Dear ,

Are we actually getting... winter in San Diego??
It seems like it! The temperatures have dropped and the recent storm brought several inches of snow to Julian! If you're able, we highly recommend a hike up Volcan Mountain -- you'll be able to enjoy entirely different scenery than what you're used to. Just be sure to bundle up!

While we're enjoying this rare change in the weather, we're also looking ahead to warmer days...especially relaxing in the beautiful gardens of Knorr Candle Shoppe! That's right, Wax & Wine is back for the third year in a row and reservations are still available! If you've joined us the past two years, you know what a wonderful afternoon you're in for...if not, make 2018 the year! We'll be snacking on gourmet bites from Urban Kitchen Catering, sipping wine and craft beer, and enjoying live music from Bill Fleming. 

Plus, Knorr artisan David will show you how to make your own beeswax candle, and you'll get a discount on all purchases in their gift shop! We hope to see you there!

Thank you for your continued support of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Valley! Don't forget to renew your Conservancy membership and invite your friends, too!
Photo by Joseph Shell
News & Updates
Make Your Reservations for Wax & Wine!
It's Knorr's 90th Anniversary, We're Celebrating!
River Park Volunteer Spring Training
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
Training for Conservancy volunteer programs will be covered as well. 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.
MEMBERS ONLY Hike/Lecture Series: Trails & Tales
Thanks to a generous donation from the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, the Conservancy is excited to collaborate with the San Diego Archaeological Center for a new series that covers the Early History of the Western End of the San Dieguito River Valley.

Curator James W. Nelson, along with editors Richard Schwartzlose and Richard Moore, worked tirelessly to compile an extensive historic record of the River Valley from a time period of 11,000 YBP (years before present) to the mid-19th century. Participants in this series will travel through time and learn about ancient plant and animal species, early Native American Culture, and the Spanish Colonial Period.

The series includes two hikes and two informational presentations, all on Saturday mornings and lasting about 2-3 hours:
  1. Lecture at San Diego Archaeological Center, covering 11,000 YBP to 1769 (May 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  2. Guided hike at Piedras Pintadas (June 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)
  3. Lecture at San Diego Archaeological Center, covering Spanish Colonial Period to Battle of San Pasqual in 1846 (June 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  4. Guided hike at San Pasqual Battlefield (July 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
This unique series is FREE for members of the Conservancy or the Archaeological Center. Learn more and sign up here!
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.
River Valley Fest 2018 is on October 14!

Monthly Volunteer Opportunities with San Diego Canyonlands
San Diego Canyonlands is hosting monthly stewardship events at two locations in the River Park this year.

In March, join them on Thursday, 3/15 at Crest Canyon and on Saturday, 3/17 at Gonzales Canyon. During these monthly events, volunteers will remove trash and invasive non-native plants, plant/water native plants in restoration sites, maintain trails, and other canyon enhancements. Plus, you'll get to learn about San Diego's native plants and the importance of urban canyons to our ecosystem-while getting your hands good and dirty to serve your local open space and community!

For more information about these and other San Diego Canyonlands events, visit their Events Calendar.
Rangers Hike at Santa Ysabel
Recently, the Rangers from County of San Diego Parks and Recreation invited River Park staff to hike the gap between the east and west sections of the Coast to Crest Trail through the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve.

The County Rangers escorted River Park staff through an area of Santa Ysabel that the County of San Diego recently acquired. It had been previously used as rangeland for cattle. This section will eventually be incorporated into the Coast to Crest Trail, connecting the already existing east and west sections.

The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve consists of Oak Woodland, native perennial and non-native grassland, as well smaller areas of mixed chaparral. The landscape was dominated by old-growth Engelmann and Coast Live Oaks with Purple Needlegrass and occasional Blue-eyed Grass growing on the hills and fields.

The preserve is prime habitat for many species of raptors like Red-tailed Hawks and large mammals such as Mule Deer and Mountain Lion. It was a very cold morning, but the birds were out to give us a show as they flew from their perches atop willow trees.

Grasses and new spring growth are already apparent even from the meager rains that the area received earlier this year. Hike the Coast to Crest Trail in the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve in the months to come to see the wildflowers which will bloom in the spring!

Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Sarah Moehlenbruck on the summit of Bernardo Mountain
25 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in February!

Congratulations to:

Dane Bitte
Lisa Strand
Art & Mary Page
Rick & Kathie Wagner
Steve & Susana Kemmerrer
Sheila Speirs
Julie Adams
Lauren Smith
Patricia Wussler
Angela, Kendra, and Kameron Wofford
Pat Ray
Naj Taylor
Joanne Taylor
Chiara Esposito
Stella Ting
Keith Swensrud
Tim Shell
Laura Zapata
Gary Hogue
Sarah Moehlenbruck

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up in March
3/10 - Seashore Splash
Life is tough in the tidepools! With the guidance of Living Coast Discovery Center, children will discover some of the crazy ways tidepool animals are adapted for the rocky shores. 

