Dear ,

Happy 2018! All of us at the Conservancy and River Park hope you enjoyed a relaxing, restful, festive holiday season!
As always, we're running into the new year like a squirrel: fast and only slightly distracted by acorns. We've got big plans to continue to grow our conservation, education, and recreation programs, as we make further progress on the Coast to Crest Trail and more! Stay tuned -- it's going to be a great year!  

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
Virtual Tours of River Park Trails with Google Trekker
Google Trek recently loaned one of their Google Street View cameras to the Conservancy through a program designed to let organizations and individuals photograph areas of cultural, historical, or touristic significance-which describes the River Park perfectly!

With the help of some volunteer camera crews, we took the Street View camera to the trails featured in the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge: the San Dieguito Lagoon and Del Dios Gorge segments of the Coast to Crest Trail, the Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail, and the South Clevenger Canyon Trail (the Volcan Mountain Foundation already used the camera, so we didn't need to repeat their work).

It takes Google about a year to "stitch" all the images together to create a 360-degree view, like you've probably seen when using the streetview function of Google maps. Once that work is complete, people will be able to virtually "walk" along the trails, plus view special points along the way, including the Birdwing Open Air Classroom, the Old Grand Bridge, and the chairs near the top of the South Clevenger Canyon Trail.
Drivers Needed for Watershed Explorers Program!

Do you love to drive?
Do you love nature?
Do you love the San Dieguito River Valley?
If so, you are a perfect candidate to be a driver for our Watershed Explorers Program!

We are recruiting van drivers for our Watershed Explorers Program.

Due to a generous donation from a private donor, SDRVC is able to cover the fees and costs associated with obtaining your Class B license.  

In addition, van drivers will receive $16/hour as independent contractors during each Watershed Explorers event they drive.

Join us for a brief informational meeting and meet and greet at Viewpoint Brewing on Thursday, January 25th, at 6:00 p.m. to learn more. Register here

If you are have any questions, please contact SDRVC Education Manager, Ana Lutz, at
River Park Volunteer Training Coming Next Spring
The River Park will be holding a volunteer training on March 31st, 2018.

The training will consist of a morning Powerpoint session at the San Diego Archaeological Center from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., followed by an afternoon session at Sikes Adobe Historic
Farmstead from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The afternoon session will be split into three groups, with specific training for:
  • Trail patrollers
  • Educational docents
  • Habitat and trail restoration
Space is limited so reservations are required. Reserve your spot here to receive a detailed agenda of the training. Lunch will be provided.

For questions or more information contact Leana Bulay, Manager of Interpretation and Outreach, at or (760) 716-1214.
San Dieguito River Park Scholarships Available
The River Park is awarding scholarships for students pursuing further education in the fields of biology, environmental studies or resource management.

To be eligible, students must be residents of San Diego County, have successfully completed three years of studies at an accredited high school, be in the their fourth year of high school with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better and expect to receive, or have received, a "notice of intent," to enroll in undergraduate college courses.

Complete the application found here. The application requirements include a 300-500 word essay, two letters of recommendation and an unofficial copy of your transcript of grades. All application materials are due by April 2nd, 2018. All applicants will be notified by May 11th, 2108.

For any questions, please contact Leana Bulay, Manager of Interpretation and Outreach at or (760) 716-1214.
New Bench Cover to Honor Jill Collier Kerr
A new bench cover was installed at the San Dieguito Lagoon to honor a River Park supporter and native San Diegan, Jill Collier Kerr. Jill passed away at age 39 on July 21st, 2017 in Las Vegas.

Jill worked as the Director of the Executive MBA Program at UNLV. At the time of her passing, Jill was a Neurological ICU RN at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas and was completing her doctorate at Maryville University Doctor of Nursing Practice. She loved the beach, traveling the world, caring for others and especially her two sons. She was an enthusiastic advocate of organ donation, and through her death was able to give the hope of life to five others across the country.

The bench is a place to sit, relax, take in the beauty of the Lagoon and be grateful for all we have. Jill's family thanks the hard work of San Dieguito River Park Rangers for designing and building the structure.
More Nature Photography Workshops
After the huge success of the Introduction to Wildlife and Landscape Photography classes in September, October, and November 2017, the San Dieguito River Park and KS Nature Photography is offering intermediate and advanced classes starting in January 2018.

Thank You River Park Interns!
The River Park thanks two interns that have been working at the Lagoon, Robert Douglass and David Castro.

