Happy Spring!

We hope you've been able to get out and enjoy the extra daylight we're now getting in the River Park! Flowers are blooming, animals are nesting and getting ready to raise their young, and for many, this is the best time of year to get outside and in nature.

As the seasons change, it's the perfect time to try something new -- maybe birdwatching, mountain biking, practicing yoga, or volunteering at one of our trail maintenance or habitat restoration events? Whatever you choose, you have the opportunity to try it in April! Check out the events featured below or visit our calendar for a full listing of everything going on this month. 

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, April 
3, 10, 17, 24 and May 1
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, April 2
8:30 am - 11:30 am
San Pasqual Valley Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society Society Member Jim Beckman 

Saturday, April 2, 
and Sunday, April 10
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Hike to the Summit!
5 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Parks

Sundays, April 3 and May 1
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

Saturday, April 9
9:00 am
2nd Citizen Science Botanical Survey
2.5 miles, easy
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Botanist Keir Morse

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

Saturday, April 9
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Back Trails Hike at Santa Ysabel East
8 miles, moderate/strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bill

Sunday, April 10
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Meet at Old Coach Trail Staging Area "North"
Hosted by SDRP Ranger David Hekel

Sunday, April 10
8:00 am - 11:00 am
April Work Party
Hosted by Del Dios Habitat Protection League

Saturday, April 16
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Jake Gibbs

Saturday, April 16
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, April 16
8:30 am
Earth Month Hike and Restoration at Crest Canyon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC

Sunday, April 17
10:00 am
Yoga at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Saturday, April 23
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
14th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup
2 locations:
Co-hosted by Del Dios Habitat Protection League, SDRP, and I Love a Clean San Diego

Sunday, April 24
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Earth Day for Butterflies!
Hosted by San Diego County Parks

Saturday, April 30
9:00 am
Take it Outside California! Event
4.5 miles, easy/moderate
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Rincon Consultants

Sunday, May 1
9:00 am - 12:00 am
Arbor Day Tree Planting in the Preserve!
Hosted by San Diego County Parks

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
Mark Your Calendars!
Save the date! On May 21st, we're celebrating Lagoon Day at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom starting at 9:00 am. Then, the River Path Extension Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will be held at 12:30 pm at the Old Grand Avenue Bridge!

The 7th Annual River Valley Fest, celebrating 30 years of passion for the park, will be held on October 9th. More details to come!
Stay Updated on the Coast to Crest Trail Status
Check out the new interactive map to view the status of the San Dieguito River Park's Coast to Crest Trail on the River Park's website. Approximately 45 miles of the planned 71-mile long Coast to Crest Trail are complete and several trail gaps are in various stages of completion. Eventually, the Coast to Crest Trail will span the entire River Park from the crest at Volcan Mountain to the coast in Del Mar. 

Interested in what's going on to close the gaps that remain in the Coast to Crest Trail? Use the new map to learn about trail segments and their status including location, mileage, general trail alignment, and progress on planning and construction. We will continue to update the map as progress is made. You can find the map in the Trails section under Coast to Crest Trail Status.

Please help complete the Coast to Crest Trail by donating to the trails fund using Paypal or by contacting the JPA office at 858-674-2270.

Sikes Adobe Garden
The peach blossoms have bloomed, the carrots, Rainbow Swiss chard, and cabbage are ready for picking....it's springtime at the Sikes Farmstead garden and orchard! 

Our crazy warm "winter" made the lettuce in the garden bolt and turned the broccoli into a beautiful, yellow flower patch, but the bees are liking it and that's just fine.

Second graders from Conway Elementary used the sunny days in January to plant onions in the orchard and they are coming up nicely. Sophomores from High Tech High in San Marcos helped plant our first potato patch last month. 

We're now anxious to plant some spring vegetables: bush beans, more carrots, cucumbers, and everyone's favorite...heirloom tomatoes! All the vegetables grown at Sikes are pesticide free and watered from the Sikes well. 

Stop by the North San Diego Certified Farmers Market and take a tour of the farmhouse - rain or shine - every Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead: 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.

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

Sky visited the River Park with his owner Laurie last month:

Keep your photos coming! 

Trail Highlight: Osprey Family, Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon
by Ginni Kitchen, SDRP Volunteer 

If you've been reading the Riverscape for awhile, you know that two osprey nesting platforms were erected near the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail Boardwalk in 2014, and a pair of ospreys have raised a family there the past two years. Despite examining hundreds of my osprey photos recently, I can't tell you if it's the same pair each year. Female ospreys often have a "necklace" of brown feathers on the breast, and our female does. Male ospreys usually have almost pure white breasts, and our male does. I like to think it's the same happy couple returning home each season, but I'm not sure.

In January of this year, the osprey nesting platforms were moved closer to the trail, just past the boardwalk.

