First, from all of us here at the San Dieguito River Park JPA, we wish you all Happy Holidays.
Next, getting out from behind the desk as a park director every once in a while is crucial in many ways. The JPA has many complex management and planning responsibilities across a broad area for a relatively small organization. Knowing these lands from the ground level ensures informed management decisions, allocation of resources, and strengthened partnerships with other organizations, volunteers, and the public. Also, why be in the business of managing parks without getting out once in a while to experience the amazing places we have the responsibility and honor to manage? So within the last two weeks, here’s what it all looked like when the Executive Director is allowed to get out from behind the desk – from the Coast to Crest and beyond.
A major effort is underway at the San Dieguito Lagoon with Southern California Edison redoubling their efforts to establish high salt marsh vegetation and stabilize erosion, starting with tilling compacted slopes as seen in the photo above. If you’re in the area for the next few weeks, excuse the dust and equipment, it’s all for good cause. And our Coastal Dust Devils continue volunteering countless hours helping our Park Rangers tend to mitigation sites, maintain trails, and collect seed (see photo below) for propagation at our revamped nursery.
Surf Cup Sports is finally moving forward on construction of the required Coast to Crest Trail segment along their city-leased property (formerly San Diego Polo Club). Please contact them to show your support for this segment of the trail at www.surfcupsports.com. The map below shows this segment of the Coast to Crest Trail in red, and you can read more about the status of various Coast to Crest Trail segments here.
The Pamo Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail is being built as we speak thanks to many years of planning, perseverance, and funding. Bobcat, mule deer, turkeys, and many other types wildlife can be seen the instant you enter the valley. Pamo Valley is truly the “Serengeti” of the River Park, and it will surely be another spectacular stretch of the Coast to Crest Trail when finished later next year. Photo below: Pamo Valley looking south from atop Black Mountain.
The ponds are still full despite the dry weather, and wildlife abounds at the JPA’s Santa Ysabel Gorge Preserve. Unfortunately however, due to limited access and resources, the property continues to experience vandalism and theft as well as illegal grazing. Once the Coast to Crest Trail runs through this property, west of the County’s Santa Ysabel Preserve, we look forward to having more eyes out there and opportunities for volunteer clean ups and restoration. Photo below: One of the many grand Live Oaks on the Santa Ysabel Gorge Preserve.
And, a rare trip to the JPA’s property on the east side of Volcan Mountain, in an area known as Arkansas Canyon, revealed a hidden historic gem in the old Grand Family Ranch. County Park Rangers led the way from the top of Volcan Mountain, following a harrowing, steep, overgrown wagon trail, to the historic property on the JPA’s Arkansas Canyon Preserve.
County Park Attendant Bill Augustus points out the 1871 inscription inside the structure believed to be the “winery” (above) and rock wall remnants of the corral (below) on the historic Grand Family Ranch.