Dear ,

The San Dieguito River Park's 30th anniversary celebration is this coming weekend, on Sunday, June 9th, and we hope you can join us!
It's not too late to sign up for the 15K / 5K / 1K / Tot Trot Trail Run. The courses traverse both sides of the I-15 Freeway along nicely maintained trails with light rolling hills. Courses are well-marked with ample aid stations. The event will be professionally timed with live onsite and online results. 

Following the run, enjoy activities at the Community Fair, where there will be over 30 booths and live music by the Prairie Sky Band. There will also be the North San Diego Certified Farmers' Market, tours of Sikes Adobe, and our silent auction and raffle. The silent auction will go live on Friday, June 7th at 9:00 AM and close Sunday, June 9th at 3:00 PM. The raffle will start at 9:45 AM on Sunday and names will be pulled every 30 minutes.

Visit to register for the trail races, see who will be at the Community Fair, and view the auction items!

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
Conservancy Receives Grant from REI!

We're thrilled to announce that the Conservancy has been awarded a grant from REI to help support our holistic approach to maintain and restore Gonzales Canyon through trail rehabilitation, organizing volunteer events, renting equipment, purchasing trail construction materials, installing new trash receptacles, trailhead signage, and more. In addition to funding received through the Loving Our Local Outdoors program, the grant total is $11,823.

Elizabeth Bendrick, REI San Diego Market Coordinator, said, "It is a privilege to support the SDRVC mission and the important work it is focusing on in 2019. Our partnership with SDRVC helps the co-op community awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, ensuring people spend time outside on a regular basis."
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.

New Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Patch
The third round of the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge kicks off in July, and we needed a new patch to award finishers. So we turned to Travis Sevilla's Visual Arts and Design class at Canyon Crest Academy and created a contest for students to create a new patch design.

We ultimately chose two winners: Angie Pei, whose design will be featured on the C2C Trail Challenge patch, and Steven Zheng, who designed a new patch with our logo!

Conservancy Intern and Student Researcher
The Conservancy was fortunate to host UCSD undergraduate researcher and Conservancy intern Ryan Blaich throughout the 2018-2019 academic year.  

Ryan, a graduating senior in UCSD's Environmental Systems (ESYS) Program joined the Conservancy during UCSD's Fall quarter 2018 to conduct assisted research on the effectiveness of riparian habitat restoration on wildlife usage, including nesting occupancy by the Federally-listed as Threatened least Bell's vireo ( Vireo bellii pusillus), within the Santa Fe Valley area of the San Dieguito River watershed. Ryan completed six months of field research under the supervision of Conservancy Conservation Manager Jonathan Appelbaum sampling riparian community architecture and species composition in restored and unrestored sites within the Santa Fe Valley Area. Ryan then integrated the Conservancy's Citizen Science bird survey data into his data analysis to determine the effect of habitat restoration treatment on bird usage.
Ryan said of his research experience with SDRVC: "Overall, I could not have had wished for a better opportunity to complete my UCSD Senior Project with a research project working with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. I was able to spend time outside in a beautiful watershed working with great people and building excellent experience conducting research. Truly the icing on the cake for my time spent at UC San Diego." 

Following graduation in June, Ryan (shown above with his final research poster) looks forward to beginning his career in natural resources management and will be choosing between multiple job offers including offers locally in San Diego County as well as in his hometown of Newbury Park in Ventura County.

Bird of the Month: Osprey (aka "Sea Hawk" or "Fish Hawk")
by SDRP Ranger Dave Hekel

The osprey is a large raptor, reaching more than 24 inches in length with a 71-inch wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts. The osprey is unusual in that it is a single living species that occurs nearly worldwide. 

Their hunting abilities are quite dramatic, as they are able to dive into the water from a height of up to 40 meters. The osprey has sharp spines on the soles of their feet that enable them to grasp their prey. They are also uniquely adapted to carrying the fish when caught by using an opposable outer toe that is able to rotate to allow for better aerodynamics while in flight.

Male osprey provide most of the food for the family while the mother remains at the nest for much of the summer. Osprey feed almost exclusively on fish.

