Dear ,

It's time -- River Valley Fest is right around the corner!
We are eagerly anticipating seeing you at L'Auberge Del Mar on the 13th! Enjoy live music from Gregory Page, a gourmet dinner buffet, and of course, an exciting live auction! 

Remember, a wonderful way to share your passion for the River Park and Conservan cy is to pass along the invitation to friends and family. Reservations and sponsorship options are available HERE!

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!
Photo by Aaron Chang
News & Updates
Reservations Are Open!

Trish Boaz Named One of 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego
Last month, the Daily Transcript named Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz to its list of 50 influential leaders in San Diego! Congratulations, Trish!

Click here to read the full article.

Conservancy Issues Request for Proposal San Dieguito Lagoon "Opportunity Parcels" Restoration Feasibility Study
In 2019, WILDCOAST invited the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to submit projects for inclusion in a grant application to benefit San Diego County Wetlands Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Restoration Project through the California Ocean Protection Council's Once Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program.

One of these projects is the development of a feasibility, opportunities and constraints report - including cost estimates - to eradicate invasive plants and restore with native plants at three sites located in the San Dieguito Lagoon Marine Conservation Area (MCA) - including locations known as the upper Brigantine Basin, I-5/Via De La Valle Interchange area and the "Del Mar Triangle" parcel.

The Conservancy is pleased to issue a Request for Proposals for San Dieguito Lagoon "Opportunity Parcels" Restoration Feasibility Studies and Conceptual Design Drawings.  Please visit the Conservancy's website for more information.

New Scouts Projects Completed at Sikes Adobe
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of numerous scout projects over the years. At the end of August, a new auxiliary shed was constructed by Aidan Conant Guy from Troop 668.  The main Sikes shed reached capacity, and we needed extra storage for our special event materials and other tools.

Aidan officially reached the rank of Eagle Scout in September when his project was accepted by the scout board.

Other Eagle Scout projects completed earlier this year include a new interpretive kiosk for the Sikes Adobe Staging Area, built by Thomas Neitzel, and a bathroom trailer facade, built by Christian Reynaldo, both also from Troop 668.

The San Dieguito River Park is grateful for these Eagle Scouts for choosing Sikes Adobe for their projects. If you know a scout looking to complete an Eagle Project in the park, please have them contact Park Ranger Felipe at

River Park Featured in Westways Photo Contest
Congratulations to Heidi Short for her Honorable Mention Award in the  2019 Westways Photo Contest!

Rate the Conservancy on Great Nonprofits!
If you love our work then tell the world! Stories about us from people like you will help us make an even bigger impact in our community. GreatNonprofits - the #1 source of nonprofit stories and feedback - is honoring highly regarded nonprofits with their 2019 Top-Rated List. 

Won't you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us? All content will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. 

It's easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go here to get started!

Docent Tour Exchange
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead volunteers and interpretive staff visited the Rancho Penasquitos  Adobe at the end of August as part of the San Dieguito River Park's enrichment program. We
received an in-depth tour from docent Gloria and County Park Ranger Michelle.  
The original wing of the Rancho Penasquitos Adobe is almost 50 years older than Sikes Adobe, but a significant expansion was built almost around the same time Sikes Adobe was built. It was interesting to see some of the similarities in the structure of the house and how the tour was given, but a significant difference was Rancho Penasquitos was primarily used as a cattle ranch throughout its history, while Sikes Adobe was primarily a farm while the Sikes family lived there, and only became a cattle ranch after Hodges Reservoir was built.  

Rancho Penasquitos Adobe is also much bigger, with an original working spring house (while the Sikes Adobe Creamery is a replica of what used to be on the property, but the spring no longer exists) and a barn (which we really want at Sikes Adobe).
In mid-September, Sikes Adobe hosted the Rancho Penasquitos Adobe docents and Ranger Michelle with a reciprocal tour.
We would like to thank Steve and Anita, who are docents for both Sikes Adobe and Rancho Penasquitos Adobe, for suggesting the tour of Rancho Pensquitos Adobe and giving the tour of Sikes Adobe.
For more information about visiting Sikes Adobe, please click here.
For more information about visiting Rancho Penasquitos Adobe, please click here.

