The countdown is officially on...the 6th Annual River Valley Fest, and the Conservancy's 30th Anniversary, is just over two months away! We are busy lining up auction and raffle prizes and planning the entertainment, which will be a special treat this year. In addition to local musicians Bill Fleming, Mark Kapov, and Kevin McCully, there will be a special appearance by famed songwriter and performer Jack Tempchin!

Tempchin has written and co-written songs for The  Eagles, George Jones, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood and many others. Don't miss this special performance -- reserve your spot here today. 

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, August
7, 14, 21, 28
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, August 6
8:00 am (sign in at 7:30 am)
North Shore Lake Hodges Hike
7 miles, moderate
(A 1-2 miles interpretive walk will also be offered)
Hosted by City of San Marcos Park Rangers

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

Saturday, August 13
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Ranger Bryan Ward

Saturday, August 13
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Volcan Summit Sunset Hike
5 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bill

Saturday, August 20
8:30 am - 10:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
Hosted by  Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock

Sunday, August 21
10:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea
Free for SDRVC members, $10 donation for non-members

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
Conservancy Grant News
The Conservancy is thrilled to announce we've received several grants last month!
  • $25,000 Opening the Outdoors Program grant from The San Diego Foundation for the Watershed Explorers Program
  • $10,000 Environmental Champions grant from SDG&E for the Watershed Explorers Program
  • $23,900 from the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project for the Fairbanks Ranch Invasive Plant Removal and Stream Enhancement Project

We're honored to have the support of these organizations, and excited to put the grant funds to good use! 

River Park JPA Headquarters Gets Fire Safety Upgrade
As you may recall, the JPA headquarters in San Pasqual Valley burned completely in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire. The building was rebuilt with the help of FEMA and insurance funds, and it subsequently won awards for its outstanding architecture.  

However, the only structure not replaced at the time was the aging 10,000-gallon steel water tank, which, ironically, was meant for fire protection. The tank wouldn't have saved the structure from the extraordinary flames of the wildfire, but going forward, this tank was vital for protecting the structure in case a fire started within the building, as well as providing firefighters with a source to fight local fires in the neighborhood. The headquarters building is "off the grid" when it comes to water supply.

Thanks to a generous grant from the County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, recommended by Supervisor Dave Roberts, the JPA recently installed a new 10,000-gallon water tank. The old tank had been springing leaks, was literally rusting from the inside out, and at risk of collapse. The new tank, which feeds the internal fire sprinkler system as well as a fire hydrant, is more modern with a protective coating that is expected to last 30 years or more! 

Other improvements completed as part of the County grant included minor upgrades to headquarters' well and roof repairs at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.
Fall 2016 Trails & Ales 
What are two amazing assets that make San Diego one of the best places to live and visit in the United States?  First, our beautiful landscapes -- including beaches, lagoons, grasslands, mountains -- and second, delicious craft beer!

As promised, after selling out the Spring 2016 Trails & Ales Hike Series in the first two days, our popular Trails & Ales Hike Series is back!

This fall, the Conservancy has joined together again with the Volcan Mountain Foundation, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, and Escondido Creek Conservancy to bring you unique recreational experiences with a visit to a nearby craft brewery, including Second Chance Beer Company in San Diego, Julian Hard Cider in Julian, The Lost Abbey in Cardiff, and Offbeat Brewing Company in Escondido.

Get information on all the hikes and register here -- quickly! We anticipate this series will sell out again.

Enrollment Open for 2016 Exploring Our  Sense of Place Program
The Conservancy officially opened enrollment for its 2016 Exploring Our Sense of Place Program. Enrollment is limited to 25 participants in order to maximize the experience for participants. This popular program sells out every year, so if you've been looking forward to this life-changing experience, don't delay!

Participants will experience the San Dieguito River Valley and watershed in all seasons, following its path from Volcan Mountain in Julian to North Beach in Del Mar, encountering plants, animal and human inhabitants and will connect to the River Valley with their heart and minds. The eight excursions are held monthly from September through May, including a welcome reception at the Del Mar Powerhouse and seven outings with experts in a variety of topics: 
  • Mammals and Tracking
  • Native Americans
  • Birds of Bernardo Bay
  • Geology, Chaparral and Water Resources
  • Piedras Pintadas Botany 
  • Wetland Restoration Project at the San Dieguito Lagoon  

Recognizing the importance of connecting people with nature, time is set aside at each event for special "reflection time." 


