We have to say -- the response to the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge has been awesome! We are loving getting all your selfies and seeing your photos on Facebook and Instagram ( #C2CChallenge). Keep hiking!

photo by Aaron Chang

As always, there's so much going on in the River Park! The Conservancy just welcomed two new employees, we celebrated a significant milestone in the Wetlands Restoration Project, and the Birdwing has been busy! Read about all that and more in this edition of Riverscape. 

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

Saturday, August 5
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Volunteer in the Battle Against Invasive Plants
Meet at Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by VMF Conservation Chair Sharyl Massey

Saturday, August 5
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Mountain Biking San Diego: Lake Hodges
Hosted by REI
Cost: $60 for REI members; $80 for non-members
Limited to 6 participants

Saturday, August 5
8:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Guided Hike
6.5 miles, easy
Hosted by San Marcos Park Rangers

Saturday, August 5
9:00 am
Furry Friends Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Directions will be provided upon registration 
3.5 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC

Saturday, August 5
6:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Hike Under the Full Moon
7 miles, moderate/strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Bill

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

Saturday, August 12
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Back Trails Hike
7 miles, moderate
Hosted by San Diego County Parks

Sunday, August 13
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Nature Touch Table
Hosted by San Diego County Park Rangers

Sunday, August 13
9:00 am
Crest Canyon Nature Exploration
Meet at Crest Canyon South Interpretive Kiosk:
2.5 miles, easy
Hosted by City of San Diego Park Rangers

Sunday, August 13
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
"Sun"day Lunch and Learn
Hosted by SDRVC

Saturday, August 19
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Park Rangers Hilary and JJ

Saturday, August 19
6:00 pm
Twilight Dinner Benefitting Volcan Mountain Foundation
Hosted by Marti Montbleau
Cost: $125 per person
Limited to 60 guests

Sunday, August 20
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Mountain Biking San Diego: Lake Hodges
Hosted by REI
Cost: $60 for REI members; $80 for non-members
Limited to 6 participants

Sunday, August 20
4:00 pm
Falcons and Hawks! The Art of Falconry
Co-hosted by County of San Diego Parks and Recreation and Master Falconer Cisco Cibourne

Saturday, August 26
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Getting Outdoors: An Introduction to Family Hiking
Hosted by San Diego County Park Staff Member and VMF Board Member Eric Jones

Sunday, August 27
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Ranger and Dog Hike Up Del Dios
Meet at Del Dios Highlands Preserve Staging Area:
Hosted by San Diego County Parks Ranger Nathan Hestor

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
Welcome Jack & Ana!
The Conservancy is excited to welcome two new team members! Jack Hughes (Conservation Manager) and Ana Lutz (Education Manager) started last month.
As Conservation Manager, Jack is responsible for the coordination and implementation of conservation programs for the SDRVC. He will continue to lead habitat-restoration projects in the San Dieguito River watershed and take an active role in SDRVC's efforts to improve water quality, including through participation in projects that implement regional water-quality programs.
"The Conservancy has a commitment to collaboration, to reaching out and being a catalyst for habitat restoration in the watershed and that's what I am interested in doing," Jack said. "I'm really looking forward to working with all the different partners and finding those common areas and ways we can move forward."

Jack will also work with SDRVC's partners to bring the most effective scientific methods and tools to bear on conservation and field research projects, and lead the San Dieguito Citizen Science Monitoring Program.

As Education Manager, Ana is responsible for developing, implementing, leading and growing the Conservancy's education and outreach programs, including Watershed Explorers, Watershed Explorers Experiences, Citizen Science, Coastal Wetlands Field Ecology Project, and others in the San Dieguito River Watershed.
Ana is a native San Diegan, born and raised in North County. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Cal State San Marcos, with a minor in Anthropology. Ana is extremely passionate about grassroots projects. "I think they are the foundation and the seeds that grow change. That's what I'm most interested in doing. And partnering with communities-that's where the real decision-making comes in, rather than top-down federal laws-your local laws really do matter, and your local officials," she said.

SDRVC's education goals are to develop future conservationists and to improve academic engagement, performance, and physical and social well-being for people of all ages and abilities.
First Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Finishers!
The Coast to Crest Trail Challenge has kicked off and is going strong! We'd like to congratulate our first finishers:

Dave & Angela Johansen

Griselda Garcia

Gugui Naters

Jessica Foster

Joanna Ramirez

Kimberley Scott

Sandra Meza

Sue & Jaimie Halliday

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here!

Intern at the River Park!
The San Dieguito River Park has many exciting internship opportunities available. Internships include habitat restoration, trail maintenance, educational programs, museum curatorial work, and research projects. Gain hands on experience working with Park Rangers in the beautiful outdoors and make a difference in your community.

Many internships qualify for required school credit. For more information contact Leana Bulay, Manager of Interpretation and Outreach at or (858) 674-2275 x14

Conservancy Receives Donation Through Buffalo Exchange's "Tokens for Bags"
The Conservancy, chosen as a charity of choice by the Pacific Beach Buffalo Exchange, has received a donation of nearly $400 through Buffalo's "Tokens for BagsĀ®" community-based giving program.
Every six months, each of the Buffalo Exchange stores across the country selects three organizations such as the Conservancy to participate in the Tokens for Bags program.

