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Parks openings, reopenings, and special projects

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2008
First water playground at County Parks opens at Hilton Head
Mary Augustine Bridge ribbon cutting ceremony
Sweetwater Crossing Bridge ribbon cutting
Ribbon cutting ceremony for new Plaza Bonita Bikeway Trail
Otay Valley Regional Park celebrates new trails and staging areas
Groundbreaking ceremony for Hilton Head Park expansion project

2007
Spring Valley Gymnsasium and Teen Center now open
Goodan Ranch Center now open
San Elijo Nature Center groundbreaking
Lakeside Baseball Park groundbreaking ceremony
Del Dios Highlands Preserve now open
Santa Margarita County Preserve now open
Barnett Ranch Preserve opened to the public
Miracle Field opens at San Dieguito Park
Park beautification project completed at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

2006
Historic Los Peñasquitos Adobe receives makeover
Final fire-damaged County park reopens
Grand opening of Santa Ysabel Preserve in Julian
Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch center
Wilderness Gardens celebrates completion of beautification project

2005
Kelly Ditch Trail at Heise reopens
Finney interpretive overlook grand opening
New playground opens at Felicita County Park
Water service, drinking fountains now available at Jess Martin Park
Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve reopens

2004
Mt. Gower, Simon Open Space Preserves reopen
Lake Jennings playground reopens
Cedar Trail opens at Heise Park
Palomar County Park reopens
Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch now open
Volcan Mountain and hiking trails at Heise reopen
Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve reopens
Stelzer County Park reopens
Tree planting day in East County Parks

2003
Heise County Park reopens Friday, December 26
Lake Jennings reopens Friday, December 12

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First water playground at County parks opens at Hilton Head

Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and the County Parks and Recreation Department invited the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 27, 2008 to celebrate the opening of Phase Two of the Hilton Head Park Project. The local park was expanded to include a ship-themed water playground, four interactive exercise stations, two covered pavilions, additional walking paths, and new restroom facilities. The innovative, state-of-the-art water playground is the first of its kind in a County park.

Hilton Head Park is located at 16005 Hilton Head Road in El Cajon. For directions and more information, go to this page.

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Mary Augustine Bridge ribbon cutting ceremony
Chairman Greg Cox and the Department of Parks and Recreation invited the public to celebrate the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony of the Mary Augustine Bridge on Saturday, July 26. The 264-foot multi-use bridge connects trails between Conduit Road and Sweetwater Regional Park. A new rubberized surface allows the public to enjoy a safe way to cross over State Route 125. For more information, please go to this page.


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Sweetwater Crossing Bridge ribbon cutting
San Diego County Chairman Greg Cox, Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - San Diego National Refuge invited the public to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the Sweetwater Crossing Bridge on Tuesday, July 8, 2008. The bridge, located within the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge along the Sweetwater River, will enhance the trail system within Sweetwater Regional Park and the National Wildlife Refuge. For more information, please go to this page.

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Plaza Bonita Bikeway Trail ribbon cutting
Chairman Greg Cox, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and the Department of Parks and Recreation celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Plaza Bonita Bikeway Trail on Wednesday, March 19, 2008.

The new bikeway is nearly a mile long and winds along the Sweetwater River, through mixed chaparral and coastal sage. The path leads bikers from the western staging area of Sweetwater Regional park to the Sweetwater River trail system, which connects the cities of Chula Vista, national City, Coronado, and Imperial Beach.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday, March 19 at the western staging area on Bonita Road, east of Plaza Bonita Road, in Bonita. For more information and directions, go to this page.

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Otay Valley Regional Park celebrates new trails and staging areas
Completion of the first stage of the Otay Valley Regional Park Project was celebrated on Monday, March 17, 2008. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the construction and rehabilitation of 3.36 miles of multi-use trails, completion of the Rios Drive and Beyer North staging areas, and wetland and upland mitigation sites between Beyer Way and Rancho Drive. The project culminates more than seven years of effort and joint partnerships between the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, and the County of San Diego. When the project's second stage is completed in the fall of 2009, Otay Valley Regional Park will provide more than eight miles of multi-use trails that will eventually connect the Pacific Ocean to Otay Lakes County Park.

