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The San Dieguito River Park
18372 Sycamore Creek Rd.
Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: (858) 674-2270
Fax: (858) 674-2280

Website by Astra Consulting


Strawberry Stand Kiosk Conversion

The River Park recently converted the old Strawberry Stand on Via de la Valle Road into a remarkable architectural shelter we call the Strawberry Stand Wetland Learning Center. Read below to learn about the transformation and see the pictures of the progress from August 2003 when we began, until the Grand Opening in June 2004.

August 2003

The River Park embarked on a new project in August 2003, with the volunteer assistance of the employees of the engineering firm Montgomery, Watson, Harza (MWH). The project was to convert an existing wood agricultural building (the Strawberry Stand) that is currently located next to Via de la Valle Road, into a temporary interpretive kiosk. The site where this structure is located will be the site of a permanent River Park Nature Center someday in the future. The temporary structure will utilize materials that will be re-used in the future permanent Nature Center. Funding for this project was provided by 3rd District County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and private donations.

The team assembled to design the renovation of the Strawberry Stand includes local architects Todd Rinehart and Catherine Herbst, known for their innovative designs and use of practical materials, landscape architect Lane Goodkind, and graphic artist Lisa Baldwin.

The project will renovate and re-use an agricultural landmark and social focal point. The “Strawberry Stand” will become a community center for environmental education with interpretive signs featured to tell the story of restoration of the adjacent 400-acre San Dieguito Lagoon and upland habitat area. The “Strawberry Stand” renovation will be finished in time for a Grand Opening Event on Saturday, June 26, 2004. The Grand Opening Event will also kickoff the San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration Project that is scheduled to be ongoing from 2005-2008.

Here is landscape architect Lane Goodkind's rendering of how the temporary interpretive kiosk will look when it is finished:

click here for larger version

1. The Wetland pavilion room will have transparent siding revealing shadows and patterns of tall grasses on the interior walls.

2. The entrance to the pavilion will have planted columns displaying the invasive plant species detrimental to the wetland.

3. Native, flowering vines will climb the light structure of the open pavilion.

4. Berms will be used to create swales that capture runoff into created wetlands with native, seasonal marsh plantings. The green swales will contrast with the surrounding dry grassland/upland landscape.

5. Locally collected, native willow branches will be bundles and anchored vertically in the soil. Gradually with irrigation provided in the swales they will sprout and the tops and form small trees.

6. The swale and berm adjacent to the open space provides a boundary and elevated pathway for viewing the river valley. The pathway symbolically serves as a piece of the Coast to Crest Trail with the interpretive signs placed along the walk overlooking the lagoon restoration. The educational signs will be coordinated with displays in the kiosk to emphasize the importance of restoring and preserving the natural habitat of coastal lagoons.

The photographs below document the transformation. And, as you can see, it really is a TRANSFORMATION! The first pictures below show the “Strawberry Stand” as it appeared before construction began:

Strawberry Kiosk Side Angle

Strawberry Kiosk Wide Angle

The following pictures show the first steps in the “remodeling” ” and were completed August 23rd:


Conversion begins

The wood siding and roof wereremoved and will be replaced with a translucent plastic material that will have a sand-blasted wetland reed pattern. The effect inside the building will suggest being surrounded by wetland plants.

John Kearny, Construction Foreman from MWH, uses a hydraulic jack to raise the structure. A new foundation system was installed on September 13th.

Setting support

Side angle with new roof going in


Raising the wall – San Dieguito River Park Executive Director Dick Bobertz (closest to camera) is working with the MWH team. “All together now, lift!”

The relocated walls in place on 9/27/03, the MWH team takes a break for the camera.

Raising the wall – San Dieguito River Park Executive Director Dick Bobertz (closest to camera) is working with the MWH team. “All together now, lift!”

To continue following the construction progress, please see the construction updates listed at the top of this page.

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