botanical Survey
The results of our first citizen science botanical survey at Bernardo Mountain are in! 

Led by expert botanists, our 15 Citizen Scientists recorded a total of 116 different plant species on site during the January 23rd survey. Field botanist Keir Morse has been hard at work preparing an illustrated Calflora list of the results, which you can view online here:

Bat Boxes in the River Park
by Dante Lee 

Much like rattlesnakes, bats have built up a bad reputation. But in fact, they're a vital part of a healthy ecosystem. Bats are flying mammals, and they pollinate many important plants, disperse seeds, and keep insect populations in check. Did you know that bats can eat up to 1,000 insects in an hour? 

Over 20 different bat species have been detected throughout San Diego County. Bats need streams, forests, and open space to hunt for insects or nectar. In addition to protecting existing open space in the River Valley, the River Park has installed many bat boxes throughout the region over the years. Bats use bat boxes as rest points at night, while they travel away from their more permanent daytime roosts. 

You might see some bat boxes on the Coast to Crest Trail along the San Pasqual Valley segment, and more recently, on the Dust Devil Nature Trail. You can even see what the inside of one type of bat box looks like by opening the interpretive bat box along the Del Dios Gorge segment of the Coast to Crest Trail. 

Remember, just like other mammals, bats can bite if they are threatened or frightened. If you see a sick or injured bat, leave it alone and contact Project Wildlife at 619-225-WILD (9453).

Trails & Ales - Sold Out!
We might have set a new record with the Conservancy's latest hike series, Trails & Ales, presented in partnership with the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, the Escondido Creek Conservancy, and the Volcan Mountain Foundation! The entire series sold out within days of opening registration. We were thrilled by this response -- and we're planning a second Trails & Ales series in the fall, so stay tuned for more details!

SD Metro Profile on Trish Boaz
SD Metro profiled the Conservancy's Executive Director, Trish Boaz, and the Conservancy's accomplishments in their February issue! We're lucky to have her, and we're excited to see others recognize her achievements!

Spring Birding Class with Palomar Audubon Society
Palomar Audubon Society is hosting another birding class for novice-intermediate birders. The class will be taught for four consecutive Tuesdays, starting April 12th at 6:30 pm at the Rancho Bernardo-Glassman Recreational Center. It will also include two Saturday morning field trips (one of which will likely take place in the River Park at Lake Hodges). 

The course will cover the  classification of birds, field markings of local birds, bird behavior, vocalizations, tracking, and the different habitats in San Diego County.  Cost for entire course is $60.

Get more info and sign up here!

Coming Up in March
Furry Friends Hike at 
Ramona Grasslands
Mar. 12th
Bring your dog(s) and join other animal lovers and the Conservancy for an easy, family-friendly Furry Friends Hike at the Ramona Grasslands Preserve (approximately 4 miles). The hike is FREE, and participants are encouraged to bring dog and cat food or treats to donate to the Helen Woodward Animal Center. 

Space is limited and registration is required. 

When: Saturday, March 12th at 8:30 am 
Where: Ramona Grasslands (map

San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
Mar. 19th
Join John Haddock, a member of the Buena Vista Audubon Society, to discover birds of the San Dieguito Lagoon and learn more about the local ecosystem. 

When: Saturday, March 19th from 8:30 to 10:30 am
WhereCrest Canyon North Interpretive Kiosk (map)

Yoga at the Birdwing
Mar. 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, March 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.

Exec Trek at Bernardo Mountain
Mar. 26th
Join Conservancy Executive Director Trish for a moderate/strenuous 8-mile round trip hike across the David Kreitzer Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge, along Lake Hodges and to the summit of Bernardo Mountain and back. Check out a trail map here


When: Saturday, March 26th at 8:30 am 
WhereWe will meet at the Bernardo Bay parking lot, just north of Rancho Bernardo Community Park on W. Bernardo Dr.
DirectionsTake I-15 to West Bernardo/Pomerado Road and go west. Park in the Bernardo Bay parking lot on the right, just before Rancho Bernardo Community Park (18448 W. Bernardo Dr.). From there, we will walk down the concrete pathway to reach and cross the bridge.

What Happened in February
Sikes Adobe Ribbon-Cutting
On February 8th, 30 people attended the celebration of the completion of the County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant for the continuing restoration of the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. 

The ribbon-cutting guests were treated to speeches by the Executive Director of the SDRP JPA, Kevin McKernan, City of Escondido Council member, Ed Gallo, and County Supervisor Dave Roberts, followed by a tour of the house and a ranger-led hike. 

A special thank you to Supervisor Roberts for making this possible!

Valentine's at Volcan
It was a gorgeous day for a romantic hike up Volcan Mountain! Hikers joined the Conservancy and Volcan Mountain Foundation on the 13th for a summit hike. 

At the summit, they were greeted with a Valentine's picnic and wine tasting in addition to the incredible views. 

Valentine's Tea at Sikes Adobe
Last month, the docents of Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead hosted a Valentine's-inspired tea for the 6th year in a row. The fare included finger sandwiches, baked goods such as scones and cookies, and, of course, a wide selection of piping hot tea. 

The tea was served in the traditional British style, with tea brewed in a teapot and poured into period teacups. Afterwards, the attendees were given a Ranger- and Docent-led tour of the house. 

Holding teas and other social events at the Sikes Adobe is fitting because pioneer farmers, such as Eliza and Zenas Sikes, would have entertained guests as a means of socializing and keeping in touch. Tea in the Sikes' sitting room helped the family cope with the isolation of rural life in the agricultural community of Bernardo in the 1800s.