Dear ,

We hope you're enjoying the heat and finding ways to (safely) get outside when you can!
In this edition of Riverscape, we're congratulating a couple of our first Coast to Crest Trail Challenge finishers and sharing some grant news, updates on the new coastal ranger station, and more!

Don't forget that reservations for River Valley Fest are  OPEN! Make your reservation today and stay tuned for more news as October approaches!

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
Congratulations to Our First THREE-Time Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Finishers!
We want to give a special shout out to a couple Coast to Crest Trail Challenge finishers this month:

Jim Aeling has completed all three rounds of the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge, finishing the latest Challenge on July 6th!

And the next day, Heike Rodriguez completed the entire challenge in one day!
"I completed the 2017-2018 Challenge on five separate hikes because a local hiking group organized an opportunity to get the Challenge completed in that fashion. Then in January of 2019, a fellow ambitious hiker inspired me to complete the 2018-2019 challenge in a single day. I had so much fun on that adventure that I looked forward to the next Challenge and completed it again in a single day soon after the 2019-2020 trails were posted," Heike said.

Congratulations Jim and Heike! We're thrilled that you've enjoyed the Challenge each year!

This year's hikes are:

Santa Ysabel West Preserve Trail

More info about all the trails, directions to trailheads and staging areas, and the selfie spots can be found on the Conservancy's website.

Conservancy Receives Environmental Champions Grant from SDG&E
We're excited to announce that we've received a $10,000 Environmental Champions Grant from SDG&E, which will go towards our "A Pollinator's Paradise" education program, presented along with Climate Science Alliance.

As a new program for the Conservancy, A Pollinator's Paradise will teach Kindergarten-2nd grade students about the complexities and importance of one of our most dynamic pollinators, the Painted Lady butterfly, through in-classroom teachings, witnessing caterpillars metamorphosis, and releasing butterflies in the field. The Conservancy and the Climate Science Alliance will partner to ensure the integration of climate science into the curriculum, highlighting the pressure pollinators are facing and how students can become stewards of our natural environment.

Morgan Justice-Black, Community Relations Manager of SDG&E, presented the check at our Volunteer Appreciation event last month! Thank you SDG&E for your continued support!

New Coastal Ranger Station
The new Coastal Ranger Station at the San Dieguito River Park lagoon is under construction, bringing a companion office for park staff and providing a community asset. The ranger station has been a long time in the planning. It was approved back in 2015, but was redesigned in summer 2018 after construction bids came in higher than anticipated, according to Kevin McKernan, executive director of the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. Contractor Dewain Baker of Baker Design/Build was brought in to start over with a new functional and nice design that met the River Park's needs.

The Conservancy is donating $15,000 to the River Park JPA to install a solar system at the ranger station.

To read more of the Del Mar Times article by Karen Billing, click here.
Exploring Our Sense of Place Open for Registration
The Conservancy has officially opened enrollment for our 2019-2020 Exploring Our Sense of Place (ESP) program! Enrollment is limited to 26 in order to maximize the experience for participants. Enrollment will close on August 12th, 2019 (or when full).

Participants, or "explorers," will experience the San Dieguito River Valley and watershed in all seasons. The path begins at Volcan Mountain in Julian and continues through the valley to North Beach, Del Mar.

Many of the excursions include areas that are not open to the public. Hikers are exposed to the area's history, geology, native inhabitants, plants and wildlife. Recognizing the importance of connecting people with nature, a special "reflection time" is set aside at each event.

Through these encounters explores will connect to the River Valley with their hearts 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.

A graduation luncheon and celebration take place at the San Dieguito Lagoon at the end of the program. Many explorers continue to participate in ESP Alumni hikes and educational experiences. For another look at the ESP program, read this San Diego Union-Tribune article.

The enrollment fee is $250 per person or $450 per couple. Get more details and enroll here.

Farewell to Sikes Caretaker; Accepting Applications
Ken MacDonald has been serving as the Sikes Adobe Caretaker for 3.5 years. He has gone above and beyond his duties. He is moving to Prescott, Arizona to start a new adventure. He will be dearly missed. 

We are accepting applications for a new caretaker. The caretaker m ust have a personally-owned trailer or 5th wheeler, which will serve as the on-site residence.

In exchange for a gated groundskeeper site, monthly water, electric, and sewage, the caretaker would perform 20 hours of work per week. The schedule will be flexible but would include some weekends.

The duties would include: area security, general maintenance, helping with events on-site, and interaction with Park staff and patrons.

To get more information, contact Leana Bulay at
Rate the Conservancy on Great Nonprofits!
If you love our work then tell the world! Stories about us from people like you will help us make an even bigger impact in our community. GreatNonprofits - the #1 source of nonprofit stories and feedback - is honoring highly regarded nonprofits with their 2019 Top-Rated List. 

