The Conservancy partners with organizations and agencies to purchase land within the planned 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park as it becomes available for purchase from willing sellers. The Conservancy facilitates open space purchases by participating in negotiations and raising funds.
Since 2000, the Conservancy has purchased land throughout the San Dieguito River Park from the Crest to the Coast.
In March 2001, the Conservancy closed escrow on 27 acres on the west slope of Volcan Mountain, which provides a connection from Volcan Mountain Preserve to Santa Ysabel Preserve East. Volcan Mountain is the headwater for four river systems, including the San Dieguito, San Diego, San Luis Rey and San Felipe Creek watersheds. It is rich in biodiversity with 30 different vegetation communities and a variety of wildlife, including mountain lions and golden eagles.
In 2000 and 2001, the Conservancy purchased 233 acres of land at Lake Sutherland, located northeast of Ramona and north of Highway 78. The purchase added to the 1,000 acres of open space owned by the San Dieguito River Park JPA in the area. Lake Sutherland East provides a vital wildlife habitat corridor and the ability to locate a future segment of the Coast to Crest Trail.
In 2013, the Conservancy purchased 40 acres in Pamo Valley for $110,000 raised by Conservancy supporters, one of two private inholdings surrounded by protected lands. This property sits just above the Pamo Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail that is being constructed by the San Dieguito River Park JPA.
The Conservancy acquired a 23-acre parcel located where the Santa Ysabel Creek and Guejito Creek join in the San Pasqual Valley in 2009. The property was acquired for future mitigation credit sales that will generate additional funding for other Conservancy land purchases. Because the property is at the intersection of two riparian corridors, it has special strategic significance and is rich in natural resources.
The defining land feature for anyone crossing Lake Hodges on I-15 is Bernardo Mountain, seen to the north of the lake and west of the freeway. In 2001, the Conservancy launched a fundraising program to protect Bernardo Mountain from real estate development, and in 2002, Bernardo Mountain became permanent open space and a landmark within the San Dieguito River Park. In less than two months, over 1,000 members of our community contributed more than $600,000 to match $3 million in grants to acquire Bernardo Mountain.
The Conservancy owns four parcels along the River Path Del Mar in the City of Del Mar. These acquisitions were made between 2004 and 2021 and funded by generous Conservancy supporters. They are located east of the intersection of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive.
We are committed to conserving and restoring habitat throughout the San Dieguito River Park. Restoration projects are made possible through grants and the work of dedicated volunteers. Our goals with every restoration project are to:
Clear and clean debris and signs of dumping and human encroachment
Remove non-native and invasive species
Plant, seed, and restore native plants to create a viable, self-sustaining habitat for native species to flourish
Facilitate safe human interaction with restored habitats so they can be maintained, protected, and enjoyed for generations to come.
Check out our online interactive map highlighting Grant Funded Habitat Restoration Projects in the San Dieguito River Park here.