MARCH 2023

Snow Days at Volcan Mountain

"What do you think... are snow days the best days? There sure aren't many in San Diego, so we're celebrating this serene snowfall at Volcan Mountain in Julian." — Words and photo by Eric Jones, Volcan Mountain Foundation



Lake Hodges Walk-N-Talk

We're super excited for our second-Tuesday-of-the-month Walk-N-Talk trip to Lake Hodges 9 a.m. March 14.

Joining us are two expert birders, Ed and Phyllis Mirsky. Bring your binoculars!

Hernandez Hideaway is located right at the trailhead. Our plan is to burn some calories on the hike and stack 'em right back on at the restaurant afterwards.

Join us!



Feeling the love in Crest Canyon

Our Pre-Valentine's Day stroll Feb. 13 brought us to Crest Canyon in Del Mar.

We walked and talked about habitat restoration, rare coastal chaparral and other things we love.

ESP at Lake Southerland

An Exploring our Sense of Place outing Feb. 4 brought a small group to Lake Southerland.

ESP participants experience the San Dieguito River during all seasons and follow its course from mountain to sea.

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Thanks so much to Ramona Trails Association for hosting a fundraiser Feb. 25 that jointly benefited RTA, San Dieguito River Park and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. We can't wait to partner with Ramona Trails Association for more excellent events in the future!

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You won’t find a nicer place to practice. Get your namaste on at 10 a.m. on the third Sunday of every month at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom.

Expert presenters kept their audience riveted Feb. 18 during a Next to Nature demonstration event.

Our very own Joseph Rivera represented the Conservancy as an alumni during a panel discussion at UC San Diego. Joseph spoke to 50 students about his role and his love for nature and conservation. Thanks to his connections at the university, we have recruited interns to help us advance the Conservancy's mission of conservation, education and recreation.

Coast to Crest Trail Challenge

Ted Foster and Miriam Way

You can do this!

In a series of five hikes, the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge takes you up and down the San Dieguito Watershed, from scrubby foothills to the pine forest with plenty of oaks and grasslands in between.

Get details online. We'll see you on the trail!

C2C Challenge Info

Tony Rowe

Janet and Larry Pollack

Scott Sweeney

Brian Morgan

Lynn Loeb and Susan Flagstad


Hit Us With Your Best Shot

East basin of the San Dieguito Lagoon by Kim Rogers. Send your best shot to [email protected] and post with the hashtag #sdrvc

River Park News

Oohs and ahs during Introduction to Birding

By Faith Barton

One weekend in early February, I had the privilege of leading a troop of Girl Scouts on an “Introduction to Birding” outing down the River Path at the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar. As we headed toward the San Dieguito boardwalk trail, I glanced up to watch a pair of adult ospreys perched atop a tall telephone pole. I checked on the scouts behind me and looked back at the raptors just in time to notice that the male had departed from its perch, followed by a watery splash. I smiled as several ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ sounded behind me as we watched the massive osprey emerge from the water with a large flounder and bring his catch back up to the telephone pole. When I asked the girls what the highlight of their trip was, they readily said the osprey.

At the end of the outing, one of the scouts’ moms asked how I became passionate about birds. My response was, “I did a little bit of birding every day, starting in my backyard.”

That is my best advice for anyone interested in learning about the avian world. Observing bird behavior, unique sounds, and interactions within the ecosystem fosters a greater appreciation for the biodiversity all around us. That way, we can preserve the world that we are so blessed with for our children and the generations that follow.

Faith Barton is a 14-year-old birder and avid wildlife photographer. She leads Early Birds, a monthly birding group from Jamul Community Church. See Faith's photography on Instagram @thebirdsofpraise.

Introducing Hannah, our new volunteer

Hannah Butler is a plant enthusiast who couldn’t wait to join us at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead to garden and enhance the quality of the environment. In the native plant garden, she removed non-native plant species and collected native seeds, like bladderpod and bush sunflower, to propagate. In the creek, she is working to restore the riparian habitat. She removed more non-native and invasive plants, disposed of trash, and cleared out dry brush. Thank you, Hannah, for all of your hard work at Sikes!

Interpretive Ranger Volunteer Training

The first Interpretive Ranger Volunteer Training was held Feb. 18 at the Escondido Library. The Watershed Explorer Program is underway with the spring programs. There will also be summer and fall programs at Volcan Mountain Foundation, Ilan Leal, Surprise Farm Retreat Center, San Diego Archeological Center, Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, Lake Hodges and the San Dieguito Lagoon. It's not too late to learn about being a part of this amazing program!

Contact Senior Interpretive Ranger Leana Bulay at [email protected]

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The reunion of a historical piece at Sikes Adobe

On February 19, 2023, a historical three drawer wooden bureau was delivered to the Sikes Adobe Farmstead from Northern California by Sikes family descendants. The bureau belonged to Katherine “Kate” Sikes Cravath, daughter of Eliza and Zenas, who lived at the Sikes Adobe Farmstead from 1872-1897. The bureau dates to between 1887-1890 and came from Escondido, as marked on the back. The bureau was donated by Jeff Cravath and Merdith Goshorn, the great grandchildren of Kate Sikes. Jeff and his wife generously drove the bureau down from Northern California so it could be displayed in the historical Sikes family home. Join us on Sundays from 10am-1pm during one of our guided tours and see the new artifact. No reservation required. Come on in!

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