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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission:

  • Implement the San Dieguito River Park and its Coast-to-Crest Trail that stretches 55 miles from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the ocean between Del Mar and Solana Beach
  • Protect and steward the natural, cultural and educational resources of the San Dieguito River Valley
  • Educate and inspire the public and its members about the recreational, historical and cultural resources within the San Dieguito River Park

Results: The Conservancy and its conservation, education and recreation partners, have been successful in reaching many goals in the San Dieguito River watershed. Our accomplishments can be reviewed at http://sandieguitorivervalleyconservancy.org/sdrvc1_projects1.html. Read our most recent news at: http://sandieguitorivervalleyconservancy.org/sdrvc1_news-events_currents1.html.

Programs: Assist with the acquistion of properties withint the San Dieguito River Park planning area.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy has a impressive scope and reach for an organization its size. They have a dedicated community of donors, volunteers, board members, and staff who are committed to conserving and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito watershed. I appreciate the variety of events and educational opportunities, such as Watershed Explorers, which connects youth to watershed through field trips. Their restoration efforts have improved special places and habitats throughout the length of the watershed on lands with every type of ownership. Their work advancing the Coast to Crest trail has help create a priceless community asset. They are able to stay lean and efficient by partnering with other organizations and agencies who are ready to get things done. Great people, great causes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live on the edge of the San Dieguito watershed so it seemed natural to help out. After learning more and volunteering for the past year I’m really impressed.
The Conservancy does a great job of acquiring more of the watershed, protecting it, educating the public and making it available for everyone to enjoy.
I’m proud to be a part of it.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have lived in San Diego for 46 years. Just about every year we have visited Anza Borrego, driving through Escondido, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, and Julian. I am sorry to say that we never explored the regions bordering this route until we joined the San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy two years ago. Retirement from UCSD opened up free time to serve the community in other ways, and the conservancy provided a most welcome opportunity for me, as it represents the perfect combination of education, conservation and recreation.
A small group of people had the foresight several decades ago to protect at least one major river valley in Southern California from unrestricted development, to preserve some of the original landscape of the area, and to link the preservation with the dream of constructing a continuous hiking path from the ocean entry to the source of the San Dieguito River. Large sections are now completed and provide wonderful opportunities for recreation and hiking. It links up with the Pacific Crest Trail in the east and some shorter trails in the coastal area from the Torrey Pines State Park to San Elijo Lagoon. The trails provide access for thousands of people to the undeveloped scenic areas of San Dieguito County to enjoy its fauna and the incredible richness of the vegetation in different zones from the ocean to the mountains.
In addition to preserving and maintaining the watershed landscape, the Conservancy devotes a major effort promoting and encouraging citizens of all ages, ambitious hikers as well as casual walkers to get out on the tails within the River Park. Maps and trail guides assist and inform the individual hikers, and a large number of organized outings with leaders/guides and docents represent opportunities for a more in-depth exploration of the geology, the human history (Native Americans), bird populations, native plants, the threat of invasive species, and much more. The most elaborate of these undertakings is the annual “Exploring Your Sense of Place” program (ESP) which was a long overdue eye-opener for us.
Educational outreach programs supported and administered by the Conservancy are targeted at students of all ages to awake an interest in nature and its preservation. Some years ago a Sierra Club publication of photographs by Eliot Porter placed on the cover a quotation from Thoreau: “In Wildness is the Preservation of the World”. The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is a most laudable and admirable organization to pursue this worthy goal at a local level. It complements and supports the efforts of the local appointed officials and provides a multi-laned bridge between the public and the administration.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy is in its 31st year, and does vital work to preserve the biological and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley watershed. A small team of dedicated staff works tirelessly day in and day out to accomplish the Conservancy's work. The staff is backed by a Board of 14 hard working directors and officers, with over 1200 members. The Conservancy's work stands on three pillars -- conservation, education and recreation. In the area of conservation, the Conservancy is deeply involved in eradication of invasive species and restoration of habitat within the watershed. It acquires and preserves land within the watershed, protecting the natural resources and beauty along the path of the San Dieguito River. In the way of education, the Conservancy teams with local schools to introduce students to science within the watershed. Among other things, students monitor wildlife species, providing data to conservation authorities. Students venture into the San Dieguito River Park to explore the beauty of nature through the Conservancy's Watershed Explorers program. To promote recreation within the watershed, the Conservancy partners with the San Dieguito River Park to develop the Coast to Crest Trail, a 70 mile system of trails running from San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to the top of Volcan Mountain near Julian. The Conservancy offers constant events and outings within the River Park, including its annual Exploring our Sense of Place (ESP), an outstanding series of expert- guided hikes throughout the River Park. The Conservancy reaches out to the public through its regular publications and through its excellent website (sdrvc.org) where upcoming events are announced. Its events are almost always open and available to the public at large. Overall, the Conservancy plays a vital role in preserving the natural legacy of the San Dieguito watershed. To anyone with an interest in nature, I highly recommend joining the Conservancy to follow its work, take part in its events and activities, and to help in the effort to preserve the natural beauty of the watershed, for generations to come.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Conservancy plays a vital role in establishing the Coast to Crest trail. It is doing great work to preserve wild lands for us all. This is a very important organization for the future of our natural and cultural heritage.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The charity has done a lot for the San Dieguito Lagoon over the years.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three cheers for the SDRVLC!!! Great strides continue to be made toward achieving the goal of a 70 mile Coast to Crest Trail from the beach in Del Mar to the top of Vulcan Mountain near Julian. In addition to acquiring lands, the Conservancy completes trails, restores habitats and is involved with educational programs. For example it offers the Exploring Sense of Place program which gives adults the opportunity to become acquainted with the various ecosystems within the watershed of the San Dieguito River. I took the course and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves the outdoors.


