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Join us as we dive in to the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River watershed.

Our education program aims to inspire environmental stewardship and action to conserve and protect the San Dieguito River Valley. Along the way, we highlight wildlife that call the River Park home. We explore archaeological history, the effects of climate change, and the important role nature plays in the fight against it.

For students to dive deeper, we are proud to offer a program of interactive, online lessons. Developed with partner organizations, the lessons target a range of grade levels with approved curricula that aligns with State of California education standards.



Our popular Exploring Our Sense of Place program allows participants to experience the San Dieguito River Valley in all seasons, to follow its path from mountain to sea, to encounter plant, animal and human inhabitants, and to connect to the River Valley with their hearts and minds.

The ESP program is an 8-session seminar series that includes a reception, seven excursions with lectures by experts, and special “reflection time.” To learn more about the ESP program, please click here.

Over 225 Explorers have graduated from the program, all of whom are now able to participate in ESP Alumni hikes and educational experiences.

If you would like to be placed on the interest list for a future year, click here.


Watershed Explorers is an outdoor education program that provides youth an opportunity to travel and experience the length of the San Dieguito Watershed. The explorers journey includes the headwaters of the San Dieguito River on Volcan Mountain, Lake Hodges, the San Diego Archaeological Center, Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, and the award-winning Birdwing Open Air Classroom at the San Dieguito Lagoon.  Click here to learn more.

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Completed in 2014, the Birdwing Open-Air Classroom provides a shelter for people of all ages and abilities to learn about the river and the coastal area, including the San Dieguito Lagoon, the “gateway” to San Dieguito River Park.  Located south of Via de la Valle on the north side of the San Dieguito Lagoon, the classroom seats approximately 80 people, and the area includes off-street parking, ADA access and connections to the Coast to Crest Trail and other Lagoon trails.


The San Dieguito River Park JPA is responsible for managing the Birdwing Open Air Classroom.

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