Dear ,

How did you celebrate Earth Month?
We had a wonderful April -- between Lagoon Day and Earth Day planting, the Bio Blitz for the City Nature Challenge, and our Volunteer Appreciation Event, the month flew by. 

April also saw the 150th Coast to Crest Trail Challenge finisher! Don't forget, this first Challenge runs through June. We're hard at work planning the next challenge -- stay tuned for more details in the coming months!

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 Aaron Chang
News & Updates
Support for Prop 68 Grows as California Voters Call for Clean Water and Safe Parks
On the June ballot, Californians will have a chance to address some of our state's  most important water, park, and natural resource needs.

At a time when California faces more frequent and severe droughts, damaging wildfires,  floods, and the impacts of climate change, Prop. 68 invests in safeguarding our water  supplies and preparing for future challenges and natural disasters.

Prop 68 also helps communities across California that lack access to safe parks and clean  drinking water, ensuring that all California residents, regardless of zip code, have access to  the safe, clean water that they deserve and safe places for kids to play.

That's why the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is in strong support of Prop 68, a $4 billion investment in the coming years to protect California's own unique natural resources and ensure every Californian has access to clean drinking water and safe parks.

Locally, we've joined Back Country Land Trust, Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation, Biocitizen Inc., Buena Vista Audubon Society, Escondido Creek Conservancy, Fallbrook Land Conservancy, Lakeside's River Park Conservancy, Ocean Discovery Institute, Outdoor Outreach, Palomar Audubon Society, Preserve Calavera, San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, Volcan Mountain Foundation, and Wildcoast in supporting Yes on 68.

To learn more about Yes On 68 California and what you can do to help spread the word --  such as endorsing Prop 68, sending an email of support or sharing content via Facebook and Twitter - - please visit their website at
ESP Program Returning in Fall
The Conservancy's popular Exploring Our Sense of Place program is officially open for registration!

Participants, or "explorers," 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.

Exploring Our Sense of Place includes eight excursions, which are held monthly from September 2018 through May 2019. Each excursion will feature an expert on topics like Mammals & Tracking, Native Americans, Botany, and more.

The program cost is $250 per person or $450 per couple. Visit for more details and to register!

As a public service to our supporters, we are providing information on the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside initiative.  Signatures are currently being gathered to place this item on the November 2018 ballot.  The Conservancy has not endorsed this measure at this time.


Please visit for more info and to contribute.
Tick Talk
Ticks are native insects that carry dangerous vector-borne illnesses. Ticks can be found in all sections of the San Dieguito River Park. While they are most commonly found in the warmer months, they are active all year around. Ticks in San Diego County have tested positive for Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Fever, and Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever. In early 2018, ticks with Tularemia have been found in Sorrento Valley. 

Read more
Equestrian Use at San Dieguito Lagoon

Please keep in mind that horses are not allowed on the Coast to Crest Trail or any Lagoon trails west of I-5.
River Valley Fest 2018 is on October 14!

Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Lily Dong at Clevenger Canyon
35 people completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in April!

Congratulations to:

Mary Hackett & Jason Murtaugh
Cathy Pautz
Lily Dong
Bill Bunker
Felix Costa & Laura Alleva
Tina Dean
Tony Rowe
Yvonne & Kevin Kwan
Lisa Hoffman
Wayne Norman
Janet Merrill
Randall Cornish
Teresa Clanton
Ivan Sablan
Holly McDonald
Steve Scarano
Victor & Cindy Uyeji
Dan Conger, Rich Grow, Sandra Grow, and Kelly Mamer
Jack Ross & Barbara Bolton
Maia Davidson & Lori Walsh
Mary Rodriguez
Harshita Swaroopa
Anna Tink
Trish Johnson
Joe Bonner & Brian Jenkins

Over 175 people have completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge so far! We are thrilled that so many of you have taken on the Challenge.

And this month, we need to recognize this crew that completed the WHOLE CHALLENGE in ONE DAY! 

Dan Conger, Rich Grow, Sandra Grow, and Kelly Mamerstarted at Volcan Mountain, then completed the hikes at Clevenger Canyon, Bernardo Summit, Del Dios Gorge, and the Lagoon! We are impressed!

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up in May
5/5 - Clevenger Canyon Graffiti Removal
San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is assisting the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department in its efforts to remove graffiti from boulders located in this historic and scenic preserve.

For more information, please contact SDRVC Conservation Manager Jonathan Appelbaum at  (858) 344-6654 or .

When: Saturday, May 5th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Clevenger Canyon North ( 18379-18499 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Ramona)

5/5 - DAR Plaque Dedication Ceremony at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
Through research into the ancestors of Zenas Sikes, who helped found the farming community of Bernardo and ushered in the first generation of commercial agriculture in North San Diego County, the De Anza Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) found that his forefathers had served in the American Revolution.

The De Anza Chapter DAR has made a plaque to commemorate the Sikes Adobe and the influence the Sikes family had on the development of early San Diego. Please join the San Dieguito River Park and the De Anza Chapter DAR in celebrating the completion of this historical marker for Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead.

When: Saturday, May 5th at 11:00 am
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead

5/7 - Technical Workshop for the SONGs San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project
A public workshop will be conducted by California Coastal Commission (CCC) staff and contract  scientists to present the 2017 results of the CCC monitoring program for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) wetland mitigation project (San Dieguito Wetlands).

For more information, please contact Laurie Koteen at (415) 904-5211  or Steve Schroeter at (760) 438-5953.

For more information about the SONGS mitigation projects and monitoring programs please visit: .

