We're looking forward to the Conservancy's second annual Wax & Wine event at the end of this month -- are you joining us?

We held this event last year to celebrate the Conservancy's 30th anniversary, and it proved to be such a hit, we decided to bring it back for a second year. Similarly, we launched the Trails & Ales hiking series last year, and it sold out so fast we knew we had to do it again. Trails & Ales happened again last fall, and the third round, which starts this month, sold out as well! 

photo by Aaron Chang

We're grateful that the conservation, education, and recreation programs throughout the River Park are reaching so many people. Attendees at our events may be exploring a well-loved trail, finding a "new-to-them" trail, or discovering the River Park for the first time. Thank you for sharing your love for the River Park and Conservancy!

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, March
5, 12, 19, 26
10:30 am - 3:30 pm
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market - Rain or Shine!
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:

Saturday, March 4
10:00 am - 11:30 am
History Talk 
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Saturday, March 4
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Cannon History Talk 
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Sunday, March 5
7:30 am - 12:00 pm
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Hosted by San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count Leader Jayne Lesley

Saturday, March 5
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wildcrafting: Spring Greens Forest Feast
Meet at Volcan Mountain Nature Center:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation Education Coordinator Janice Smith
Cost: $20/person, 
limit 12 participants

Saturday, March 11
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Ranger-Led Walk at the San Dieguito Lagoon
1.7 miles, easy
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Bryan Ward

Saturday, March 11
10:00 am - 11:30 am
A Geological History of San Diego
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Saturday, March 11
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Bread Making
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Sunday, March 12
8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Volunteer Trail Maintenance
Hosted by SDRP Ranger David Hekel

Sunday, March 12
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Full Moon Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon
Hosted by SDRVC

Wednesday, March 15
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Discover the Fungus Among-us at Volcan Mountain
Meet at San Diego County Library, Julian:
Co-hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation and San Diego Mycological Society

Saturday, March 18
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Volunteer Habitat Restoration
Hosted by SDRP Ranger Jake Gibbes

Saturday, March 18
8:30 am - 11:30 am
Lake Hodges Bird Walk
Hosted by Palomar Audubon Society

Saturday, March 18
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Family Ride with San Diego Mountain Biking Association
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Saturday, March 18
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
California Mountain Lion Project
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Sunday, March 19
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Planting Party
Hosted by Del Dios Habitat Protection League

Sunday, March 19
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Help Save Our Cactus Wren - Cactus Propagation Party
Meet at Big Tree Nursery:
Co-hosted by SDRVC and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research

S unday, March 19
10:00 am
Yoga at the Birdwing
Co-hosted by SDRVC and Yoga Instructor Susan McCrea

Saturday, March 25
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Furry Friends Hike at Crest Canyon
Meet at Crest Canyon North Kiosk: 
Hosted by SDRVC
Free; please bring a donation for the Helen Woodward Animal Center

Saturday, March 25
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Native Plant Walk
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Saturday, March 25
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Mask Making Demo
(Sikes Saturday Series)
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead:
Hosted by SDRP

Sunday, March 26
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Second Annual Wax & Wine
Hosted by SDRVC
Cost: $50 for members; $75 for non-members

Sunday, March 26
4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
26th Annual Dinner Dance & Auction
Camp Stevens:
Hosted by Volcan Mountain Foundation
Cost: Early Bird - $75/person, After 3/12 - $85/person

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
Sign Ups Open for Watershed Explorers
Looking for a unique, interactive outdoor activity for your class or youth group? The Watershed Explorers Program has several dates available for field trips in the upcoming months.

The Watershed Explorers Program consists of five field trips to different sites within the San Dieguito Watershed, including Volcan Mountain, Lake Sutherland, the San Diego Archaeological Center, the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, and the Birdwing Open Air Classroom at the San Dieguito Lagoon.