Robert Douglass has a B.A. in International Relations from Northern Arizona University. He was previously a community organizer for Friends of Flagstaff's Future, which works to preserve open space and create affordable housing, and he worked on climate change adaptation and mitigation as an AmeriCorps member in Humboldt County. Robert is preparing for his Masters in Landscape Architecture by taking courses at MiraCosta Community college, and built a nursery shade structure at the San Dieguito Lagoon as a project requirement for his soil science course.  Robert chose SDRP because of his interest in habitat restoration and native plants. After  completing his project and reflecting on what he learned, he said, "I was able to learn about the complexities of running open space parks and restoration projects, from the physical and ecological aspects to the political. I learned plenty of names of native plants, and I honed in my skills with a chainsaw."

David Castro is a Botany and Environmental Biology major, currently attending MiraCosta Community College, and planning to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona. His plans to pursue a career in environmental conservation and restoration. David worked on the restoration sites at the San Dieguito Lagoon. He assisted with irrigation, helped with construction of a new shade structure, and aided with cultivation and propagation of new native plant stock. When asked why he wanted to work with SDRP, David said, "I wanted to work somewhere where I could apply what I was learning in class, and where I could get a taste of restoration work. During my time with SDRP, I learned a lot about our coastal sage shrub plants and how to care for them. Our natives are a diverse, hardy, and beautiful lot that I think we take for granted in San Diego."

Thank you for your hard work, Robert and David!
Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Tammy and Patrick Taylor on Volcan Mountain
13 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in December!

Congratulations to:

Patrick and Tammy Taylor
Annette Trnka
John and Ginger Eliasberg
Petra Fastner
Mike Hawker
Michele Johnson
Charlotte Landrum
Lean Lim
Ted Foster
Karl Peralta
Gerald Sanders

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up in 2018
2/10 & 2/11 - Valentine's Teas at Sikes Adobe
Tea for Two or Tea for You!

A steaming cup of hot tea and a delicious plate of sweets and sandwiches await you. Join us for our 6th annual Valentine's Tea, hosted by the Friends of Sikes Adobe!

Reservations are required and available online here. Seating is limited.

For further information, please contact Ranger David at or (760) 432-8318.

When: Saturday, February 10th and Sunday, February 11th at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
Cost: $15/person (includes a tour of the farmhouse)
January Events

Sundays, 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market
Monday, 1/1:
Volcan Mountain New Year's Day Hike
Sunday, 1/7:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count

Saturday, 1/13:
Sunday, 1/14:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Monday, 1/15:
MLK Day Hike to Felicita Creek
Thursday, 1/18: 
Explore and Restore Crest Canyon
Saturday, 1/20:
Volunteer Habitat Restoration

San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
Sunday, 1/21:
Yoga at the Birdwing

Sunday, 1/28:

What Happened in December
TALK TALK with A Ship in the Woods  

We had a great time at A Ship In The Woods during the TALK TALK event. We set up the wildlife cameras we use in our Citizen Science Monitoring program to capture guests enjoying a night of live performance and art.

Festive Farmhouse  

In December, San Dieguito River Park volunteers, docents, and staff celebrated the holidays at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. Volunteers decorated the farmhouse with Christmas decorations, including garlands made of pine and gum trees and ornaments made of old postcards. These are typical decorations of the late 19th century, when the Sikes family lived in the home. A small live tree was placed in Eliza Sike's sitting parlor.

The Volcan Mountain Foundation provided pine cones and mistletoe, which were used to spruce up the adobe and were also sold at the River Park's "Country Store." The pine cones came from the Coulter Pine, a native to the mountains of Southern California. Occasionally known as "widowmakers," the Coulter pine produces the largest pine cones in the world. This fascinating tree can be found in the "crest" section of our very own San Dieguito River watershed.

The visiting public was invited into the house where they made Christmas ornaments, frosted cookies, decorated oranges with cloves, and enjoyed docent-led tours of the house and farmstead. Visitors also shopped for decorations, crafts, and dry goods at the "Country Store." Be on the lookout for future events in the park and at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.

Buy a Bird a Beer with Viewpoint Brewing
Thanks to all who joined us and "bought a bird a beer" at Viewpoint Brewing!

There was a full house at Viewpoint Brewing Company for the December 4th Buy a Bird a Beer event that raised funds for the Conservancy.

Thank you to our good friends at Viewpoint  for supporting the Conservancy throughout the year!

Photo by Bill Augustus
Furry Friends Hike
Our last Furry Friends Hike of 2017 had a great group of people and pups enjoying the Piedras Pintadas Trail! Stay tuned for more Furry Friends Hikes in 2018!
New Year's Resolution Restoration Project
Big thanks to this group of volunteers that joined Conservancy Executive Director, Trish Boaz, to get a head start on some resolutions on New Year's Eve! 

We removed 3000 square feet of ice plant from the River Path Del Mar in preparation for some native planting this spring. Thank you to the City of Del Mar for all its support and contributing the dumpster!