Among the dignitaries at the celebration were San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox, San Diego City Mayor Jerry Sanders, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, and the OVRP Citizens Advisory Committee. The Rios Avenue Staging Area is on Rios Avenue, south of Otay Valley Road and west of Interstate 805. For more information and directions, go to this page.

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Groundbreaking ceremony for Hilton Head Park expansion project
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and the Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for Phase II of the Hilton Head Park Project on Thursday, January 3, 2008. Designs for the project include the addition of the first water playground in the County's park system, featuring a ship-themed play structure. The expansion also includes the addition of four exercise stations, two pavilions, additional hiking and walking paths, covered picnic areas, and a new restroom.

Hilton Head Park is located at 16005 Hilton Head Road in El Cajon. For more information and directions, go to this page.

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Spring Valley Gymnasium and Teen Center now open
Between hip hop dance routines and a lively basketball slam dunk contest, the new Spring Valley Gym and Teen Center near La Presa Middle School opened its doors to teens and their families on November 29, 2007.

Second District Supervisor Dianne Jacob, officials from the County Department of Parks and Recreation, and members of the La Mesa Spring Valley School District joined with teens to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the much anticipated facility. The Spring Valley REC Club and students from Mt. Miguel High School and Monte Vista High School were also on hand to celebrate.

"Spring Valley has been waiting for this day for a long time. This is one of the most dynamic projects we have ever designed, built to enhance the lives of teens and families," said Supervisor Jacob. "This center will serve as a place for East County residents, especially young people, to connect, play, compete, and lead healthy, active lifestyles."

The 15,860-square-foot facility boasts basketball and volleyball courts, a recording studio, counseling and resource center, and multipurpose room. Teens can enjoy a wide range of activities such as video production classes, diversity training, and outdoor adventure field trips. Public programs are also available, ranging from cheerleading to sports leagues and dance classes.

Built on land owned by the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District, the $3.9 million project marks a collaborative effort between the school district, County of San Diego, and County Service Area 128. The school district will share use of the facility with the County.

For more information and directions, go to this page.

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Goodan Ranch Center now open
Four years after the Cedar Fire consumed Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon, the Department of Parks and Recreation unveiled the brand new Goodan Ranch Center. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and the Department of Parks and Recreation invited the public to join the City of Poway, City of Santee, and the Department of Fish and Game in celebrating the grand opening of the new center. The energy efficient facility houses a ranger office, community room, comfort station, kitchenette, and exhibits.

The grand opening was held on Thursday, November 15 at 2 p.m. Goodan Ranch is located at 16281 Sycamore Canyon Road in Poway. For more information, go to this page.

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San Elijo Nature Center groundbreaking ceremony
County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and the Department of Parks and Recreation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new San Elijo Nature Center on Tuesday, November 20, at 10 a.m. The two-story facility at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve will serve as a base for education, land stewardship, and environmental protection. It will be made from recycled building materials and will feature solar panels, irrigated roof plants, and recycled water.

For more information and directions please go to this page.

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Lakeside Baseball Park groundbreaking ceremony
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the new, state-of-the-art baseball park in Lakeside on Monday, October 15, 2007. "Lakeside's young people need and deserve this park," said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. " That's why we're turning this dirt into diamonds -- four diamonds, to be exact, each one with state-of-the-art synthetic turf. This park is going to be a true gem."

The future facility will feature four artificial turf fields, a playground, batting cages, a concession stand, and restrooms, all on ten acres of County-owned property. The baseball park will be located at the intersection of Mast Boulevard and the future Marathon Pkwy. For more information, go to this page.


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Del Dios Highlands Preserve now open
County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and the Department of Parks and Recreation invited the public to celebrate the ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony of Del Dios Highlands County Preserve on Thursday, October 18.

Visitors will now be able to hike the new one and one-half mile trail that will be the first to link the communities of Del Dios and Harmony Grove. The 460-acre preserve is part of the Multiple Species Conservation Program and offers scenic views of Lake Hodges, Olivenhain Reservoir, and the Pacific Ocean.

