APRIL 2023

Top Story

We did it! $2M raised to Get to 71!

Supporters of the Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park JPA have done it again! 

With your support, we are closer than ever to Getting to 71 uninterrupted miles on the Coast to Crest Trail. Together, we have reached our $2 million goal to help close 13 miles of trail gaps from east San Pasqual Valley to Boden Canyon and from Lake Sutherland to Santa Ysabel West Preserve. Our members and supporters are amazing! We thank everyone who has joined in to raise more than $2 million to allow for the planning, design and environmental clearances to fill these trail gaps.

Learn more on the Get to 71 webpage and watch the video of Conservancy Executive Director Cheryl Goddard and River Park JPA Executive Director Shawna Anderson thanking donors.

Open Get to 71 Webpage
Watch Get to 71 Thank You Video

Spotlight on the Community podcast interview

During an interview March 16 on Drew Schlosberg’s “Spotlight on the Community” podcast, Conservancy staff members Cheryl, Joseph and Kim talked about the watershed and the benefits of heavy rainfall this year. We also discussed conservation and fire prevention programs.

Listen to Podcast


April 8: Drawing is Seeing

Join artist Sue Britt at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom to learn how drawing is a mechanism to see and bring attention to the natural world. No drawing skills are necessary.


April Walk-N-Talk: San Pasqual Valley

We can't wait for our second-Tuesday-of-the-month Walk-N-Talk hike from Ysabel Creek to Raptor Ridge.

Mark your calendars for 9 a.m. April 11. Meet at the Ysabel Creek staging area.

The trailhead is nestled in lush, riparian habitat that soon gives way to moderately-challenging inclines that afford sweeping views of the well-watered landscape.

This it the Coast to Crest Trail at its best.

Afterwards, we'll tuck in to a well-deserved lunch at On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina in Escondido.

Join us!


Stop By and Say Hi

April 15

Education table at Poway Valley Garden Club Flower Show. Location: Old Poway Park. DETAILS

April 22

Education booth at Ramona Earth Day Festival. Location: Ramona Community Garden. DETAILS

Your Support Matters!

The bike rides, Walk-N-Talks, classes, events and restoration projects that define us would not be possible without your ongoing support. Your generosity makes conservation, education and recreation happen. Thank you!


Citizen Science

Do you know about iNaturalist? The app is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. It's easy to use and, in no time at all, you can add to more than 1,900 observations participants have logged for the San Dieguito Citizen Science Biodiversity Project. We are calling on all of our friends, followers and nature lovers to get the app and join the project today!

Open iNaturalist


Dirty hands and big smiles at Gonzales Canyon

We threw a work party March 11 with WILDCOAST and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance at Gonzales Canyon.

To the music of birdsong, we cleared invasive brush and planted lovely native plants.

Like any good party, the chatter flowed freely and faces were filled with many, many smiles.

Tip-top help from Troop 651

Let's hear it for the hardworking Boy Scouts from Troop 651 of San Marcos.

The boys were a big help March 18 planting native plants at San Dieguito Lagoon.

In addition to breaking a sweat, the scouts learned about the role native plants play in supporting the surrounding ecosystem.

ESP at Piedras Pintadas

Piedras Pintadas was the latest destination for Exploring our Sense of Place. 

ESP participants experience the San Dieguito River during all seasons and follow its course from mountain to sea.

Open Webpage

March Walk-N-Talk: Lake Hodges

We walked and talked and spotted all kind of birds. Our hearty hikers hefted binoculars and cameras to capture the crisp vistas.

Walk-N-Talk hikes are scheduled for the first Tuesday of every month and are a great way to meet members of the Conservancy's board and staff.

Coast to Crest Trail Challenge

Anne and Aubrey Artz and Emma

A very rainy winter is presenting challenges for the 2022-23 Coast to Crest Trail Challenge.

After record-high participation last year, hikers this year have had a hard time finding five days of decent hiking weather. That's bound to change, though, and as the skies clear and waterlogged trails reopen, we encourage you to lace up those boots.

This month we received selfies from repeat challengers Anne Artz and Roger Riedlbauer. Joining Anne on one of the hikes was her daughter, Aubrey, and her pup, Emma. On one of his hikes, Roger found Volcan Mountain shrouded in snow.

Get details online for the five-hike challenge. We'll see you on the trail!

C2C Challenge Info

Roger Riedlbauer on the summit of Volcan Mountain

River Park News

Water quality testing at San Dieguito Lagoon

San Diego State University students from a graduate-level class taught by Dr. Paula Granados visited San Dieguito Lagoon in March to test samples from a treatment pond that collects runoff from Interstate 5.

After running the samples through a battery of tests, the students analyze their data to determine the efficacy of treatment ponds in improving water quality before runoff enters the lagoon.

Boy Scouts earn merit badge at Sikes

Members of a local Boy Scouts troop on March 12 completed the requirements to earn their Environmental Science merit badges, which are required to become an Eagle Scout. 

At the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, Ranger Jess led a three-part environmental science project that focused on invasive species.

Open Full Story

Sharing Sikes history

Anita Hissem shares a genealogy and history compilation of the Zenas and Eliza Sikes family written by Ron Hall. Shown here (from left) are Steve Hissem (Sikes docent); Anita (Sikes docent and distant cousin of donors); Jeff Cravath Goshorn (great grandson of Kate and Augustus Cravath) and his wife, Cathy.

Open Full Story

Illustration: Julie Scrivner  @scrivner_gloomtoons_

Illustration class at the Adobe

Technical artist Donna Walker visited Sikes Adobe March 4 to teach an archaeological illustration class that focused on perspective in archaeology.

Students were treated to a docent-led tour and to learn about the history of the adobe and the Sikes family and to view the original adobe wall from inside.  

After the tour, the class went outdoors to survey both the adobe and the creamery from various angles. Once students found their preferred view, they drew the adobe using one- and two-point perspectives. 

Senior Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay assisted in the success of the class by arranging the docent tour and giving students access to the grounds.


Everyone enjoyed their time at the adobe and they each produced a great illustration! 

Donna M. Walker Website


Your donations make our programming possible. Thank you!

Photo: Hanna Zhao


Stay in Touch!

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