Dear ,

It's July, and you know what that means...another round of the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge kicks off!
In this edition of Riverscape, we're announcing the new trails for the 2019-2020 Coast to Crest Trail Challenge (don't forget, we've got new patches this year for finishers!) and reliving the wonderful weekend where we celebrated the River Park's 30th anniversary. 

Below, you'll find information about ESP registration (don't wait! We expect another sellout!), the Sikes summer harvest bounty, River Valley Fest, and of course, July's bird of the month from Ranger Dave.

CONGRATULATIONS to the 317 people who finished the 2018-2019 Coast to Crest Trail Challenge! Hope you see you all out on the trails again soon!

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
New Coast to Crest Trail Challenge!
Explore some of the San Dieguito River Park's most iconic spots in the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge!

Complete the five San Dieguito hikes listed below.  You can complete them in any order, in your own time!

Each hike has a designated spot indicated on the map where you'll take a selfie. Once you've completed all five hikes, email all your selfies to for verification.

Everyone who completes the Challenge and submits photos for verification will receive special certificate, sticker, decal, REI and Adventure 16 coupons, and a new patch designed by Angie Pei (as of May 2019, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy) -- plus bragging rights and at least five cool outdoor adventures!

Inspiration credit goes to the Mission Trails' 5-Peak Challenge.

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.

If you would like to complete by Challenge by participating in guided hikes with Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz, please register here!

River Park Celebrates 30 Years!
The San Dieguito River Park JPA celebrated 30 years of environmental preservation, recreation
and education on Sunday, June 9th, 2019. The morning started with a 15k / 5k / 1 k / Tot Trot trail run with over 270 participants!

Following the race, the Community Fair started with 30 of the Park's partner organizations. The  fair had live music by the Prairie Sky band, tours of the Sikes Adobe farmhouse, and the weekly North San Diego Certified Farmers' Market.

Also at the event, two San Dieguito River Park scholarships for $1000 were awarded by Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar. The awards were given to high seniors Rachel  Mendelsohn and Justin Salazar, who will be continuing their education in the fields of  environmental studies, resource management, or biology.

The event drew in over 600 visitors and brought more awareness of the Parks programs and  amazing partners. The event couldn't have happened without our partners and sponsors. To see  which organizations attended, our list of partners, and more information about the Prairie Sky  Band,  click here .

Volunteers and Donors of 2019
The San Dieguito River Park honored this year's volunteers and donors at the 30th Anniversary of the Park!

Inland Dust Devils : Jerry Courtright & Gerry Hardes
Coastal Dust Devils : Cindy & Victor Uyeji
Trail Patroller of the Year : Mario Ibarra
Donors of the Year : Jeff Barnouw, Chris Khoury, & Linda Corey

The Friends of Sikes Adobe was presented an award to honor their contributions to Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. The board consists of President Jim Lyons, Vice Presidents Monica Demler and Karen Lindemuth, Treasurer Diane Hillman, Secretary Ruth Gach and board members Alexa Clausen, Ken Krieger, Ken MacDonald, and Kim Lyons. 

The River Park is so appreciative of all their hard work and dedication to the Park!

The Conservancy honored volunteer Jane Lea Smith, who is co-administrator (along with her husband, Jim) of the Exploring Our Sense of Place Program.  Her enthusiasm and hard work contributed to another successful year of the Conservancy's popular watershed program.

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 "explores," 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.

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

Sikes Adobe Summer Harvest
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead has an interpretive kitchen garden and peach orchard, which the Sikes family would have had while living there in the 1880s-1890s. Volunteers maintain the  gardens and sell the harvest at the North San Diego Certified Farmers Market onsite every  Sunday, 10:30am - 3:30pm.

The first peach variety, Gold Dust, will likely be done producing by the time this newsletter  reaches your inbox, but the second variety, August Pride, will be ripe next month or the end of  this month if we get an early summer heat wave. 

Other fruits and vegetables available in the  Sikes Adobe summer harvest are New Zealand spinach (which can tolerate heat better), chard,  yellow wax beans, and the last of the blackberries.

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!

Save the Date! 

Bird of the Month: Roadrunner
by SDRP Ranger Dave Hekel

Roadrunners, also known as the "Chaparral Bird" and "Snake Killer," are members of the Cuckoo family of birds and are large, slender, ground-dwelling birds. They have dark brown-and-white streaked bodies with a distinctive spiky head crest and a colorful bare patch of skin behind each eye. This patch is shaded blue by the eye and fades to red towards the back of their head. 

The Roadrunner's tail is long and broad with white tips on the three outer tail feathers. They have long legs, strong "zygodactyl" feet (possessing two toes in front and two toes in back), and a large dark bill. They vocalize with both a dove-like "coo" or a rapid clattering noise made with their beak.

Though capable of flight, they prefer the ground and can reach up to 20 miles per hour while on the run! They enjoy perching high to sunbathe. Within the San Dieguito River Park, you can usually spot them on the tops of rocks or other high perches. A roadrunner nest is made of anything the male can find, such as sticks, snakeskin, leaves, and the occasional pile of dried horse manure off the trail. The roadrunner is one of the very few animals quick enough to prey upon rattlesnakes.