1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The primary role of this land conservancy is to buy key parcels within the San Dieguito river watershed to preserve open space. It's largest purchase was Bernardo Mountain, seen on the west as you cross Lake Hodges on 1-15, south of Escondido. It has expanded its role by assisting the Park with funds for trails, bridges and buildings. It has excellent leadership in Peter Shapiro, President and Trish Boaz, Executive Director.

1 Linda428

Client Served

Rating: 5

Loved the SDRVLC Sense of Place course that took us to a different part of the park each month. Have enjoyed many hikes with friends in this beautiful area. SDRVLC does a great job growing and maintaining this open land resource for us all to enjoy.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I strongly believe in what the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is doing to preserve rapidly vanishing open space in the San Dieguito River watershed against all kinds of difficult obstacles. Living right next to the watershed, I can see direct hand the damage land development has done and is doing that impacts in a very negative way the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. When we have out of town guests, I like to hike the trails near Lake Hodges to show them there still is some open space near our sprawling San Diego metropolis. And the trail from the beach to the mountains demonstrates our diversity in landscapes and wildlife in the area.

1 Nate N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I were attracted to the Conservancy through its Exploring our Sense of Place outdoor education/hiking program. We were hooked! Great leadership attracts good people as active members, yet the San Dieguito River Park seems to be San Diego County's best kept secret. The Conservancy's outreach program has really taken off in the past few years with its Citizen Science (elementary and high school age) program and the new Watershed Explorers program, where kids who would likely never climb a mountain or learn about a chaparral "forest" get a chance to learn that there's a lot to like about being outdoors. The Conservancy's most exciting project has to be the Coast to Crest Trail through the San Dieguito River Park--70 miles (when completed) of contiguous hiking/biking and horse back riding opportunities from sea level to 5,000 feet on a mountain peak 50 miles inland. The excitement surrounding the Coast to Crest Trail is contagious. Can't wait for it all to connect up!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The San Dieguito River Valley Land Conservancy is an ambitious project to protect the environment and construct a 70-mile trail from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain (the "coast-to-crest trail"). I am one of 1300 conservancy members and I am proud of the progress made to date in partnership with the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, landowners, citizens, and government agencies in an effort to preserve and protect our natural resources while respecting the rights of private property. Given the latest research on the healing power of nature (Time Magazine, 2016, Vol. 188, No. 4, pp. 24-26), every concerned citizens should support projects like the ones promoted by the conservancy to secure the future health of our planet and its people.

2 Diane180

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I appreciate this organization's commitment and tenacity to preserve outdoor space in our backyards for current and future generations to enjoy. There is nothing quite like nature to calm, yet reinvigorate your soul. There is also a sense of responsibility to educate and inspire the public about conservation. I have benefited so much by being a member of this group over the years.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Another great year of producing top notch education, conservation and recreation projects in support of the San Dieguito River Park and the entire watershed. Successes include: Citizen Science, Watershed Explorers and Exploring Your Sense of Place educational programs; Crest Canyon and Fairbanks Ranch restoration; and River Path Del Mar extension and Pamo Valley trail segment of the Coast to Crest Trail. Plus, Exec Treks and many other special hikes and events!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An exceptional group of volunteers dedicated to the support and enhancement of the San Dieguito River Park and the important and ecologically varied San Dieguito River Valley watershed. The Conservancy leads many activities to promote the conservation, education and recreational aspects of the river valley like the Citizen Science program and invasive species management projects. It raises funds to plan and implement major projects such as the "Birdwing" Outdoor Classroom, now used by thousands of school children each year, as well as the continued expansion of the Coast to Crest Trail.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The SDRVC has lived up to its mission to conserve, restore, educate and connect people and land through helping to realize a 55 mile stretch of trail from the mountains to the ocean.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is a great asset to our community as they help preserve the natural open spaces in the San Dieguito River watershed. For 30 years with the help of an amazing group of local volunteers they have restored habitat, led guided hikes, and educated youth about the local environment . Given the tremendous amount of growth and change in our region, it is important to have a group like this protecting our natural habitat for us and generations to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit has the grand vision of creating a 55 mile trail from ocean to mountains in San Diego County, to provide access to the nature within the watershed while protecting its resources. There are regular programs for everyone and volunteer opportunities which engage the community to help achieve it's goals. Visible progress is made every year.

Julia57

Donor

Rating: 5

I support the San Duiguito River Valley Concervancy 300%! With the goal of preserving and maintaining Nature from the coast to Vulcan Mt. In Julian, SDRVC has provided a very much needed Natural environment for ALL people to use and enjoy! When I am out riding my horse on the SDRVC trails, it warms my heart to see so many families out walking, hiking and biking together. And it costs them nothing, so all people get to enjoy and teach their children to appreciate nature. As a horse enthusiast, it saddens me that the state & county keep closing access to trails in SD county. It is reassuring to know that we will always be able to ride and enjoy nature from the coast to the mountains!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In rapidly urbanizing north San Diego county, the Conservancy has brilliantly combined public education, land purchases and outdoor activities to effect a magnificent 50 + mile green river corridor and save an entire watershed forever. Their leaders are dedicated and smart and the gift they have given the San Diego area is priceless.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SDRVC is a great group of people with more than one great mission: to preserve the river's watershed habitat from the headwaters to the sea; to provide educational as well as recreational opportunities all along the river valley for all ages; to foster awareness of our shared responsibility of caring for our precious natural environment.

HeyYouItsMeJulie

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

San Diego is blessed to have our magnificent, indigenous landscape and a community that knows the value of protecting it for future generations. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into protecting space for everyone to enjoy. Thank you!