Each visit focuses on a different theme providing a unique opportunity for participants to experience and learn about the many facets of the watershed from the natural world to its history and cultural significance. As they experience the outdoors, explorers develop a "sense of place" and appreciation for the environment - recognizing they play a role in preserving and protecting the natural and cultural resources of the watershed.

Field trips are offered throughout the week, starting at 9:00 am. Each trip lasts 2-4 hours and is appropriate for grades 5-12. Visit the Watershed Explorers site for more info and details about the activities at each location. Check available dates and sign up your group here.

Recent Storms Filling Lake Hodges
Have you visited Lake Hodges lately? We've been watching the water levels rise with each storm over the past two months. For the first time in several years, there's water under the David Kreitzer Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge!

taken February 8th

taken February 28th

We'd love to see your photos of the bridge and Lake Hodges! Share them on Facebook or Instagram with the tag #SDRVC or #SDRP!

Both photos by Peter Shapiro

Saint Katherine College Undergraduates Investigate Ecological Patterns and Processes in Del Dios Gorge
Saint Katherine is a young (est. 2010), WASC-accredited college of liberal arts and sciences located in San Marcos, CA. On January 30th, twenty undergraduates from Saint Katherine College, led by Professor Andrew Nosal, visited a stretch of the San Dieguito River in the Del Dios Gorge, about a mile downstream from the Lake Hodges Dam. The purpose of the visit was to investigate patterns and processes of biological diversity, as part of field laboratory exercise. 

This portion of riparian habitat contains a swath of dark gray igneous rock, formed by an ancient volcano about 100 million years ago, which harbors a variety of ponds, streams, and cascades for the students to explore. The students quantified differences in flora and fauna within and among the different ponds and formulated and tested hypotheses to explain these patterns. This hidden gem of San Diego County was the perfect setting to introduce these undergraduates to field research and will be a tremendous asset to future classes. 

Hodges Riparian Restoration Initiative
Starting  March 15 , the City of San Diego and River Partners, a nonprofit conservation organization helping to preserve and restore California's rivers, will begin work on a 100-acre restoration site located directly adjacent to the north bank of the San Dieguito River, just upstream from Lake Hodges. 

This project will restore native riparian habitat and benefit threatened and endangered species in the River Park, including least Bell's vireo ( Vireo bellii pusillus ) and arroyo toad ( Anaxyrus californicus ). This work is being conducted in partnership with the Conservancy and is funded by a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board. For more information and status updates, please visit the project's Facebook page

Partnering with Local Youth
The San Pasqual Academy, in the heart of the San Pasqual Valley, is the first residential education campus in the country to serve only foster youth. The Academy provides a stable, caring home, a quality education, and preparation for independent living for 136 youth. 

The San Dieguito River Park has been working with students at the career center to expose them to internships and potential job opportunities in the field of natural resources and conservation. 

Watershed Educator Training Underway
Volunteer educators for the Watershed Explorers Program recently finished their first class at the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy's offices. The first training focused on orienting volunteers to the program and important concepts related to watersheds. The next round of training, coming up in February and March, will introduce them to the specific activities they will lead and give them practical tips for doing so. 

The volunteer educators represent a wide variety of backgrounds and interests; they are college students, retirees, and professionals working in such fields of fire safety, transportation planning, and landscape architecture.   

We currently have eight people signed up as active volunteers -- and we're looking for more! Join now and we'll catch you up before the on-site training starts. Get more information about the program and sign up to be an educator here.

Coming Up in March
ESP Alumni Hike
March 5th
This hike is for graduates of the Exploring Our Sense of Place Program who have a current membership with the SDRVC. You can renew your membership online.  

The hike begins at 8:00 am in Poway. We will hike down the Martha's Grove Trail, up Cardiac Hill, down the Ridge Trail into Sycamore Canyon and back to the start. We should have good wildflower viewing and we will make a brief stop in the Goodan Ranch Center. The location of the meeting point will be sent after you register for the hike. Please leave your pets at home.  

