A Special Thank You

As we ride into the sunset for 2022, we're leading with a special thank you to our donors and volunteers.

You understand that giving of your funds, time and talent does so much good for nature and for people.

We appreciate you.

Have a great holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2023!

Help Us Get-to-71!

We’re so close! Can you help us make the final push to Get-to-71?

Get-to-71 is a joint initiative of the Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park JPA to complete two of the longest, unfinished segments of the 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail. One segment is between east San Pasqual Valley and Boden Canyon (5 miles). The other is between Lake Sutherland and Santa Ysabel (8 miles).  

Imagine being able to hike or bike uninterrupted from the beach in Del Mar to Volcan Mountain near Julian. That was the vision 40 years ago and today, we're just $300,000 shy of making it a reality.

So far, we have raised $1.7 million, or 85%, toward our $2 million goal.

The funds will allow us to begin environmental and design work so the two segments, both in remote reaches of the backcountry, can be ready for construction. The funds also will provide a necessary, local match to leverage state and federal grants. 

As 2022 draws to a close, there could not be a better time to give. To all of our donors, thank you so much!

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2022 River Valley Fest: Connections Made!

Rebecca Bogan, Gabriele Weinhausen, Mike Bogan, Ayden Zielke

(All photos: Jon Clark/Del Mar Times)

To all who attended and supported our 2022 River Valley Fest fundraiser, thank you so much.

In one conversation after another, the evening lived up to its theme: Making Connections. What a fine way to catch up, meet new friends, exchange ideas and celebrate our shared love of nature.

To our sponsors and donors, a very special thanks to you. Your generosity, at all levels, translates directly into conservation, education and recreation.

Beatrice & Adam

Chris Khoury, Robert Dudley, Heeran and Daniel Smith

Janice Swaisgood, Jane Lea Smith, Ann Feeney

Wetlands Restoration East of I-5

Earth movers in the river valley just east of Interstate 5 aren't building a strip mall. The earth work is part of an $87 million wetlands restoration.

The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority is the driving force behind planning the two-year project, which encompasses 84 acres between the freeway and El Camino Real.

The San Diego Association of Governments and Caltrans are running the job as part of their 40-year, $6 billion North Coast Corridor Program.

The restoration will introduce a blend of habitats, including open water, low salt marsh, mid-high salt marsh, coastal brackish marsh, riparian enhancements, coastal sage scrub and marsh upland.

The project adds to earlier restoration work completed in 2011 that brought expansive, open-water basins and improved tidal flushing to adjoining areas east and west of Interstate 5. Both phases are designed to create ecosystems that can sustain flooding and future sea level rise.

At the job site, in addition to earth movers, a crane is driving piles to support a small bridge that will cross a future tidal creek.

During construction, Dust Devil Trail is subject to intermittent closure.

Coast to Crest Trail Challenge

Coast to Crest Challenger Noi Waller

The Coast to Crest Trail Challenge is a fun way to explore trail segments throughout the San Dieguito River Park. This year’s "best of" series includes hikes from the first five years. 

The treks take you from scrubby foothills to the pine forest with plenty of oaks and grasslands in between.

Get details online. We'll see you on the trail!

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Digging Our Volunteers!

Our awesome volunteers aren't afraid to dig into a project. Especially if it involves planting native plants at the San Dieguito Lagoon.

Del Mar Mayor Dwight Worden and Lagoon Committee member Udo Wahn came out to work.

So did excellent helpers from WILDCOAST and the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Watershed Explorers

The Watershed Explorers Program takes children and their families to locations up and down the San Dieguito River watershed.

A recent outing brought third-grade students from High Tech Elementary North County to the Coastal Ranger Station and a hiking trail at San Dieguito Lagoon. Photos: Chris Blake

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Next to Nature Demo Event

As part of our Next to Nature certification program, water conservation expert Brook Sarson is hosting a free demo 10 a.m. Dec. 18 at the San Diego Science Center, 3030 Bunker Hill St., San Diego.

Next to Nature is all about enhancing natural spaces and creating wildlife connections right in our own yards. Join us to learn how you can transform your yard into a water-conserving oasis.

Next to Nature Webpage

Water Release from Lake Hodges

In a Nov. 29 article, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the City of San Diego is releasing water from Lake Hodges. A city official told the newspaper, "Visitors to this area of the San Dieguito River Park and generally along the San Dieguito River should take precautions as the water level in the creek will rise." (Photo: Don Boomer/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

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Lagoon Inlet Dredging

Heavy equipment in November cleared a buildup of sand from the San Dieguito River mouth to promote tidal flushing of the lagoon basins.

The dredging is paid for by Southern California Edison and is part of a mitigation agreement that began in 2003 with a four-year, $100 million restoration of the San Dieguito Wetlands.

The utility’s restoration and continued dredging of the river channel compensates for marine life harmed by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Hit Us With Your Best Shot

Here's Terry Callan’s Saturday bike group at Lake Hodges Dam.Send your best shot to [email protected] and post @sdrvc. Photo: Terry Callan

River Park News

Ranger Hikes

Last month SDRP teamed up with Outdoor Outreach to take a group of kids from Rady Children’s hospital on an interpretive hike around the park. They spent the day at the Coastal Lagoon where Ranger Jose taught about local wildlife, fauna and the history of the land. We look forward to partnering with Outdoor Outreach on more programs in the future. 

Watershed Explorer Program at Sikes Adobe

High Tech High North County 11th grade students visit Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead as part of the 5 day field excursions through the Watershed Explorer Program. Students learned about the rich history of the area, participated in water quality testing, butter making, crafts and learning about medicinal plants. 

History Presentation

Rancho Bernardo Historical Society Senior Interpretive Ranger Leana and Interpretive Ranger Blanca presented about San Dieguito River Park history at the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society. They presented to a full house and shared park history from prehistoric plant life all the way to present day projects in the park. 

San Dieguito Lagoon Reasearch

Last month, SDRP volunteers hosted researchers Kathryn Beheshti and Rachel Smith who presented on the monitoring and ongoing research at the San Dieguito Lagoon wetland. They shared about how much progress the restoration of the lagoon has undergone and how much was left to complete the goals of the restoration. To attend these presentations and more join our volunteer team! Contact Sr. Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay for more information – [email protected]

New Sign Unveiled

The San Dieguito River Park JPA staff and Conservancy celebrated a new monument sign announcing the San Dieguito River Park and Lagoon Ranger Station that opened in 2021. Edison International’s philanthropy donated $20,000 toward the sign, which supports community outreach and public education about the San Dieguito River Park’s mission. Shawna Anderson,

Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Park JPA and Setal Prabhu, an SCE project manager for the lagoon restoration project highlighted the strong partnership between the two organizations and the importance of a permanent ranger station for education and long-term

maintenance and management of the restored wetlands, surrounding open space and public trail system.

Dec. 3: Red Nose Run to benefit San Dieguito River Park

Take a really fun run (or walk) on the beach at Del Mar Dec. 3 and support San Dieguito River Park while you're at it. Organizers of The Red Nose Run have chosen San Dieguito River Park as one of the beneficiaries of the all-volunteer, fundraising event.

The Red Nose Run turns 30 this year and kicks off from Powerhouse Park at 12:45 p.m. Dec. 3.

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