Summer is around the corner and things are heating up -- literally (remember your sunscreen and water!) and figuratively as the Conservancy kicks off some new programs and events.

photo by Aaron Chang

Our new Watershed Explorers Experiences start this month with some events at Lake Hodges -- a family-friendly kayaking and hiking adventure with Outdoor Outreach and Hodges & Horses with Freedom Song Ranch! Look for more events throughout the summer and the rest of the year designed to give you unique opportunities to learn about and interact with River Park wildlife.

There's also a little something called the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge launching soon -- stay tuned for more info! Let's just say we were inspired by Missions Trails' Five-Peak Challenge and came up with a River Park version. We'll be sharing news and updates about that on social media and in next month's Riverscape.

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, June
4, 11, 18, 25
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Thursday, June 1
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Julian Chamber Mixer
Meet at VMF's Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation

Saturday, June 3
8:30 am
Lake Hodges Guided Hike
6 miles, easy
Hosted by San Marcos Park Rangers

Saturday, June 4
9:00 am
Falcons and Hawks! The Art of Falconry
Co-hosted by San Diego County Parks and Recreation and Master Falconer Cisco Cibourne

Sunday, June 4
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

Saturday, June 10
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Hidden Trails of the West Preserve
6 miles, strenuous
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger Doug

Saturday, June 10
8:30 am
Canyoneers Hike at San Dieguito Lagoon
6 miles, easy
Hosted by San Diego Natural History Museum Volunteers

Sunday, June 11
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Ranger David Hekel

Sundays, June 11 and 18
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Nature Touch Table
Hosted by San Diego County Park Ranger

Sunday, June 11
12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
18th Annual Scripps Ranch Community Fair
Alliant International University:
Hosted by Scripps Ranch Civic Association
Come visit the San Dieguito River Park booth!

Saturday, June 17
8:30 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by San Dieguito River Park Rangers JJ Paetow and Hilary Mills

Saturday, June 17
8:30 am - 10:30 am
San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk
Hosted by Buena Vista Audubon Society Member John Haddock

Saturday, June 17
9:00 am
Lake Hodges Family Adventure - Kayak & Hike
Directions available upon registration
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Outdoor Outreach
Cost: $15/person
Limited to 32 participants

Sunday, June 18
9:00 am
Falcons and Hawks! The Art of Falconry
Co-hosted by County of San Diego Parks and Recreation and Master Falconer Cisco Cibourne

Sunday, June 18
10:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Saturday, June 24
9:00 am
Hodges & Horses!
Directions available upon registration
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Freedom Song Ranch
Limited to 30 participants

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
Volunteer Appreciation
The River Park JPA and Conservancy held their Annual Volunteer Appreciation party on May 13th at the Surf Cup Sports Park (formerly Polo Fields).
photo by Peter Shapiro

JPA Board Members Dave Grosch (Chairman, Poway), Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (Vice-Chair, County) and Council Member Barbara Bry (City of San Diego), and Conservancy President Brad Bartlett recognized our volunteers. Each cited the importance of volunteerism to continue our efforts to protect natural resources, maintain trails and educate residents about the River Park.

Volunteers honored this year for their exceptional service include Robert Byrnes, Arne Johanson, Tom Brown, Victor and Cindy Uyeji, Ginni Kitchen, Rich Weier, Antonella Pak, Shane Heppner, Diane Hillman, and Bill McKinney.

Dave Grosch

In 2016, volunteers provided over 11,000 hours of service in the River Park, a huge accomplishment that equates to $220,000 worth of staff time!

From left to right: Robert Byrnes, Tom Brown, Kristin Gaspar, Victor Uyeji, Shane Heppner, Cindy Uyeji, Ginni Kitchen, Rich Weier, Bill McKinney
Photo by Peter Shapiro

Guests were treated to a delicious buffet lunch catered by Da Kine Hawaiian and kept cool with chilled beverages. They were able to stroll to the San Dieguito River and see the future alignment of a segment of the Coast to Crest Trail, staked and newly surveyed.

Special thanks to Jacqueline Winterer and Surf Cup Sports for their generous donations and to the Rangers and JPA staff who organized the event.
Support the Conservancy at KAABOO!
Big news this month! You may have seen our announcement on Facebook -- but we're thrilled to partner with KAABOO this year! They will donate 20% of the proceeds from tickets purchased through this link to the Conservancy.
KAABOO is a three-day music festival that takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in September. The events and lineup have been curated to appeal to all senses, with world-class music, hilarious comedy, inspiring contemporary art, gourmet cuisine, craft libations, and personal indulgences. Just about everyone will find an act to get excited about in their 2017 lineup.  Get your passes today  and please share our link with your music-loving friends! 

SDRVC Executive Director Honored with Suncatcher Award
Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, received the San Diego EarthWorks' Sun Catcher award at the organization's annual dinner on May 24th.

Every year, EarthWorks recognizes businesses, clubs, organizations and/or individuals that deserve special recognition for their work on behalf of a clean, healthy environment.

Trish's long-time friend, former City Councilwoman, Donna Frye, presented her with the award. Over the last 20-some years, Trish and Donna have worked together on environmental causes.

Congratulations Trish!

