Looking back at the year 1994 we can all probably remember a lot that happened that year. Things small and big, for instance ’94 was the year the TV show Friends first aired, it was also the year Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president. This was also the year that a less world renown, but no less beloved park gained much ground in becoming the community park we now know.
This year the planning stages for the River Park went from an idea of what the park would become to an approved conceptual plan that included the now well used trail systems and preserved lands included in our park. Thanks to these coalesced plans we now have many various ecosystem environments like the estuary in Del Mar and the coastal sage scrub plains that you can enjoy walking through on your trip down one of the trails in the Escondido area.
Going northeast we can now enjoy the conifer heights and oak woodland savannas of Volcan Mountain Preserve. Its 5,535 foot mountain was fought for and began their journey to being acquired as a Preserve with the River Park. The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation owned 700 acres of Volcan Mountain, and in ’94 added another 1,200 more acres with the help of the Trust for Public Land. That year was the beginnings of the purchase of the western side of this mountain including, but not limited to the “Ironside Springs, the headwaters for the San Dieguito River” as P.J. Huffstutter wrote in The Union Tribune in 1994. Thanks to these efforts we can all enjoy this area as it stands now instead of it being a housing development or otherwise privatized because of its zoning just outside of the protected Cleveland National Forest.
Just as Diane Coombs, the then Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Park, Joint Powers Authority said to The San Diego Union Tribune in an article from February 1994, “…it will be several decades before the whole thing is completed.” She was so right, as 25 years later on we had yet another trail opening ceremony on January 26th in north side Ramona off Pamo Road for another 3.3 miles of trail that were added to the River Park’s extensive trail system.
We look forward to many more years of trail extensions, additions and enjoyment from this great park.
Park Ranger, San Dieguito River Park, JPA