San Dieguito River Valley ConservancySan Dieguito
River Valley Conservancy

Watershed Explorers

Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead


Led by the San Dieguito River Park, students learn what it was like to be a  pioneering family in San Diego and the importance of the natural environment  in daily living. At Sikes, students participate in a series of activities designed to teach them about daily life in the late 1800s including gardening, making butter,  and 19th century laundry. Students also learn about the importance of water to  the pioneers and test the quality of the water from the farmstead’s on-site well.


Students will:

  • learn about the role water and the San Dieguito River play in agriculture in the San Pasqual Valley;
  • learn about the role the San Pasqual Valley played in early California history, such as the Mexican-American War;
  • learn about and gain an appreciation for the difficulties and challenges of the lives of pioneer farming families in the San Pasqual Valley, such as the Sikes family; and
  • learn how the family coped with water issues throughout the seasons.


Made possible by a grant from The San Diego Foundation

Material compiled by:

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy

The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority

The Volcan Mountain Foundation

San Diego Archaeological Center

Material generously contributed by:

The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy

California Performance Expectations & Dimensions 

Note: This program can assist with meeting the following Performance  Expectations and Dimensions from California’s Next Generation Science  Standards (NGSS). 

Grades 6-8: MS-ESS3-1; MS-ESS3-2; MS-ESS3-3; MS-ESS3-4; MS-ESS3-5; MS-LS2-1; S LS2-2; MS-LS2-3; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS2-5. 

Grades 9-12: HS-LS2-6; HS-LS2-8; HS-LS4-6; HS-ESS2-5; HS-ESS3-1; HS- HS-ESS3-4; HS ESS3-6.

Free Course

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12

Subject Areas: Science, Archaeology

Setting: San Diego Archaeological Center