Rancho Santa Fe Foundation Logo

Meet Our Fundholders – San Dieguito River Park JPA

Name of organization:
San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority

Your mission:
To preserve and restore land within the Focused Planning Area of the San Dieguito River Park creating a regional open space greenway and park system and continuous and coordinated system of preserved lands with a connecting corridor of walking, equestrian, and bicycle trails, encompassing the San Dieguito River Valley from the ocean to the river’s source.

What is one thing your organization is excited for next year?

The San Dieguito River Park JPA in partnership with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy raised $1.78M in 2022 with our Get-to-71-Miles funding campaign to help close the gaps in the Coast to Crest Trail! The CTC Trail is a planned 71-mile multi-use trail (peds, bikes, and horses) from the coast in Del Mar to the headwaters at Volcan Mountain near Julian – and is the primary recreational feature of the San Dieguito River Park. 49 miles of the CTC Trail are complete today and in use, with the 50th mile (Fairbanks Ranch area) to be constructed in 2023. The campaign donations will fund the design of two long-standing gaps in the Coast to Crest Trail – San Pasqual Valley (5 miles) and Lake Sutherland (8 miles). These trail gaps located on public lands are in remote areas with many challenges (steep terrain, sensitive resources). We are excited to start detailed trail designs and plans to get these two trail gaps to a “shovel-ready” stage to be eligible for construction grants.

What do you wish the community knew about your organization?

The public loves hiking and riding our trails, but often don’t realize they are in the San Dieguito River Park! The San Dieguito River Park JPA partners with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and other non-profit organizations to promote the SDRP. The SDRP travels through six different local jurisdictions – Del Mar, Solana Beach, San Diego, Poway, Escondido, and the unincorporated County. The JPA was formed in 1989 as a multi-jurisdictional agency (like a special district) with its sole purpose of creating, protecting, and managing the San Dieguito River Park. It is a small but successful organization that provides long-term maintenance and management of the San Dieguito River Park today and for future generations.

What is one thing you and your team exceed at?

Our team exceeds at making the San Dieguito River Park what it is today! An oasis from hectic urban life providing outdoor recreation and solitude for people and vital open space native habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife to thrive in the urban metropolis and backcountry of San Diego County.

How has having a fund with RSFF helped your organization?

Our endowment funds held at RSFF provide a stable and growing long-term income stream that supports the vital work of managing several hundred acres of habitat preserves for threatened and endangered species in San Diego County including birds, plants, and wildlife corridors. Our organization relies on these funds to patrol and care for the land, restore and expand habitat, remove invasive weeds, control trespassing and litter, and generally protect these important areas. Our organization also benefits from the relationship with RSFF as a successful fund manager for generating future income opportunities.

For those excited about your work, what is the best way to get involved?

Many opportunities exist to engage with SDRP including directly volunteering with our park staff doing habitat or trail maintenance, trail patrols, or with our Watershed Explorers Program. Call our main office to learn more about our capital projects that you might be interested in supporting with a financial contribution or endowment such as closing gaps in the Coast to Crest Trail, furthering our educational programming, or contributing to a long-term endowment.