A Graduation Luncheon is served at the San Dieguito Lagoon at the end of the program. More than 200 Explorers have graduated from the program, many of whom continue to participate in ESP Alumni hikes and educational experiences. 

Go to  for further details and to enroll!

Meet the San Dieguito River Park's Summer Intern
My name is Allison Sharpe, and I am interning part-time with the San Dieguito River Park through the summer. 

I am a Master's student at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in Germany. In June, I completed my first year of my Master's program in Environmental Sciences with an emphasis study on wildlife, vegetation, and biodiversity and will return to school in the fall to finish my degree. I grew up in San Diego and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I studied ecology and evolutionary biology. Prior to leaving San Diego, I worked with an environmental consulting team before deciding to further my education abroad.

As a San Diego native, I am aware of the rich biodiversity the County has to offer and the importance that habitat conservation and restoration plays in maintaining this richness. This internship allows me the opportunity to learn more about the River Park and its role in habitat restoration and management. I am eager to learn more about the native flora and fauna found within the San Dieguito River Park and the actions the SDRP and joint partners take to protect and preserve these natural resources.

I feel privileged to work with such knowledgeable individuals and to learn the day-to-day maintenance tasks and long-term planning goals of the River Park. I hope to put my education and field skills to good use during my internship and participate with all River Park staff to diversify and advance my current skill set.

Stepping Stone Resources Volunteers at Sikes Adobe
The grounds around the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead provide ample opportunities for those throughout North San Diego County to volunteer and give back to their community. For some, like students or scouts, the volunteer opportunities serve as a way to complete requirements for a class or advancement to the next level. For others, Sikes Adobe provides an opportunity for healthy activity in the outdoors.  

Every week, Stepping Stone Resources, an organization that provides programs with training for adults with intellectual disabilities, gives some of their clients an opportunity to volunteer at Sikes Adobe. The tasks and projects they complete are varied and are suited to their level of ability. The jobs vary from weeding, raking, and watering to light trail maintenance or patrolling for trash along the Mule Hill section of the Coast to Crest Trail. Working outside in nature provides the volunteers the opportunity for enrichment and growth.  

SSR employee Lydia Rodriguez (in white) with some volunteers

If you see the Stepping Stone Resources volunteers working around Sikes Adobe, know that they contribute to the many hours involved in keeping the site clean and presentable for the enjoyment of the public.

Save the Date - 30th Anniversary River Valley Fest

Coming Up in August
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
August 13th
This monthly, 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, August 13th at 9:00 am 
Where: San Dieguito Lagoon Staging Area (map)

Yoga at the Birdwing
August 21st
Join us for a coastal yoga sesh at the San Dieguito Lagoon Open Air Classroom with instructor Susan McCrea. All yoga levels welcome. Bring a mat. 

Directions to Birdwing Open Air Classroom: From I-5, Take Via de la Valle exit and go east. Turn south 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.

Free for Conservancy members; $10 donation for non-members.

When: Sunday, August 21 at 10:00 am 
Where: Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center: 1658 Coast Blvd., Del Mar ( map)

What Happened in July
Whole Life Festival at the San Diego County Fair
The Whole Life Festival showed people how they could help the environment and explored the eco-friendly marketplace, with products and services for mind, body & soul. There were over 40 booths, guest speakers, a children's garden, and Garden Bar and Wine Nook Exhibit.

This is the 4th year the River Park has participated in the event. We reached over 350 people that visited the booth. The Park thanks the 22st District Agriculture Association for the opportunity to participate in this unique event. 

Rattlesnake Safety Class
30 people attended the Rattlesnake Safety Class put on by the Conservancy and Southwestern Field Herping Associates. Steve Bledsoe brought a collection of (harmless) local snakes for people to see up close and taught them about our local species and how to stay safe on the trails. 

Citizen Science Bird Survey with Palomar Audubon
A group of Citizen Scientists participated in the Conservancy's bird survey at Bernardo Mountain on July 20th. 

Led by Richard Fowler from Palomar Audubon, our 10 Citizen Scientists recorded 24 species on site, including an Ash-throated Flycatcher (below left) and a Blue Grosbeak (below right).

Photos by Richard Fowler