In 2015, the San Dieguito River Park acquired 2 passenger vans and officially launched the Watershed Explorer Program. The program offers 5-day fieldtrips throughout the San Dieguito Watershed. Youths can enjoy the adventures and experiences to places such as: Volcan Mountain, Lake Sutherland, the San Diego Archaelogical Center, Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, Lake Hodges and the Birdwing Open Air Classroom at the San Dieguito Lagoon. The program was made possible through the partnerships with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, San Diego Archaeological Center and Volcan Mountain Foundation.
In June 2015, The California Coastal Commission approved The San Dieguito River Park’s plans to build a Coastal Ranger Station. The 2,400 square foot Lagoon Ranger Station is located at Via de la Valle next to the San Andres Drive trail parking/staging area. The building overlooks the San Dieguito Lagoon and will provide SDRP staff offices, an enclosed garage and work yard, and the River Park’s first public restroom. The Coastal Ranger Station will provide a much needed work area in the Coastal section of the park. In 2019, the Coastal Ranger Station began construction and we are all excited about it and anticipate its completion in early 2020.
In 2015, SDRP applied to California River Parkways for grant money to begin the construction of the Pamo Valley Trail near Ramona. Grants from the State Natural Resources Agency and REI also helped fund the project. The trail is 3.3 miles and connects two existing trails in the Cleveland National Forest, the Lower Santa Ysabel Truck Trail and the Upper Santa Ysabel Truck Trail to form 12 contiguous miles of Coast to Crest Trail. SDRP received the permits in May 2017 and began construction in September 2017. Pamo Valley is owned by the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department and leased for cattle grazing. Santa Ysabel and Temescal creeks flow through the picturesque valley and eventually drain into Hodges Reservoir. The valley is also home to the endangered Arroyo Toad and least Bell’s vireo along with other sensitive species. Careful planning went into aligning the trail to avoid wetlands and other sensitive habitats and minimize impacts to native plants. The Pamo Valley Trail is SDRP’s most recent completed trail and celebrated with a grand opening on January 26, 2019.