Won't you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us? All content will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. 

It's easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go here to get started!

Welcome New Ranger, Nate Collins!
Nate began his service as a Park Ranger for San Dieguito River Park July 1st, 2019.

Nate grew up in the backcountry of San Diego, with over 2,000 acres of preserve as his back yard. Since his youth, he has been immersed in nature and various micro-climates. 

The outdoors became his passion and his lifestyle. Open-air recreation influenced his desire to protect, preserve, and restore natural elements, striving to leave it better than when it was found. He shares the goals and visions of the River Park. As a River Park Ranger, he wishes to promote education, park progress, and opportunities for patrons to sustainably experience true wilderness.

Nate is equipped to provide emergency medical services with experience in national urban context and international wilderness context EMS (NREMT & WEMT). He is happy to admit the best injury is the one that didn't happen! 

He is licensed and certified by the FAA to operate Small Unmanned Aerial Systems. Aerial geo-referencing data is low impact and helps to keep our park pristine.

He previously worked as a supervisor for a land management and protection company. Working from generalized land management practices to specific and technical applications including low angle rope operations and helicopter insertions.

His hobbies include camping, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, ocean sports, mountain biking, and finding time to be in the great outdoors. 

Nate is happy to be a part of this team and learn from his partners. He is dedicated to empowering patrons to enjoy the park to the fullest. He wants to make a difference with his team expanding the River Park's potential of the best JPA in California.
Reservations Are Open!

Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Susie Kara at the Lake Hodges Overlook
8 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in July!

Congratulations to:
Jim Aeling
Heike Rodriguez
Susie Kara
Jeff and Elizabeth Porter
Sue Halliday
Gugui Naters
Phil Hwang

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up
9/14 - Climate Change, San Diego, and You

What are the likely effects of global climate change (GCC) around the world, across the United States, and within the San Diego region? Is where you live in any danger? Is there evidence that GCC is already affecting the San Diego region? What steps should we be taking?

Professor Emeritus Phil Pryde first started teaching about greenhouse gas effects at SDSU in the 1980's and has followed the topic ever since. This will be an illustrated, objective look at what we know and don't know about global climate change and its possible effects locally.

Philip R. Pryde, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at SDSU where he taught for 32 years. His research specializations included water resources, energy resources, and the environmental effects of economic development. He started teaching about greenhouse gases in the 1980's and has followed the topic ever since. He developed a slide show about climate change in 2006 and recently digitized this presentation. Phil has traveled to numerous locations relevant to climate change (arctic regions, low-lying oceanic islands, etc.). He has chaired the San Diego County Planning Commission, and served on the board of the San Diego County Water Authority.

Registration is required, and space is limited. Please email SDRVC Education Manager, Ana Lutz, with any questions at or (858) 755-6956.

We can't wait to see you there!

WhenSaturday, September 14th, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Del Mar Branch Library

August Events

Sundays, 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market & Farmhouse Tours
Saturday, 8/3:

Santa Fe Valley Hike

Nature Touch Table

Sunday, 8/4:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Sunday, 8/11:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance

Nature Touch Table
Olde Tyme Music Street Organ Performance at the Farmers Market
Saturday, 8/17:
Nature Touch Table

Mountain Biking San Diego Beginner Ride

Volunteer Habitat Restoration

Summer Blackberry Hike

Gonzales Canyon Clean-Up

Sunday, 8/18:
Moroccan Fab Feast
Saturday, 8/24:
Crest Canyon Clean-Up

Artists' Reception and Performance

What Happened in July
Furry Friends Hike with Helen Woodward Animal Center

What a beautiful morning for a hike with our furry friends! It was a nice sunny day, with a breeze on our way back (thankfully)! 

Walkers Stephanie, Patty, Carl, Laurie and Janey were joined by Rob and Karen from Helen Woodward Animal Center, and five fabulous dogs available for adoption: Luna, Paisley, Pecan, Yang and Mason! 

Volunteer Appreciation at Plan 9 Alehouse

We had a great time seeing our wonderful volunteers, along with Board President Brad Bartlett and Board members Slader Buck and Nate Northrup, at Plan 9 Alehouse last month! Thank you to all who joined us!

REI Members-Only Hike

Last month, Conservancy Education Manager Ana Lutz led a hike sponsored by REI along River Path Del Mar, where we discussed local restoration efforts, the Conservancy, our river, and partnership with REI! 

Afterwards, we were treated to a few brews and appetizers at Viewpoint Brewery Company, another Conservancy partner.