Dear ,

The San Dieguito River Park JPA is turning 30! Mark your calendars for the 30th anniversary celebration on June 9th. We'll be at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead -- more details below!
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!
News & Updates
San Dieguito River Park JPA Celebrates 30th Anniversary!

The San Dieguito River Park JPA will be celebrating 30 amazing years of environmental preservation, recreation and education on Sunday, June 9th at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.

We hope you can join us!
Conservancy Receives Additional Grant Funding
In addition to the grants the Conservancy was awarded last month, we have been awarded $71,826 in Prop. 1 funds from the State Coastal Conservancy for the Fairbanks Ranch -  Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plant Eradication and Stream Enhancement Project!
The funds will also be used to contract crew labor from the Urban Corps to conduct invasive plant removal activities beginning in fall 2019.

New Ranger Station at the San Dieguito Lagoon
The San Dieguito River Park has begun construction of the Ranger Station at the San Dieguito Lagoon. The building was re-designed to save costs and increase functionality. The landscape will consist of all native plants and was designed in-house with input from staff and volunteers. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The San Dieguito River Park is accepting donations for the construction, landscaping, and fencing. If you would like more information or to make a donation, contact Kevin McKernan at or (858) 674-2275.

New River Park Ranger
Brian Wilson joined San Dieguito River Park in March 2019. He has a background in Environmental Studies and Marketing. He spent 2 years working with California State Parks as a Senior Park Aide where his primary responsibilities were Visitor Services and Code Enforcement.
Brian is looking forward to expanding his knowledge of the natural environment, building relationships, public safety, and helping others. In his spare time he enjoys surfing, golfing, backpacking, fly-fishing, and spending time outdoors on an adventure with friends.

Support the Conservancy Through "Loving our Local Outdoors" with REI!

REI has selected three local stewardship projects -- including the Conservancy's trail building, maintenance, and enhancements in Gonzales Canyon -- and is asking their members help them decide how to invest $20,000 in those projects.

Here's how it works:

REI members will receive a voting token for every purchase made in-store from March 7th through April 8th.

Place the token in the Conservancy's container.

Projects will receive funding based on the number of tokens they receive. 

All 3 projects will receive funding, but the exact amounts will be determined by how many tokens they receive! So if you've been thinking about a new backpack, hiking boots, or other gear, and you're an REI member, please plan to shop between 3/7 and 4/8!
Painted Ladies Butterflies in the Park
The winter rains have not only brought amazing wildflower blooms to the River Park but also  tens of thousands of Painted Lady butterflies. The rain led to a desert wildflower bloom, giving
the caterpillars more food supply and a greater chance of surviving. The butterflies are  passing through as part of their yearly migration from the deserts of Southeast California and  Mexico to the Pacific Northwest to lay their eggs. This type of mass migration hasn't happened  since 2005.

Last year the Painted Ladies count was very low compared to prior years. This is an alarming trend as butterfly populations decline across the board. But this year, that trend has reversed, at least for the Painted Ladies. California's overall butterfly population reached historic lows in 2018. The Monarch butterfly population has dropped 85% compared to 2017 and at least 20 other species were declining even faster than the Monarch. Land use and farming changes have lead to less open space, fewer host plants, an increased use of pesticides and climate change have all contributed to a decrease in butterflies.

Conservancy to Present at Trails & Greenways Conference
The Conservancy is pleased to announce that Education Manager Ana Lutz and Conservation Manager Jonathan Appelbaum will on a panel for a breakout session at the California Trails and Greenways Conference, held at the Viejas Resort in Alpine this month. During the session, titled "Awareness to Action: Creating Stewards from User Groups," Ana and Jonathan will discuss how user groups can be engaged and inspired to become involved in parkland/trail stewardship through programs such as the Conservancy's recreation and conservation programs.

Learn more about the conference here.
Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Maxine, Brittany, Steve, Felicia, Bob, Kay, Dafang, Lorelee, Jody, Pat, and Kurt, all residents at Casa de las Companas!
30 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in March!

Congratulations to:
P Brijandez 
Diane Estelle
Maria Teresa Muniz
Tiffani Zalinski
Regina Nooraga
Yisel Perez
Anne Artz
Bryan Heard
Michael & Finn Haubert
Navarro Gloria
Maxine Anttila
Brittany Barnes
Steve Dadolf
Felicia Hu
Bob Kiang
Kay Lie
Dafang Lin
Lorelee Mogg
Jody Smith
Pat Stevens
Kurt Strater
Diane Cheryll
Ellen Kroninger (plus her dog Jake!)
Kurt Kroninger
Judy Gaukel
Maia Davidson
Lori Walsh
Sandra Brackman
Monica Border

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up
4/6 - 3rd Annual Earth Day Fair

The River Park will have a booth at this free event! In addition to information
booths, vendors and interactive educational activities, the fair, sponsored by the Rancho Bernardo Community Council, will feature presentations that increase community awareness of small changes we can make locally to improve the environment.

When: Saturday, April 6th, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Rancho Bernardo Community Park, 18448 West Bernardo Dr.

4/6 - Herp Hike

Please join the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and herp expert Jeff Nordland for a fun "Herp Hike" on Saturday, April 6th! SDRVC will lead you on a guided hike to search for herps along the Piedras Pintadas trail. Come try out field herping for yourself, and learn about our local reptile and amphibian species and how the Conservancy monitor these animals as part of the San Dieguito Citizen Science Monitoring Program.