Save the Date! 

Coming Up in June
Lake Hodges Family Adventure:
Kayak & Hike
June 17th
Join the Conservancy for a day of family adventure!

Discover the natural resources and beauty of the Lake Hodges area from land and water.

The Conservancy will take you on a fun one-mile round-trip hike and Outdoor Outreach will lead an hour kayak session on Lake Hodges.

Sorry, we love our furry friends, but no dogs allowed at this event.

When: Saturday, June 17th at 9:00 am
Where: Directions will be provided upon registration
Cost: $15/person
Limited to 32 participants

Hodges & Horses
June 24th
The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy invites you and your family to a fun 1-mile round-trip hike at Lake Hodges leading to the home of Julia Erickson and Tom McGrath, owners of Freedom Song Ranch in Escondido. 

Meet and feed their beautiful horses, and one very special pony, Princess. We'll also get to meet two new foals, delivered just before our visit, and explore a nature trail on the property. 

Sorry, we love our furry friends, but no dogs allowed on this hike. There are dogs to enjoy at the ranch. A couple are very rare! Come meet them!

Register here
When: Saturday, June 24th at 9:00 am   
Where: Directions will be provided upon registration
Cost: Free; donations gratefully accepted
Limited to 30 participants

What Happened in May
Rotarians at Work Day 2017
Over 40 members of Rotary Club of Del Mar, Boy Scout Troop 713, and Vent ure Crew joined Park  Rangers at the San Dieguito Lagoon on Saturday, May 13 th  for Rotarians at Work Day. Volunteers  weeded a 1.72-acre habitat restoration site and spread mulch around almost 500  plants that were  planted this past winter. The Rotary Club of Del Mar also presented the San D ieguito River Park with a  $750 donation, which was used to purchase the mulch. 

We greatly app reciate everyone ' s help and the  donation to make the park a better place for our wildlife!

photos from Del Mar Rotary
Lagoon Day
San Dieguito Lagoon Day, hosted by the  Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee; San Dieguito River Park JPA;  San Dieguito River Valley  Conservancy; the Marine Science Institute of the University of California,  Santa Barbara; and Wild  Wonders, was held at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom on M ay 20 th.

The day started early with a bird walk, followed by a presentation of native  birds, mammals and reptiles  by Wild Wonders. Participants enjoyed family-friendly events and fun for all  ages, including using  binoculars to find and learn about bi rds  found in the Lagoon and creating artwork out of plant and other  materials found in the area. Attendees also made seed balls out of native seeds an d soil to be distributed within  the River Park to increase native habitat. Parents and children learned about th e role of aquatic animals  by looking at live specimens found at the lagoon and presented by biol ogists that monitor species at the  wetland restoration project.

We enjoyed sharing the Lagoon with the public and thank our voluntee rs for joining us for a great day!

photo by Len Filomeo
Citizen Science Field Day with High Tech Elementary
Last month, we welcomed our newest Citizen Scientist recruits from  High Tech  Elementary North County. These young scientists are part of  our continuing partnership  with the school to review photos from our wildlife cameras  and record data on species  occurrences in the River Park. 

As part of their training, students joined  Conservancy and River Park  JPA staff at the Lake Hodges Boat Launching Area to learn about our local environment and plant biodiversity. Students took part in three group activities including animal tracking, plant surveys using GPS, and using iPads to record species observations to iNaturalist, an online citizen science project.

Next month they will be presenting thei r wildlife camera research results at a school exhibition  --  we ' ll be sure to share their findings with you!
Take it Outside California! 2017
On May 6 th , 24 hikers (and 1 dog) joined the Conservancy and Rincon  Consultants for  hike through Del Dios Gorge as part of the 2 nd  annual  Take it Outside California!  initiative . 

Started by the California Council of Land Trusts in 2016,  this statewide  initiative encourages nonprofits and public agencies to hos t free outdoor events every  year on the first weekend of May as a way to connect Californi ans to great outdoor  places and experiences .

Despite being overcast and drizzly, it was a perfect day to  explore and learn about the wildlife and geology in the San Dieg uito River Park .
Deer Canyon Elementary Visits Sikes Adobe
Each year, Deer Canyon Elementary sends their entire 4 th g rade class to visit Sikes Adobe Historic  Farmstead for a field trip that complements their Social St udies and History  curriculum.

The students engage in activities the Sikes family and early San Diego Coun ty pioneer  farmers would have taken part in on a daily basis. Students learned how to work in  the field, specifically  farming and tending kitchen gardens.  Mounds were dug so that the students could plant corn, climbing  beans, and squash. The beans grow up the corn like a beanpole and the squash keeps  some of the  pests away. This method of growing vegetables is called the Three Sisters Method  and was developed  by Native Americans. 

Students alse learned to wash laundry by hand, churned bu tter, and toured the house  while learning about artifacts in the collection and how to interpret t hem.  

Most of the instructors for  this field trip are volunteer docents. They are a committed group that  develops and implements these  programs and it is not possible to welcome school groups of this siz e to Sikes Adobe without their hard  work and dedication. If you are interested in being a volunteer instruc tor or docent for these types of  programs, contact Ranger David Vidal at  dvidal@sdrp.org .