Since osprey are at the top of the aquatic food web, they can be regarded as an indicator of the health and productivity of an ecosystem. If an area is polluted with certain chemicals, animals that are lower on the food chain may digest small amounts of that chemical. Animals such as the osprey, that are at the top of the food web, will accumulate more toxins in their bodies. This is known as bio-accumulation and means larger animals like the osprey can effectively determine the condition of their natural environments. 

Osprey can be spotted all over the San Dieguito River Park around Lake Hodges and the Lagoon. The pair at the Lagoon have been nesting there for the past five years and have two to three chicks every year. Dad can be seen regularly bringing in fish for mom and the kids.

Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Angela Guerrero in Santa Ysabel
38 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in May!

Congratulations to:
Denyse & Andy Prouty
Joanne Carlborn
Kathleen Aten
Leslee Hall
Thomas & Stacey Laemmel
Slader Buck
Heather Dagenais
Carolina Reyes & Andrey Uvarov
Lene Hartvig & Laura Oh
Terry Hui
Laura Jeremiah
Roger Salvatore & Tracy Bentivegna
Lisa Ruder & Dana Hartley
Diane McGrath & Frank Grant
Sheila Speirs
Cindy Steckel & Vicki Bradford
Stephanie Medina, Roxann Labbe, & Conrad Beck
Suzanne Young
Jim, Matt, & Sarah Aeling
Jim & Denise Quigley
Amy Nees (& Boomer)
Monica Demler
Mike Capasso
Joy Williams
Amanda Wigley

This is the last month for this round of the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge! The hike's for the next round will be revealed in July's Riverscape and on Facebook!

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up
6/22 - Leave No Trace Hike with Al Bates

By incorporating Leave No Trace Principles into your recreational activities, you can ensure the preservation of natural and cultural resources around us. Join Albert Bates, Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator who will be leading an interpretive hike Gonzales Canyon. Enjoy a leisurely 1.5 mile hike through this biodiverse area, where SDRVC Education Manager Ana Lutz will be co-leading the event. This activity is suitable for teens and up!
Meet at the Sword Way Trailhead at 9 AM (directions listed below). It's recommended to bring water, sturdy shoes, and a hat/ sunscreen. We can't wait to see you there!

WhenSaturday, June 22, from 9:00 - 10:30 AM
WhereGonzales Canyon - Sword Way Trailhead (at Sword Way and Winstanley Way)

What Happened in May
Beach Cleanup with High Tech Middle North County

Students from High Tech Middle School, North County, cleaned up our community at North Beach in Del Mar as a part of their annual service project. Thank you to the students and their teacher, Matt Leader, for choosing the San Dieguito Watershed as their area of focus and service! 
Watershed Explorers Trip with All Tribes Charter School

All Tribes Charter students experienced Lake Hodges through the lens of birding. Going on a 2 mile hike, students were able to witness the courtship of Grebes and the flight patterns of prolific raptors.

Furry Friends Hike

Furry friends and their owners strolled through Crest Canyon while learning more about local habitats, wildlife, and the organizations that preserve the area. 

National Trails Day

We had a great turnout for National Trails Day at the Gonzales Canyon Open Space Preserve! 49 enthusiastic volunteers joined the Conservancy along with project sponsors REI Outdoors and partners San Diego Mountain Biking Association and San Diego Canyonlands to repair trails in and tend our new native demonstration garden in Gonzales Canyon.  

Volunteers repaired the Sword Way Trailhead and main multi-use trail, watered over 200 native plantings, installed plant identification signs in the demonstration garden, repaired erosion around the Sword Way footbridge, and cleared trails of overhanging brush to create safe passage for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. 

Volunteers were rewarded for their hard work with Ben and Jerry's ice cream, snacks and t-shirts from REI, and raffle prizes (all courtesy of REI Outdoors). Special thanks to the City of San Diego Department of Parks and Open Space, Black Mountain District for their contributions and support! We also appreciate the ongoing support of our own local group of National Charity League volunteers who continue to be among our most committed volunteers.