When: Monday, May 7th from 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Where: Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center ( 1658 Coast Blvd., Del Mar)

5/8 - Ms. Smarty-Plants ™ Beautiful Butterflies
Join Ms. Smarty-Plants™ in learning about one of our favorite pollinators, butterflies! Discover more about these beautiful and fascinating creatures along with how to create a butterfly habitat and how to help one of our most threatened butterflies, the Monarch. 

This is a free, family friendly event (ages 4-8).

If you have any questions please contact Ana Lutz, Education Manager at

When: Tuesday, May 8th from 10:00 to 10:30 am
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead

5/26 - Leave No Trace Interpretive Walk at Piedras Pintadas
Albert Bates, a Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator will lead an interpretive hike at Piedras Pintadas this month to discuss LNT Principles #6 (Respect wildlife) and #2 (Travel and camp on durable surfaces).

When: Saturday, May 26th

May Events

Sundays, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market & Farmhouse Tours
Saturday, 5/5:
Clevenger Canyon North Volunteer Graffiti Removal

DAR Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony
Sunday, 5/6:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count

Monday, 5/7:
Technical Workshop for the SONGs San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project

Tuesday, 5/8:
Ms. Smarty-Plants Beautiful Butterflies
Saturday, 5/12:

Sunday, 5/13:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance

Kanaka Loop Spring Flowers Hike

Gonzales Canyon - Torrey Pines Loop Hike
Saturday, 5/19:
Volunteer Habitat Restoration

San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk

Gonzales Canyon Volunteer Event
Saturday, 5/26:  
LNT Interpretive Walk at Piedras Pintadas
Sunday, 5/27:
Crest Canyon Hike

What Happened in April
Teradata Cares Volunteers at Sikes Adobe  

Teradata, a local software company, partners with the San Dieguito River Park to provide volunteer opportunities for their employees through their program Teradata Cares. In years past, one Teradata Cares group donated native plants and interpretive panels for the Dust Devil Nature Trail.

This year, Teradata Cares volunteers helped the rangers maintain habitat restoration efforts in a section of the park between Sikes Adobe and Kit Carson Creek. Volunteers cleared weeds from around our native plants, watered, spread mulch, and hand pulled invasive non-natives. It was a hot day, but they pushed through and were rewarded with a tour of Sikes Adobe. Water quality and habitat are interconnected in the San Dieguito River watershed, the improved health of one can improve the quality of the other. 

Thank you Teradata Cares volunteers for your continued help in the park!

Volunteer Appreciation Day  

This year's San Dieguito River Park and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy volunteer appreciation party was held at Lake Hodges on April 14th with over 80 past and present volunteers. 

This year the SDRP honored:
  • Trail Patroller Lynda Esquivel
  • Sikes Interpretive Farmstead Volunteers Monica Demler, Ken Krieger and Ken McDonald
  • Coast Dust Devils: Steve Scarano, Jeanne Chick, Tom Golich, Cindy Uyeji, Victor Uyeji, David Jones, Carol Carr, and Jeff Barnouw. 
Carol Carr was also nominated for all her work on other projects and committees. Jeff Barnouw and Freda Reid were nominated for donors of the year.

The Conservancy honored Jim  Smith for his hard work and leadership during restoration events at Crest Canyon and lending his knowledge and expertise on nature at Watershed Explorers field trips and other outreach events.

A special presentation was made to Joan Griffin by the Conservancy to honor Joan and her late husband, Monty, for making the Pamo Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail a reality.  Their significant contribution funded the planning, design and permitting costs of this trail, to be completed at the end of 2018/early 2019.

The San Dieguito River Park and Conservany rely heavily on the help of our volunteers to aid in restoration and preservation of the Park. If you are interested in supporting the park and joining us in the preservation process please, contact Leana Bulay
at or (760)716-1214 or Ana Lutz at or (858)755-6956.
Lagoon Day

The 16th annual Lagoon Day was held on April 21st at the Birdwing Open Air Classroom and hosted by the San Dieguito River Park, San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee, Sky Hunters, and Canyon Crest Academy Elementary. This annual event invites families to come learn more about the San Dieguito River watershed and lagoon.

Watercolors of the Watershed

As part of the Conservancy's Watershed Explorers Experiences Program, local artist, Kerry Campbell, a resident of Encinitas, led 20 students from Epiphany Prep Charter School in Escondido in two of three "Watercolor s of the Watershed" painting classes.

The first session took place at North Beach in Del Mar on Earth Day.

The second group gathered at Del Dios Gorge on April 28.

As you can see, their artwork was magnificent!


Earth Day Planting 

As part of the I Love a Clean San Diego Creek to Bay Cleanup on Earth Day, April 21, more than 40 volunteers of all ages rolled up their sleeves on Earth Day to help the Conservancy plant over 160 different native species and remove 200 yards of ice plant. They also removed 2,500 pounds of asphalt and debris that had been dumped on the area over the years.
Bio Blitz for the City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe through the use of the iNaturalist app. Cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people! For 2018, 69 cities participated, including San Diego. The Conservancy recorded data at Bernardo Bay, and contributed to the identification of over 2500 species County wide! 
Herp Hangout

Local herpetologist and dedicated SDRVC volunteer, Jeff Nordland, showcased some of San Diego's most dynamic snakes, lizards, and more! Participants  learned about their local habitats and current impacts due to human activity, all while touching and holding some of our legless friends. 
Full Moon Hike

From the sunset to the moonrise, it was a beautiful evening for 40 enthusiastic explorers at the Full Moon Hike at the Lagoon on the 29th!   We saw some wild "night" life along the trail, including egrets, rabbits and lizards.  The sounds of nature in the evening were in full swing as birds, frogs and other creatures were still wide awake!