With hands-on interaction, students will be able to touch, see, and discover what it takes to cling to a slippery home.

After the presentation, the Conservancy will lead you on an optional, easy, 4-mile round-trip hike around the San Dieguito Lagoon.

This event is generously underwritten by:
The Solana Beach Fund at Coastal Community Foundation and SDG&E

When: Saturday, March 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Birdwing Open Air Classroom
Space is limited to 50 people
3/31 - Full Moon Hike at Bernardo Bay
Join us for a full moon hike on the Bernardo Bay Trail!

The Bernardo Bay Trail provides a wonderful opportunity to observe hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds at Lake Hodges, designated a globally Important Bird Area in 1999. The reservoir, created when the San Dieguito River was dammed in 1918, is now a critical stop-over for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.

The hillsides around the lake are dominated by coastal sage scrub and recognized as one of the largest, and last, strongholds of the federally threatened California gnatcatcher. The protection and interpretation of the cultural resources in this area would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. Because of the sensitive nature of the art and artifacts here and their great significance to the Kumeyaay, your respect for these resources is greatly appreciated.

Dogs are welcome on leash.

When: Saturday, March 31st from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Meeting location will be provided after registration
March Events

Sundays, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market & Farmhouse Tours
Saturday, 3/3:
Santa Ysabel West Back Trails Hike
Sunday, 3/4:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count

Falcons and Hawks! The Art of Falconry

South Clevenger Canyon Hike

Saturday, 3/10:
All-Day Hike to the Top of the Coast to Crest Trail

Sunday, 3/11:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance

Ramona Grasslands Bird Walk
Thursday, 3/15:
Invasive Removal Work Party
Saturday, 3/17: 
Lake Hodges Bird Walk

Volunteer Habitat Restoration

San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk

Trail Clearance Work Party
Sunday, 3/18:
Canyoneers Hike at Gonzales Canyon - Torrey Pines Loop

Gonzales Canyon - Lagoon Trail Wildflower Walk

Yoga at the Birdwing

Sunday, 3/25:

Ranger-Led Hike with the Escondido Jaycees

Saturday, 3/31:
San Pasqual Valley Bird Walk

What Happened in February
Ms. Smarty Plants and the Magic of Water  

We had a wonderful day with Ms. Smarty Plants at the Birdwing! At least 20 children enjoyed a fun, informative and magical program where they learned all about the water cycle and they can change the world with their own two hands! 

Valentine's on Volcan  

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the third Valentine's on Volcan hike! The weather was perfect for an invigorating hike and picnic at the summit!  
Valentine's Teas at Sikes  

For the sixth year, Sikes Adobe volunteers and docents celebrated Valentine's Day with a
high tea at the Farmhouse.

The teas (four in total) were held over the weekend before Valentine's Day, with around 80 people in attendance. They enjoyed homemade cookies and finger sandwiches as well as scones donated by the Grand Tea Room in Escondido.

The Valentine's Teas at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead gives visitors an opportunity to sip tea in the same sitting room Eliza Sikes did in the 1880's and contemplate what farm life was like in early North San Diego County.

The Valentine's Tea is the main fundraiser for the Friends of Sikes Adobe. Founded in 2013, the Friends of Sikes Adobe is a small, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose goal is to preserve and interpret the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, a rare 19th-century home, and its importance in the early North County San Diego farming community.

The Friends of Sikes Adobe partners with the San Dieguito River Park JPA in order to support the preservation, interpretation, and educational development of the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead. If you are interested in becoming involved with the Friends, please contact the ranger at (760) 432-8318 or visit

If you missed the Valentine's Teas, you can still visit the Grand Tea Room in Escondido and enjoy the same scones.

Santa Ysabel Hike with Del Mar Lagoon Committee

Conservancy Executive Director Trish joined the Del Mar Lagoon Committee for a hike through the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve East last month!
Community Serve Day with SBPC

We had a great turnout for the annual Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (SBPC) Community
Serve Day.

Led by Ranger Carey from the City of San Diego Department of Park and Recreation, Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the Conservancy, and site director TJ Freedland of the SBPC, 8 enthusiastic volunteers trimmed brush along the Torrey Pines Loop Trail through Gonzales Canyon.

The weather was perfect and the native plants Including black sage, lemonade berry and monkey flower, are starting to bloom.

The City of San Diego and SDRVC thank the SBPC for helping to keep our trails beautiful and safe.

Coast to Crest Challenge Guided Hike: Clevenger Canyon

We had a great time with this group of Coast to Crest Challengers! It was a great day for trekking through Clevenger Canyon to the chairs!