Through the program, shoppers are offered a token in place of a bag at checkout, which they can donate to one of three local charities. The cashier explains to the customer that Buffalo Exchange is a plastic-bagless company and for each token, it donates five cents (the cost of a bag) to charity. The customer then drops their token into one of three charity boxes.
O ver 7729 customers selected the Conservancy, adding up to a donation of $386.47!

Every token a customer has donated represents a plastic bag that was not added into circulation. Thanks to their customers, Buffalo is proud to have kept over 14 million plastic bags from polluting the environment.
"It is important to focus on programs like Tokens for Bags because it helps spread awareness for the mission of these non-profits all the while decreasing plastic-bag pollution. It's a great part of a sustainable lifestyle and an easy way to support the local community," said Rebecca Block, VP of Buffalo Exchange.

Support the Conservancy at KAABOO!
Big news this month! You may have seen our announcement on Facebook -- but we're thrilled to partner with KAABOO this year! They will donate 20% of the proceeds from tickets purchased through this link to the Conservancy.
KAABOO is a three-day music festival that takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in September. The events and lineup have been curated to appeal to all senses, with world-class music, hilarious comedy, inspiring contemporary art, gourmet cuisine, craft libations, and personal indulgences. Just about everyone will find an act to get excited about in their 2017 lineup.  Get your passes today  and please share our link with your music-loving friends! 

Wetlands Restoration Milestone
Representatives from Del Mar, the 22nd District Agricultural Association and various agencies associated with the San Dieguito River Valley attended a July 15 ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the construction phase of a wetland restoration project south of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

"It took a total team effort to make this happen," said Gary Reist, deputy general manager for the 22nd DAA, which governs the fairgrounds. "It's great for us. It's great for the environment. It's great for the animals out here.

"When you walk out here and see the flora and the fauna and the animals come to life it's absolutely amazing," he added. "Today is a big, big milestone."

Read the rest of the story from The Coast News Group

Save the Date! 

Coming Up in August
Furry Friends Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
August 5th
Bring your dog(s) and join other animal lovers and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for an easy and family-friendly Furry Friends Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon (approximately 3.5 miles).

This out-and-back hike will take you along the Coast to Crest Trail and onto the new River Path Del Mar extension, ending at the Grand Avenue Overlook. This hike provides unique vantage points and the closest access to the sensitive marsh areas of the lagoon, which serve as a stopover for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway, a fish hatchery, and as important nesting and foraging habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Hikers are encouraged to bring a donation of dog and cat food to support the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

When: Saturday, August 5th at 9:00 am
Where: Directions will be provided upon registration

"Sun"day Lunch and Learn
August 13th
Join the Conservancy and Sullivan Solar Power Company for a discussion on the importance of alternative energy sources, trends within San Diego County, and community choice energy.

Sullivan Solar will be supplying lunch, beer, and wine!   

When: Sunday, August 13th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm   
Where: Birdwing Open Air Classroom

What Happened in July
Science of Flight with Living Coast
Living Coast Discovery Center brought a special guest to the Birdwing for our Watershed Explorers Experiences event, Science of Flight! We learned what it takes to live in the air before going on a short hike around the Lagoon.

Sunset Yoga Live!
It was a beautiful evening for outdoor yoga and live music for our first Sunset Yoga Live! Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea led a relaxing, all-levels class accompanied by violinist Gregory Lawrence.

SDRP at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum Outdoor Explorer Event
Recently, the San Dieguito River Park attended the Outdoor Explorer Event put on by the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum. The theme of the event was Go Outside! Families in Nature , and was intended to promote the use and enjoyment of the great outdoors by the whole family.

Beaches, lakes, trails, open space and forests: San Diego County has some of the greatest concentrations of natural resources that are accessible to the public in the country. Yet some families from underserved communities do not always have the opportunity to go out and routinely enjoy these beautiful places. This event brought together different organizations from throughout San Diego County to interact with children and their parents and show them the many different options that are available to enjoy the great outdoors.

SDRP was present with a booth that included trail maps and a game about animals of the river park. A Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead volunteer docent, Alexa Clausen, taught children to play with 19th-century toys and make herb bundles that the children could take home.

Some of the attendees and presenters included the Dixon Lake Ranger, The Escondido Creek Conservancy, Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve, and the Sierra Club. Over 200 people were in attendance, many of those young children from Escondido, where the Children's Discovery Museum is located, and other communities in North County. The ultimate goal of this event is to get families out into nature to create enjoyable and lasting experiences. If we are successful with this, then we have a better chance of nurturing the next generation of people who will enjoy the great outdoors and hopefully become stewards of the environment.

Conservancy Past President Speaks at Patagonia Film Series
Patagonia gives out thousands of dollars through their Environmental Grants Program to local environmental groups that help protect, conserve, and restore their communities. Their "Granted" Film Series focused on three of those groups, ranging from Japan, Gwich'in people of Alaska and Northern Canada, and rural Appalachia. Last week, SDRVC and another envirogroup, "Produce Good," tabled at the film screening event to represent the importance of grassroots projects.

Past President Peter Shapiro spoke before the film and Board members Peter DeFrancesca and Slader Buck, along with Education Manager Ana Lutz, attended.