Osprey nesting platforms, Lagoon Trail, looking toward the Hwy 5 underpass
At first, we worried that the ospreys wouldn't use either of the relocated platforms because they started carrying nesting material to a tall light pole inside the fairgrounds, but eventually they decided that fixing up last year's nest would be the prudent thing to do. Male ospreys provide most of the nesting material, while the females arrange it, and our female wanted a complete remodel. This year's nest is twice as high as last year's!

Male osprey bringing nesting material to the female
Eggs make tasty snacks for large birds such as ravens and gulls, and as soon as the female osprey lays her first egg she does not leave the nest unguarded. I have found her on the nest every visit since February 19th. From then on, it was the male osprey's job to provide regular meals of fresh fish, while the female kept the eggs warm and safe. He often landed nearby and ate his fill before taking the rest of the fish to her in the nest.

Male osprey eating, then taking the rest of the fish to the female
The incubation period of the eggs is five to six weeks. I think at least one egg has hatched because on Sunday morning, March 27th, we saw the female osprey standing on the edge of the nest and dipping her head downward, apparently feeding a little one. The nest is so deep I don't know how old a chick will have to be before someone spots a downy head sticking up!

The chicks will be in the nest about eight weeks before first flight. They'll stay in the area, dependent on their parents, for another four to eight weeks after that. First they have to become proficient at flying, and then they have to learn how to catch their own fish. 

We'll be posting osprey photos on the San Dieguito River Park Facebook page -- you don't need Facebook yourself to check them out. Better yet, visit the Lagoon Trail and see them in person!

Lagoon Trail Ospreys, female on left, male on right

All photos by Ginni Kitchen

Donate Through iGive.com!
Thanks to supporters who signed up and shopped online through iGive.com, the Conservancy received a (very welcome) check last month!

Haven't sign up on iGive.com yet? Registration is easy, and once you do, you simply use iGive to shop online from over 1,700 retailers (including Macy's, Walgreens, Petco, Crate & Barrel, and more!) like normal -- and a portion of your purchases will be donated to the Conservancy! 

Donating doesn't get any easier -- sign up for iGive now!

30th Anniversary Socks Campaign Results
The Conservancy's 30th anniversary sock fundraiser through Bakdrop was a success! We sold 99 pairs of socks and will receive $4 per pair -- which means we raised $396 for our conservation, education, and recreation programs, thanks to your support!

The socks are now in production and should start shipping in the next few weeks. We can't wait to see you sporting them in the River Park!

Coming Up in April
Bernardo Mountain Botanical Survey
April 9th
Please join the Conservancy as we conduct our second (and last) Citizen Science botanical survey of 2016! Keir Morse, Professional Field Botanist & Photographer, will guide us as we explore Bernardo Mountain in search of flowering plants. We'll spend the morning compiling an inventory of plants on site and mapping any rare species that we find. Don't feel intimidated if you're not a plant expert -- that's what Keir is for! This is a great opportunity to learn more about the native plants within the River Park. 

We'll meet at the Bernardo Bay Staging Area and take an easy hike to Bernardo Mountain (approximately 1.25 miles) over the David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge. 

For more information, please contact Conservation Manager Jess Norton at jess@sdrvc.org

You can check out Keir's amazing photography at www.keiriosity.com or on his Facebook park -- Keir Morse Photography.

When: Saturday, April 9th at 9:00 am 
Where: Bernardo Bay Staging Area 

Ranger-Led Walk at the 
San Dieguito Lagoon
April 9th
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, April 9th at 9:00 am 
WhereSan Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area (map)

Earth Month Hike & Clean-Up at the San Dieguito Lagoon
April 16th
Join the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for a family-friendly hike through Crest Canyon and learn about all the restoration work we've done over the years to preserve this natural area. 

Come enjoy the gorgeous lagoon views, and then put your gardening skills to use as we wrap up the morning planting native species and weeding our newest restoration site. 

Free; donations appreciated at sdrvc.org

When: Saturday, April 16th at 8:30 am
Where: Crest Canyon North Interpretive Kiosk

Yoga at the Birdwing
April 17th
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, April 17th 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.

Take it Outside California!
April 30th
TAKE IT OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA! is an annual event for Californians to get outside and enjoy all the beautiful parks and natural lands our great state has to offer. 

The Conservancy and Rincon Consultants invite you to join us as we take an easy/moderate hike through the beautiful Del Dios Gorge to the Lake Hodges Dam (approximately 4.5 miles round trip). 

A Wildlife Biologist from Rincon will be on the hike to talk about native plants and wildlife found along the trail and within the gorge. 

Free; donations appreciated at sdrvc.org.
When: Saturday, April 30th at 9:00 am 
Where: Santa Fe Valley Staging Area

Adventure 16 Presentation
May 10th
Join Adventure 16 and Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, for a presentation about the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park.

This event is free. To make a voluntary donation to or become a member of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, click here.

When: Tuesday, May 10th at 6:30 pm (Happy Half-Hour). Presentation begins at 7:00 pm 
Where: A16 Solana Beach Store: 143 S. Cedros Ave.