These desert birds are so well adapted to their environment that they have no need to sip water.  They get all the moisture they need from their diet, which consists of grasshoppers, beetles and  other insects, spiders, small mammals and reptiles, scorpions, snails, fruits and seeds, and even other small birds and eggs.

Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
The Mayer family in Santa Fe Valley
87 people (and 3 trail dogs!) completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in June!

Congratulations to:
Cassandra Brown
James, Wyatt, & Annalisa Francis (plus their dog Zoey!)
Melinda Walker
Danielle Casteel
Eli Ahn
Genevieve Burye
Mary Litzenburg
Oreet Herbst
John Knott
Abhishek Kalapatapu
Erin Shipp
Jann, Sheri, Bryan, & Emily Mayer (plus their dog Luna!)
Nisha Patel
Steve Finn & Sharon Gavin-Finn
Mary Olson
Jennifer, Allison, Grace, and CJ Lops
Bill Beecher
Dennis Gately
Gary Hogue
Cheryl Iliria & Sean Maristela
Wayne Norman
Chelsea Rettig
Denise Pitre (plus her dog Ginger!)
Janet Merrill
Jared & Dean Zamora
Stevie Gragg
Jan Wahl
Eileen Randall
Donna Nasielski
Vy Tran
Karen Lindemuth
Peter Shapiro
Susie Kara
Alex Sutedja
Brookes & Shellie Reeder
Jennifer Weigold
Johnn & Lynn O'Halloran
Justin, Rachel, & Julian Lakin
Karen Castro
Marissa Mancillas & Patsilla Li
Barbara & Terry Weeks
Kelly Lyndon
Lizeth & Chris Tetrault
Marjolein Legge-Beekman
Mary Rodriguez
Kenny Chen & Maryann Inthavong
Mandi Orr
Ryan Farrar 
Anne Yilmaz
Janette Martinez
Michelle Walsh
Francine Vincent
Gabriel Ferreira
Philip Galit
Rick Salazar & Misa Adams
Amelia Hislop
Chris Griffith
Elaine Bryant
Shannon Gabbour, Dennis Tucker, & Gianna Gabbour
Brad Bartlett
Leslie & Adley Daffer
Linh Tran
Tim Going
Christina Wang

Total finishers for this round of the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge...


If you finished the Challenge but haven't submitted your selfies yet, you have until July 7th to do so and get your prizes!

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up
7/18 - Conservancy Volunteer Appreciation & Recruitment Dinner

As a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers, the Conservancy wants to celebrate you at Plan 9 Alehouse located in Escondido. The Conservancy will be covering a few appetizers, and there is a wonderful selection of craft brews and full meals.
Never volunteered with the Conservancy before? This is the time to meet us! Education Manager, Ana Lutz, will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have about getting involved in our community.
Please RSVP no later than July 10th for reservation purposes, space is limited! Questions? Please email Ana Lutz at We'll see you there!

WhenThursday, July 18th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm
WherePlan 9 Alehouse - 155 East Grand Ave., Escondido

7/25 - 7/27: William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors at the Birdwing

The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep presents Shakespeare at the Birdwing as part of their Summer Student Outdoor Touring Show! 

The Comedy of Errors  tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their long lost twins, who go by the same names: Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

Arrive a half hour early to experience our special Green Show performances.

With the introduction of our cast touring to three different venues, we wanted to help direct audiences toward our show and set the Shakespearean mood.

Arrive at 5pm before each performance for a special 30-minute pre-show called The Green Show. Audiences will leave the noise and stress of the world behind them as actors introduce you into the world of Shakespeare. Poetry and laughter in The Green Show will provide a light-hearted atmosphere as you are welcomed into the performance. So come early with lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy an evening of Shakespeare.

FREE admission!

WhenThursday - Saturday, July 25th-27th, at 5:30 pm
WhereBirdwing Open Air Classroom

July Events

Sundays, 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market & Farmhouse Tours
Thursday, July 4:
Saturday, 7/6:
Lake Hodges North Shore Hike

Nature Touch Table
Sunday, 7/7:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Sunday, 7/14:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance

Western Screech Owl Craft & Hike

Nature Touch Table

Thursday, 7/18:
SDRVC Volunteer Appreciation & Recruitment Dinner
Saturday, 7/20:
Volunteer Trail Clearing/Clean-Up

Nature Touch Table
Sunday, 7/21:
French Blue Cheese Cheesemaking Class
Thursday-Saturday, 7/25-27:
Saturday, 7/27:
Sunday, 7/28:
Grasslands Trek

Wildcrafting: Pottery with Native Red Clay

What Happened in June
Rattlesnake Safety Class

This sold out class, hosted by SDRVC, Del Mar Branch Library, and presenter Steve Bledsoe, was a hit! Participants learned how to identify rattlesnakes, what to do if they encounter them, and more. Not able to participate this time around? Don't worry, this popular class will be offered twice per year, beginning next Spring. Stay tuned!   
Leave No Trace Hike

Thank you to Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator Al Bates for leading an interpretive hike and giving a presentation on how to be better stewards of the natural world! On the short 1.25 mile loop in Gonzales Canyon, hikers witnessed several displays of wildlife, as well as blooming flowers leftover from this year's heavy rains!