After all the (wonderful!) rain last month, the trails have dried out and it's time to get outdoors!

We're lucky that in San Diego County, it's easy to get out in nature all year, and we're taking advantage of that this month. We hope you can join us to celebrate Valentine's Day either at Sikes Adobe for the annual Valentine's Teas or on Volcan Mountain (or both!). There's also the first Furry Friends Hike and Exec Trek of the year. 

And we're seeing signs of the winter bird migration. Experienced birdwatchers love this time of year, and if you're new to birdwatching or want to get into it, there's no better time to start.

Photo by James Coffee

We'd love to see your photos of the River Park this month -- share them on Facebook or Instagram with the tag #SDRVC or #SDRP!

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, February
5, 12, 19, 26
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, February 4, 11, 18
1:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Valentine's Day Tea
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Wednesday, February 8
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Shattering the Invisible Wall of Stress!
Hosted by SDRVC & Sheila Henry, MFT

Saturday, February 11
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the Lagoon
2 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Rangers

Saturday, February 11
9:00 am
Valentine's on Volcan
Directions provided upon registration
Hosted by SDRVC & VMF
$20 for members; 
$40 for non-members

Sunday, February 12
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Meet at TBA
Hosted by SDRP Rangers

Sunday, February 12
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Volunteer Planting at Fairbanks Ranch
Hosted by SDRVC and California Native Plant Society

Saturday, February 18
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Meet at TBA
Hosted by SDRP Rangers

Saturday, February 18
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock

Saturday, February 18
9:00 am
Furry Friends Hike at San Dieguito Lagoon and River Path Del Mar
Directions provided upon registration
3.5 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRVC

Sunday, February 19
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea
Free, donations gratefully accepted

Saturday, February 25
8:15 am
Citizen Science Bird Survey with Palomar Audubon
Meet at the Albertson's parking lot at 1459 Main St., Ramona
Hosted by SDRVC and Palomar Audubon

Saturday, February 25
8:30 am
Exec Trek at Del Dios Gorge
Directions provided upon registration
Hosted by SDRVC Executive Director Trish Boaz

Saturday, February 25
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Family Ride with San Diego Mountain Biking Association (Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP & SIkes Adobe

Saturday, February 25
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Celebrating the Humble Honeybees (Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP & Sikes Adobe

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
2016 Bernardo Mountain Citizen 
Science Survey Results
The final results from our 2016 Citizen Science surveys at Bernardo Mountain are in! In total, 85 volunteers recorded 202 plants and 92 wildlife species on site, including 5 invertebrates, 10 mammals, 70 birds, and 7 reptiles. Visit our website to see complete lists of species and photos from our surveys.

This year we are conducting surveys on the Conservancy's Rutherford C property, near Volcan Mountain in Julian. 

If you'd like to join us and become a Citizen Scientist, we have several upcoming volunteer opportunities, including a bird survey with Palomar Audubon this month and a botanical survey on April 29th.  For more information, email Conservation Manager Jess Norton at jess@sdrvc.org .

Welcome Don Mosier to the
Conservancy Board of Directors!
The Conservancy is pleased to announce its newest board member, Donald Mosier, M.D., Ph.D., of Del Mar! Mosier is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Immunology & Microbial Science at the Scripps Research Institute, having recently retired after four decades of HIV-1/AIDS research.

Mosier brings with him a long history of community service, including serving Mayor of Del Mar from 2010-2011, two terms as a City Council member, and as a member of the Design Review Board. He has served as the San Dieguito River Park & Open Space JPA Board Chair, liaison to the Del Mar Community Connections, the Del Mar Lagoon Committee, the Del Mar Village Association, the Ad Hoc Design Review Committee, and many more.

Please join us in welcoming Don to the board!

New River Park Ranger!
The River Park's newest Ranger, Hilary, started working with the Park in January 2017. She holds a degree in Environmental Science from Point Loma Nazarene University and is currently working on obtaining a GIS certificate from UCSD Extension. After graduating from PLNU, she spent a summer guiding ocean kayak tours at the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, where she taught visitors the basics of ocean kayaking and educated people on the diverse marine ecology and history of the area. 

Later, she moved back to her hometown in Orange County and spent two and a half years working at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, where she started working as a part-time naturalist and eventually also became their Horticulture Manager, which mainly consisted of managing the nature center's native plant communities, leading volunteer groups, and continuing to teach environmental education programs.  

In early 2016, while working at the Nature Center, Hilary furthered her love for California's native plants (and disdain for non-native and invasive species) while taking a habitat restoration and volunteer management training course in the Cleveland National Forest with Back to Natives Restoration.  
As a park ranger at SDRP, she hopes to help continue the park's efforts to restore valuable wildlife habitat, maintain trails, educate the public, and learn as much as she can about land management and conservation. In her free time Hilary enjoys hiking, trail running, camping, watching wildlife, identifying Southern California's native plants, and spending time with her pet rabbit.

Coming Up in February
Valentine's on Volcan
February 11th
Back by popular demand! Take in the scenic views of the Anza-Borrego Desert to the east, downtown San Diego to the south and the San Dieguito River Park to the west from the summit at Volcan Mountain. Then, we'll celebrate with a picnic and wine tasting! 

Please note, this hike is 21+ only and is rated moderate-strenuous. 

When : Saturday, February 11th at 9:00 am
Where: Directions provided upon registration
Cost: $20 for Conservancy members; $40 for non-members

Valentine's Teas at Sikes Adobe
February 4th, 11th, & 18th
This February, the popular Valentine's Teas at Sikes Adobe are back for the fifth year!