Bird of the Month: Spotted Sandpiper
by Senior Ranger David Hekel

The Spotted Sandpiper is a small shorebird that constantly bobs its tail while working edges of streams, ponds, and lakes for invertebrates. Several individuals may be found at the same body of water, but never forms tight flocks. Underparts spotted in summer; plain in winter. Listen for two- or three- noted whistled call as they flush from shorelines. Distinctive wingbeats: snappy and below horizontal.

Spotted Sandpipers are one of the most widespread sandpipers in North America. They can be found in almost all habitats near water, everything from the shorelines of wild rivers and lakes to urban and agricultural ponds and pools. Within the San Dieguito River Park, they are common along the shores of Lake Hodges and in the San Dieguito Lagoon.

Spotted Sandpipers are among a small minority of birds that have reversed sex roles; i.e., females are more aggressive and active in courtship than males, and males take the primary parental role.

They were the first bird species in which males were found to have higher levels than females of prolactin, a pituitary hormone known for its promotion of parental care. This finding is associated with the greater male parental care typical of this species. So they are great stay-at-home Dads!
Congrats Coast to Crest Trail Challengers!
Marie-Louise Galang at Santa Ysabel West
11 people (plus one trail dog) completed the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge in September!

Congratulations to:
Neil Cadwallader
Don Crittenden
Larry Kara
Erin Shipp
Chloe Sells
Jill Sells
George Okada
Bryan Mangosing
Marie-Louise Galang
Shanna & Keith Van Wagner (and their dog Sage!)

Learn more about the Coast to Crest Trail Challenge here.
Coming Up
10/5 - Move It! with Living Coast Discovery Center

Looking for a free, family fun event? Join the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and Living Coast Discovery Center at La Colonia Community Center for a one of a kind interactive presentation on Saturday, October 5th.

Animals slither, swim, jump, and fly in very interesting ways. Students will learn about local animals that call San Diego home. Through fun dance moves and up-close animal encounters, children will walk away knowing how to crawl like a tortoise and slither like a snake.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Registration is required and limited to 50 persons. Please arrive five minutes early for parking and sign in.

Questions? Email Ana Lutz-Johnson at or call 858 755 6956.
This program is made possible from generous funds granted from the City of Solana Beach.

WhenSaturday, October 5th from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead

10/19 - SDRVC Sunset Herp Hike with Expert Jeff Nordland

On October 19th, the Conservancy and expert guide Jeff Nordland will be celebrating National Reptile Awareness Day with a sunset herp hike at Bernardo Bay!

From 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM, Jeff will be leading participants on an easy/moderate hike around Bernardo Bay in search of San Diego native herps. These species are important in the life cycle, as they are both predators and sometimes prey for our raptors.

The group will be meeting near the front entrance of the parking lot, and  promptly begin after a brief safety talk. If needed, there is a portable restroom that may be used prior to the hike.

IMPORTANT NOTES: This hike is best suited for ages 8 years old and up. Please be prepared to hike at a leisurely pace in the hopes the group will see and identify native herps. In addition, come prepared with adequate hiking/ running shoes, pants (no shorts), a snack, sun protection, and water. If you have binoculars, we also encourage you to bring those, though they are not required.

Lastly, the sun is expected to set shortly after 6:00 PM. We should return back to the Staging Area by 6:30 PM with the remaining sunlight. However, it is recommended to bring a flashlight, headlamp, or use the flashlight on your phone, just in case.

Registration is limited, and required. Please email SDRVC Education Manager, Ana Lutz-Johnson, at  or call 858 755 6956 with any questions.
We can't wait to see you there!

WhenSaturday, October 19th, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Where: Bernardo Bay Trails Staging Area

11/2 - Volunteer Training for Sikes Adobe Docents and Dust Devils

The River Park is hosting a training session for two exciting volunteer opportunities!

If you have a special interest in historical education, come be a docent at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead! Docents help convey what the pioneer farm experience in Southern California was like, using the Sikes Adobe as the stage. Volunteers learn about the architectural history of the farmhouse, the history of the Sikes family, and the agricultural history of the late 1800s. They also learn tips and techniques for being a docent and learn theory of interpretation. In return, docents commit to leading tours for the public and helping with special events.


Work side by side with Park Rangers on a weekly basis! Get up close and personal with the dirt and plants as part of the Dust Devil team. Provide invaluable help with important projects throughout the Park, such as building/maintaining trails and restoring/managing habitat. This is a great way to learn more about the inner workings of the River Park.