WhenSaturday, April 6th, 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
WhereRancho Bernardo Community Park

4/13 - Watershed Explorers: Archaeological Center

Take a trip back in time with your family at the San Diego Archaeological Center! Students will participate in artifact analysis and mapping and an Archaeology Quest in the museum, with additional museum activities afterwards. New exhibits will also be available to explore where participants can learn the basics about archaeology through hands-on activities for children and adults. Participants can check out the new Cuseum app which offers additional information and videos.

Please wear closed toed shoes, pants, and a jacket in case of inclement weather. It is also recommended to bring water and a snack. Donations are gratefully accepted. (Suggested $5).  

WhenSaturday, April 13th, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Where: San Diego Archaeological Center

4/19 - Full Moon Hike

Join us for a full moon hike on the Dust Devil Nature Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon. This 1.7-mile loop trail is easy, short and flat.

Dogs are welcome on leash.

WhenFriday, April 19th, 8:00 - 9:30 pm
WhereSan Dieguito River Park Dust Devil Trail Staging Area

4/27 - Next to Nature Photography Hike

Experience the beauty of Bernardo Bay near Lake Hodges through the lens of a camera! Join Bryal Hilton, landscape designer at Heaviland Landscape Management, as she leads you on a guided photography hike that explores Escondido's Piedras Pintadas ("painted rocks") trail. As you meander along the trail, Bryal will point out the best native plants to place in your garden as part of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy's Next to Nature Certification Program.

This 3.8 loop hike provides opportunities for photographers of all levels to practice their skills. You will make stops at select locations along the trail to photograph the scenery and wildlife. The hike follows Bernardo Bay on Lake Hodges, which is an important habitat refuge for many native and migratory animal species, particularly birds.

Make sure to bring your camera, water, proper shoes and a sense of adventure!

WhenSaturday, April 27th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 
WherePiedras Pintadas Trailhead

4/27 - Creek to Bay Cleanup at River Path Del Mar

Come get your hands dirty and help SDRVC and City of Del Mar as we restore habitat along the River Path Del Mar and San Dieguito Lagoon as part the countywide Creek to Bay Cleanup. We will be weeding and maintaining our 2018 planting areas and cleaning up trash along the San Dieguito Lagoon. Please register for our site at .

WhenSaturday, April 27th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: River Path Del Mar Parking

4/27 - Watershed Explorers: Volcan Mountain

Come see where it all starts, the headwaters of the San Dieguito Watershed at Volcan Mountain Nature Center! The day will include recurring activities throughout the day from 10 AM - 4 PM of the Volcan Mountain 3-D map rainstorm, water-testing, aquifer demonstrations, guided walks of the Watershed Trail and one guided hike starting at 2 PM to the sky Island Trail to view the watershed from the top of the mountain. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to eat at the large picnic table under the shade of surrounding Douglas Firs.

Please wear closed toed shoes, pants, and a jacket in case of inclement weather. It is also recommended to bring water and a snack. Donations are gratefully accepted. (Suggested $5).

WhenSaturday, April 27th, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WhereVolcan Mountain Foundation Nature Center

4/28 - Crest Canyon BioBlitz

Join SDRVC to catalog the biodiversity of the City of San Diego's Crest Canyon Open Space Preserve as part of SDRVC's annual volunteer BioBlitz. This year's BioBlitz will be held in conjunction with the nationwide City Nature Challenge (April 26 - 29) during which volunteers from around the country document biodiversity using the iNaturalist smartphone app. Training will be provided.

WhenSunday, April 28th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where2701 Racetrack View Dr.

What Happened in March
Teens in Action

A group from Teen Volunteers in Action came to Sikes in February and March. The group is comprised of 7th and 12th graders that does volunteer projects throughout San Diego County. The group focus on helping family and nature related activities. The River Parks thanks the teens for their hard work!
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt

The Conservancy had a terrific event last month at the the Santa Fe Valley Open Space. 15 volunteers (and one reporter from the Coast News) joined us, along with staff from CNPS and the Crosby HMA preserve manager Jennifer Kendrick from Rincon Consultants for our very first rare plant "Treasure Hunt." 

The "Treasure Hunt" was a resounding success. We located several species of sensitive plants and collected valuable data for preserve management. The volunteers had a great experience and learned rigorous survey methods and plant ID skills. This "Treasure Hunt" was a first for the Conservancy, but will definitely not be the last!

Clevenger Canyon North Graffiti Removal

Last month, 11 volunteers joined the Conservancy and our partners Allied Climbers of San Diego to remove trash and graffiti along the Clevenger Canyon North Trail.  

With the help of our volunteers and Allied Climbers equipment and know how, we successfully removed dozens of pieces of graffiti large and small. We also removed over 100 lbs of trash from the parking area and trailhead.  

Special thanks to Ranger Rob Wheeler from the City of San Diego Department of Parks and Open Space for his support and to Adam Kimberly of Allied Climbers for his equipment and leadership. It was encouraging to see the progress one dedicated group could make in three short hours. 

Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Guided Hike at Piedras Pintadas

Conservancy Executive Director Trish led this group on a guided hike of the Piedras Pintadas Trail for the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge last month!

Clevenger Canyon "Fire Followers" Wildflower Hike

The Conservancy's "Fire Followers" Hike last month was a blast! 15 intrepid hikers joined us on a perfect morning at the City of San Diego's Clevenger Canyon South Trail.  

The hikers were treated to a terrific display of wildflowers and flowering shrubs including fields of California poppies, lupines, jewel flowers, Parrish's phacalia, Ramona lilacs, and rarities like fire poppies and Padre's shooting stars. Hikers also got to learn from volunteer naturalist and professional ecologist John Messina of Mira Costa College. Join us next spring for more wildflower hikes!

Wax & Wine

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Wax & Wine last month! It was a beautiful day for candle-making, dining, and enjoying time with friends!