DATE CHANGE: Exec Trek at 
Santa Fe Valley
May 28th
Join Executive Director Trish Boaz for an easy/moderate 4-mile (round trip) hike at Santa Fe Valley. Note the date has been changed from May 21st to May 28th

When: Saturday, May 28th at 8:30 am 
Where: Santa Fe Valley Staging Area (map)

What Happened in March
SBPC Community Serve Day
The Conservancy was proud to be selected, once again, as one of the volunteer sites for the annual Solana Beach Presbyterian Church Community Serve Day. 

On February 28th, we welcomed 13 volunteers to our Lagoon Pond restoration site where they planted 200 native plants and pulled weeds. With their help, we successfully completed the planting portion of this restoration project and will now focus our efforts on long-term maintenance of the site into the future.

Bernardo Mountain Bird Survey Results
This past month, we partnered with Palomar Audubon to conduct quarterly bird surveys at Bernardo Mountain. We're off to a great start, with 41 different species observed, including a rare sighting of a zone-tailed hawk and an up-close view of a Cactus Wren pair building their nest. 

photo by Rustom Jamadar

Our next bird survey is planned for Wednesday, April 27th at 8:00 am, so grab your binoculars and join us! For more information and directions, please email Conservation Manager Jess Norton at jess@sdrvc.org.

Furry Friends Hike
Despite the forecast for rain, Conservancy hikers and their furry friends enjoyed a beautiful morning stroll through the Ramona Grasslands on March 12th. Our generous hikers also brought donations of pet food for the Helen Woodward AniMeals Program, helping to feed pets of homebound seniors.

We started off on the larger 3.2-mile loop and were greeted by a friendly herd of cattle. As we meandered through the coastal sage scrub, we passed rock outcrops and majestic oak trees, and were treated to gorgeous views of the wildflowers blooming in the Ramona Valley. 

If you have not yet hiked this trail, don't miss out! It is open year-round and offers an easy trek for all levels, allowing you and your dog to enjoy a diversity of habitat types and wildlife.    

Protecting Populations of Rare Plants
Did you know that Crest Canyon is home to several species of rare plants including the endangered Orcutt's Spineflower (Chorizanthe orcuttiana)? Once thought to be extinct, biologists discovered a population of this rare annual in the canyon last year. This population is one of only 11 known sites in the County and the world!

On March 22nd, the Conservancy partnered with the Chaparral Lands Conservancy and the City of San Diego to install fencing and signage to protect this population from off-trail use and trampling. Thanks to our hardworking volunteers, we were able to install 350 feet of fencing in just over three hours!

Palomar A's Visit Sikes Adobe
Last month, the Palomar A's Model A Club visited the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead as one of their monthly scheduled events. These classic car enthusiasts rumbled one by one into the Sikes Adobe staging area in their pristinely restored Ford Model A's.  

It was a rare and unique sight to see these pieces of automotive history all parked next to each other with the Farmstead in the background. They were then given a ranger-led tour of the Farmstead and grounds. 

Although nearly 30 years removed from the Sikes Adobe's period of historical interpretation, the Ford Model A is historic in its own right. It was Henry Ford's wildly popular automobile, introduced after the successful Model T, and represented the next step in mass production with the assembly line. While the Model A boasts a 40-horsepower engine, the Sikes family had to contend with hitching up one or two ornery horses or mules for farm labor and transportation.

The Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead is now open to the public on Sundays from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, and if you wish to schedule a private tour or event like the Palomar A's did, you can make an appointment with Ranger David by emailing
dvidal@sdrp.org or calling (760) 432-8318.

Get Out in Nature Program
As part of the River Park's Get Out in Nature (GOIN) program, Farr Elementary students and family members participated in a full day field trip to the coast.  Students transplanted seedlings at the San Elijo [Lagoon] Conservancy's native plant nursery, painted pots to take home, went on a hike, and installed 260 native plants at the San Dieguito Lagoon. 

Students enjoyed getting their hands dirty and deemed themselves "dirt masters" of the Lagoon. San Pasqual High School students helped with the restoration as well and also prepared for "Eggucation."

Wax & Wine
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy held a 30th Anniversary Wax & Wine event in partnership with the Knorr Candle Factory, on Sunday, March 20. 

Seventy five guests savored gourmet bites from Jeremy's on the Hill (located at the headwaters of the San Dieguito River in Wynola), Urban Kitchen Catering (featuring cuisine from Del Mar's Cucina Enoteca), and Gaglione Brothers from Encinitas. Each of these purveyors chose two wines to pair with their dishes for guests to enjoy. 

Popular guitarist Bill Fleming serenaded guests as they visited with friends, strolled around the lush gardens of Knorr, and learned how to make their own beeswax candle to take home. 

The Conservancy is pleased to have raised $5,500. We also received a generous gift from Knorr Candle Factory.

Exec Trek on Bernardo Mountain
For last month's Exec Trek, Conservancy Executive Director Trish led a group of trekkers (and some furry friends) up Bernardo Mountain. They enjoyed a challenging hike filled with spring blooms and gorgeous views of Lake Hodges!