The COVID year was like no other. The year 2020 began as usual with monthly bird counts, bird-watching walks, trail maintenance, and habitat restoration volunteer projects. We also hosted the 10th Annual Valentine Teas at Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead and a Love Our Lagoons fieldtrip to the San Dieguito Lagoon. And we proudly completed construction of the Lagoon Ranger Station in February.
But in March, just like the rest of the country, we closed everything and stayed home. It was difficult to believe that closures included outdoor trails, but we followed protocols and closed the trails for a short period until it was determined that it was okay for people to use their local trails (donning their masks) to recreate outdoors at a safe distance.
We reopened the trails and soon discovered that EVERONE couldn’t wait to get out of their homes and walk or bike somewhere. Our trails and parking lots became inundated with users, and some were not used to hiking. We struggled sometimes with understanding and implementing COVID-19 industry protocols for parks and recreation. Our rangers are most-definitely essential workers with outdoor recreation at an all-time high. Rangers spent their days pulling piles of trash, monitoring parking lots, and maintaining our heavily used trails.
Educational programs went online. We also noticed nature thriving throughout the San Dieguito River Park. The year ended with fantastic news that San Dieguito River Park was chosen for a $1.37M award from the State Trails and Greenways grant program!
Special Series: San Dieguito River Park Turns 30!
To commemorate this milestone, the dedicated River Park staff wrote a blog series highlighting the exciting accomplishments for each year starting with 1989 when the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA) was formed.