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In partnership with organizations and government agencies, the Conservancy purchases land from willing sellers within the River Park's 92,000-acre planning area. Since 2000, the Conservancy has raised funds and participated in negotiations to secure many hundreds of acres.


For more than 30 years, the Conservancy has been moving the creation of a 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park and its 71-mile Coast to Crest Trail from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain from a vision to reality.

Our non-profit conservancy is supported by hundreds of enthusiastic members. We partner with the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, other non-profit organizations, citizens, landowners, governments, and other stakeholders to conserve our natural resources, offer education about the River Valley to our community, and to provide recreational opportunities throughout the San Dieguito River watershed.


In 2001, the Conservancy purchased 233 acres at Lake Sutherland northeast of Ramona and north of Highway 78. The acquisition added to 1,000 adjoining acres of open space owned by the San Dieguito River Park JPA. Lake Sutherland East provides habitat for a wildlife corridor and for a future segment of the Coast to Crest Trail.

Click here to see map.

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In 2013, the Conservancy purchased 40 acres in Pamo Valley for $110,000 raised entirely by Conservancy supporters. The acreage was one of two private holdings surrounded by protected lands. The property overlooks the Pamo Valley segment of the Coast to Crest Trail.

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pamo valley.jpg


For thousands of commuters on Interstate 15, Bernardo Mountain is a defining landmark—much like the calm waters of Lake that spread from the mountain's base. In 2001, the Conservancy campaigned to protect Bernardo Mountain from development and within a year secured the mountain as permanent open space within the San Dieguito River Park. In less than two months, more than 1,000 donors contributed in excess of $600,000 to match $3 million in government grants to acquire Bernardo Mountain.

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In 2009, the Conservancy acquired 23-acres where the Santa Ysabel and Guejito creeks join in the San Pasqual Valley. The property enabled future mitigation credit sales to generate  funding for other land purchases. Because the property is at the intersection of two riparian corridors, it has special habitat value and is rich in natural resources.

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San Pasqual Valley.jpg


In the City of Del Mar, the Conservancy acquired four parcels along River Path Del Mar between 2004 and 2021. Located east of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and north of San Dieguito Drive, the lots provide valuable restoration and mitigation opportunities Del Mar needs to complete a final phase of the River Path.

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River Path Del Mar.jpg


We are committed to conserving and restoring habitat throughout the river valley. Restoration projects are made possible through grants and the work of dedicated volunteers.


With every restoration project, our goal is to:

  • Clear debris and other signs of human encroachment

  • Remove non-native and invasive plants

  • Plant, seed, and nurture 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 enjoyed by future generations.

An interactive map highlighting grant-funded habitat restoration projects in the San Dieguito River Park here.

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