Invite a loved one to tea at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead and enjoy tea service, sandwiches, and sweets in the 19th-century farmhouse. Tea times are on Saturdays, February 4th, 11th, and 18th, at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

When: Saturdays, February 4th, 11th, and 18th at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm 
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
Cost: $15/person

Shattering the Invisible 
Wall of Stress!
February 8th
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is pleased to host Sheila Henry, MFT at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom  on Wednesday, February 8th from noon to 1:30 pm! The San Dieguito Lagoon is a great location and January is a perfect time to learn how to "Stress Less...Achieve More!" 

It is commonly known that stress can influence us physically, mentally and emotionally. It can have a significant impact on our personal health, weight, relationships, business success, and overall happiness. While stress is inevitable, its negative effects are not!

In this informative, interactive, and entertaining talk, Sheila Henry will share cutting-edge science and solutions that will reveal new understandings about what keeps people stressed and  how to change that. In this presentation, participants will experience the laser-like swiftness of "tapping" to  reduce stress.

When: February 8th from noon to 1:30 pm  
Where: Birdwing Open Air Classroom  (map)

Volunteer Planting at 
Fairbanks Ranch
February 12th
Join the Conservancy and the California Native Plant Society as we help restore native habitat along the San Dieguito River in Rancho Santa Fe. We'll be planting over 500 native plants as part of our Fairbanks Ranch Invasive Plant Removal and Stream Enhancement Project. 

Bring the family along and learn about our native species -- you may be surprised how much fun it can be helping out! 

Gloves, tools and snacks provided. For more information and directions to the site, email Conservation Manager Jess Norton at jess@sdrvc.org .
When : Sunday, February 12th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where : 7127 Artesian Rd., San Diego, CA 92127 (map)

Furry Friends Hike 
at San Dieguito Lagoon
February 18th
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. 

When: Saturday, February 18th at 9:00 am
Where: directions provided upon registration
Cost: Free; hikers are encouraged to bring a donation of dog and cat food to support the Helen Woodward Animal Center

Citizen Science Bird Survey
with Palomar Audubon
February 25th
If you are a birder or an aspiring birder -- we want you! The Conservancy and Palomar Audubon are hosting a Citizen Science bird survey on February 23rd  at our Rutherford C property near Volcan Mountain in Julian. 

This walking survey is approximately 0.85 miles (round-trip) and rated moderate-strenuous due to the elevation and slope. After, we'll stop at Santa Ysabel Preserve East to do a bit of birding by the creek. 

The group will meet in Ramona and carpool to the site. To register, or for more information, email Conservation Manager Jess Norton at  jess@sdrvc.org .
When : Thursday, February 23rd at 8:15 am
Where : Albertsons parking lot, 1459 Main St., Ramona, CA 92065 (map)

Exec Trek at Del Dios Gorge
February 25th
Join Conservancy Executive Director, Trish Boaz, for a hike at Del Dios Gorge. 

Though the river's flow is minimal most of the year due to the Lake Hodges dam, constructed in 1918, the narrow canyon's riparian vegetation is complemented by coast live oak. The natural landscape here is made even more dramatic by the granite outcroppings covering the canyon floor. Restoration efforts in Del Dios Gorge will improve nesting and foraging habitat for the federally-endangered least Bell's vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher. 

Visitors can spy the historic Hodges Flume winding along the north slope of the gorge, partially on trestles. The flume transported water by gravity from Lake Hodges to the San Dieguito Reservoir four miles to the west until 2003. Though Lake Hodges is actually higher than the San Dieguito Reservoir, an optical illusion makes it look like the water is traveling uphill! 

When: Saturday, February 25th at 8:30 am 
Where: directions provided upon registration

Bikes & Bees at Sikes Adobe
February 25th
In addition to the Valentine's Teas, the Sikes Saturday Series has two fun events this month.

February 25, 2107
Family Fun on Bikes
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Learn some mountain biking skills from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, then head out for an easy ride with points of interest like the Battle of Mule Hill and the Coast to Crest Trail.

Celebrating the Humble Honeybee
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Learn all about honeybees, how beekeepers take care of hives, and how we can support local bee populations from Claire Winnick, owner and beekeeper of RFB Family Farms and Apiaries.

For program details, the full schedule of the events, and to register, go to www.sikesadobe.org Space is limited for each event. Early registration is encouraged. 

Wax & Wine
March 26th
Our 2nd annual Wax & Wine at the Knorr Candle Factory is on March 26th!

Savor gourmet fair, sip delicious wine selected by chefs, enjoy live music, learn how to make your own beeswax candle and take it home, and stroll the lovely gardens at the Knorr Candle Factory!

More details coming soon, but save the date and register today -- we expect this event will sell out!

When: Sunday, March 26th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm 
Where: Knorr Candle Factory, Del Mar

What Happened in January
Sikes Saturday Series Kicks Off
The San Dieguito River Park's Sikes Saturday Series got off to a strong start and is now running full speed ahead!  
In January, the series hosted speakers on varying topics, including living history, natural history, and art. 
The Chaparral Institute presented Grizzly Adams, a mountain man who regaled the crowd with stories of early California and the philosophy of Man's relationship with nature.
National Parks Service Ranger Tavio del Rio discussed early San Diego history through the lens of pioneer botanists and naturalists who explored the region and left their mark in the names of the plants and trees they discovered.

The programs that included live animals, like birds of prey from Sky Hunters and snakes from Southwest Field Herping Associates, were very popular with large groups in attendance.  
An introduction to bird watching with Tom Trowbridge of the Palomar Audubon Society and a youth workshop on drawing and painting still-life provided quality and engaging educational content.