When : Sunday, March 5th at 8:00 am
Where: Directions provided upon registration

Sikes Saturday Series
March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
March is an exciting month at the Sikes Saturday Series. Programs include history talks, geology, bread making, family mountain bike rides, mountain lions, native plant walks and mask making.  

For program details, the full schedule of the events, and to register, go to Space is limited for each event. Early registration is encouraged. 

Full Moon Hike
March 12th
Join us for a family-friendly hike by the light of the moon along the the San Dieguito Lagoon -- a special treat! Don't forget your flashlights! Dogs on leash are welcome!

When: March 12th at 7:00 pm  
Where: Directions available upon registration

Help Save Our Cactus Wren
March 19th
Join the Conservancy and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research (ICR) as we help propagate cactus to restore nesting habitat for the locally-imperiled Coastal Cactus Wren. 

photo by Rustom Jamadar

ICR has been busy collecting prickly pear cactus from the field and needs our help to pot the cactus pads at the nursery. This will be a fun, social activity -- and we'll provide special gloves to make sure this isn't a prickly affair!

When: Sunday, March 19th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 
Where: Big Tree Nursery, 12450 Highland Valley Rd., Escondido

Furry Friends Hike
March 25th
Bring your dog(s) and join the Conservancy for an easy and family-friendly Furry Friends Hike through beautiful Crest Canyon in Del Mar (approximately 2.6 miles round-trip). Crest Canyon is a beautiful example of coastal sage scrub intermingled with southern maritime chaparral, both rapidly disappearing with development along the coast. Rare plants such as Del Mar manzanita find a home here among vast displays of lemonadeberry, bush sunflower and coastal goldenbush. The canyon is dotted with Torrey Pines, found only in this area of San Diego County and on Santa Rosa Island off the Santa Barbara coast.

When : Saturday, March 25th at 9:00 am
Where : Crest Canyon North Kiosk, 2703 Racetrack View Dr., Del Mar
Cost: Free; please bring a donation (dog or cat food/treats) for the Helen Woodward Animal Center

Wax & Wine
March 26th
Our 2nd annual Wax & Wine at the Knorr Candle Factory is on March 26th!

Savor gourmet fair, sip delicious wine selected by chefs, enjoy live music, learn how to make your own beeswax candle and take it home, and stroll the lovely gardens at the Knorr Candle Factory!

Register today -- we expect this event will sell out!

When: Sunday, March 26th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm 
Where: Knorr Candle Factory, Del Mar

What Happened in February
Valentine's Teas at Sikes Adobe
Last month, the docents of Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead hosted Valentine's-inspired teas for the 7th year in a row. The fare included finger sandwiches, baked goods such as scones and cookies, and of course, a wide selection of piping hot tea. The tea was served in the traditional British style: brewed in a teapot and poured into period teacups. Afterwards, rangers and docents led attendees on a tour of the house.  

Holding teas and other social events at the Sikes Adobe is fitting because pioneer farmers, such as Eliza and Zenas Sikes, would have entertained guests as a means of socializing and keeping in touch. The family took part in activities like tea in the Sikes' sitting room or Zenas' membership in the Grange to cope with the isolation of 1800s rural life in the agricultural community of Bernardo.
Valentine's on Volcan
It was a cold and windy hike to the summit of Volcan Mountain -- so the beverages and food were enjoyed to the fullest!

SBPC Community Serve Day
The Solana Beach Presbyterian Church invited the Conservancy to join them for its Community Serve Day. On February 26th, 14 volunteers for SBPC joined the Conservancy, San Diego Canyonlands, and City of San Diego Open Space Rangers to conduct trail maintenance at Gonzalez Canyon. With their help, we trimmed trees and shrubs along a one-mile portion of recreational trails.

Exec Trek at Del Dios Gorge
Thanks to all who came out for the Exec Trek in Del Dios Gorge last month! It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed an invigorating hike with great company.

photo by Gil Jansky

photo by Mary Lueking