For more information, or to reserve your spot for the training, contact the Manager of
Interpretation and Outreach, Leana Bulay at or (760) 716-1214.

We can't wait to see you there!

WhenSaturday, November 2nd, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead 
October Events

Sundays, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27:
North San Diego Certified Farmers Market & Farmhouse Tours
Saturday, 10/5:
Intro to Wildlife & Nature Photography

Nature Touch Table

Move It! with Living Coast Discovery Center
Sunday, 10/6:
San Dieguito Monthly Bird Count
Saturday, 10/12:

Sunday, 10/13:
Volunteer Trail Maintenance

River Valley Fest

Saturday, 10/19:
Canyoneers Hike at Lower Santa Ysabel Trail to Boden Canyon

Volunteer Habitat Restoration

San Dieguito Lagoon Bird Walk

Kanaka Loop Fall Colors Hike

Gonzales Canyon Cleanup

Nature Touch Table

Volunteer Stewardship Day

Sunset Herp Hike
Saturday, 10/26:
Crest Canyon Cleanup

Sunday, 10/27:
9th Annual Halloween at the North San Diego Certified Farmers Market

What Happened in September
Climate Change, San Diego, and You
Professor Emeritus Phil Pryde, who first started teaching about greenhouse gas effects at SDSU in the 1980's, provided an illustrated, objective look at what we know and don't know about global climate change and its possible effects locally to 40 guests.

Philip R. Pryde, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at SDSU where he taught for 32 years. His research specializations included water resources, energy resources, and the environmental effects of economic development. He started teaching about greenhouse gases in the 1980's and has followed the topic ever since. Phil has traveled to numerous locations relevant to climate change (arctic regions, low-lying oceanic islands, etc.). He has chaired the San Diego County Planning Commission, and served on the board of the San Diego County Water Authority.

Coastal Cleanup Day
California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state's largest volunteer event. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world. 

This year, the San Dieguito River Park JPA, San Dieguito River Park Conservancy, SDG&E, the 22nd District Agricultural Association, City of Del Mar, and AECOM and ICF partnered to host seven different sites around the San Dieguito Lagoon. Activities included trash pick up along the trails and lagoon, invasive plant removal, installing 40 native plants, and activities for kids. In total, there were 175 participants and over 200 pounds of trash collected.

The Conservancy had 48 great volunteers and two staff for a total of 50 participants at our Coastal Cleanup Day site at River Path Del Mar. We removed 800 pounds (6 cubic yards) of invasive plants, garbage, and debris. We prepped our 2019 Family Volunteer Day Native Pollinator Garden planting area by detaching the annual grasses and weeds and spreading 5 yards of wood chips. We are excited to welcome back today's volunteer and others on Sunday, November 18th, as we plant 150 new native pollinator-friendly plants in our new garden!

Thanks to all of our volunteers including National Charity League, local troops with the Girl Scouts of USA, and of course, I Love a Clean San Diego. Thanks also to Viewpoint Brewing Co. for hosting our volunteers with free refreshments after the event!
Full Moon Hike
More than 50 hikers were treated to an amazing full harvest moon during our hike on September 14th! Led by Trish Boaz of the Conservancy, the trekkers circled Bernardo Bay, enjoying the sights and sounds of wildlife at night.

Conservancy-Led Girl Scout Hike
On Sunday, September 22nd, Conservancy Conservation Manager Jonathan Appelbaum led 12 Girl Scouts from Troop 1913, along with one awesome little brother and seven terrific parents, on a tour of the San Dieguito Lagoon looking for interesting plants and wildlife. The Girl Scouts were treated to great egrets, great blue herons, long billed curlews, and even an osprey hunting for breakfast.  

We hope to welcome Troop 1913 back again soon!
Coast to Crest Trail Challenge Guided Hike: Santa Ysabel
The Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve West presented perfect hiking conditions last month! Twenty challengers trekked through the early morning "heavy drizzle" to complete the first guided hike of this year's Coast to Crest Trail Challenge.

Led by Conservancy Executive Director Trish Boaz, they hiked 5.5 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain. Thank you to the County of San Diego for doing an amazing job maintaining the preserve and trails!