Del Dios Highlands County Preserve is located at 9860 Del Dios Highway in Escondido. The preserve will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to a half-hour before sunset. For more information see this PDF document. For a map, go to this page.

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Santa Margarita County Preserve now open
The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Santa Margarita County Preserve was held on October 3, 2007. The public was invited to hike a two and a half mile trail offering scenic views of the Santa Margarita River. In addition, the County Parks and Recreation Department and the Trails Council of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy opened the first official equestrian staging area in Fallbrook. Winding through lush terrain, Santa Margarita County Preserve offers visitors a cooler hiking experience.

Santa Margarita County Preserve is located at 37385 De Luz Road in Fallbrook. For more information, including rules and regulations of the preserve, go to this page. For a printable map of the preserve go to this page.

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Barnett Ranch Preserve opened to public
Barnett Ranch Preserve is now open to the public for the first time. The 700-acre preserve in Ramona offers the public access to approximately four miles of trails through a variety of habitats.

From the late 1800s until recently, Barnett Ranch was a working ranch that raised cattle and grew field crops. The County acquired the land for inclusion into the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Subarea Plan, and now the public is welcome to hike, bike, or ride horses along its trails and enjoy the wildlife and scenery preserved in the park.

"Barnett Ranch is a welcome addition to the County's nationally recognized MSCP plan," said Second District Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who helped create the MSCP program in the 90s. "It highlights the County's ability to provide recreational opportunities for the public, while preserving its valuable natural resources."

The new preserve encompasses habitats ranging from coastal sage scrub to oak savannah to nonnative grasslands. Visitors can enjoy scenic views from the miles of multiple-use, non-motorized trails and can observe wildlife including golden eagles, white-tailed kites, orange-throated whiptails, and the rarely seen ringtail.

The staging area of Barnett Ranch Preserve is located at the intersection of San Vicente Road and Deviney Lane in Ramona. The preserve will be open Fridays through Mondays, from 8 a.m. to sunset. No water or restroom facilities are available at the preserve.

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Miracle Field opens at San Dieguito Park
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation and our partners cordially invite the public to a ribbon cutting ceremony and opening day for the Miracle Field at San Dieguito County Park on Saturday, May 19, 2007.

The field is the first Southern California baseball field designed to provide recreational opportunities for children with special needs. A special feature of the state-of-the-art field is its synthetic rubber turf, designed to accommodate wheelchairs, eliminate barriers to disabled or visually impaired players, and help prevent injuries.

Children with special needs aren't the only ones who will benefit from the new field and programs. The Miracle League will also offer a "buddy" program that partners youth volunteers with players to provide assistance and encouragement.

The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 19 at 9 a.m. The field is located in the upper area of the park. Directions to the park can be found here. For more information, go to this page.

 

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Park beautification project completed at San Elijo Lagoon
January 9, 2007: The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve to celebrate the completion of a new boardwalk. District 3 Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy host the event, which commemorates the completion of a park beautification and enhancement project.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 24 at 11 a.m. at the visitor's center, 2710 Manchester Avenue.

 

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Historic Los Peñasquitos adobe receives makeover
November 3, 2006: District 3 County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite the public to a celebration on November 7 commemorating the restoration of Wing C and the historic Rancho Los Peñasquitos Ranch House. The restoration opens another chapter in the nearly 180 years of history at the elegant 19th-centruy ranch house.

Wing C will feature a 19th-century kitchen adorned with historically accurate furnishings, tools, and utensils. This restoration adds a new and important element to the park's La Vida del Rancho school program, which each year teaches more than 800 elementary school children what life was like in the 1800s on a rancho. The newly restored section of the adobe, which is a nationally recognized historic site, will also feature a multipurpose room for meetings and special events.

"This noteworthy project embodies the County's commitment to enriching our children's familiarity with local, regional, and even national history," said Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. "This addition is also important because it furthers the county's commitment to safeguarding our significant historic and cultural resources." The supervisor noted that Los Peñasquitos enhances the quality of life for members of the local community and community groups through education, and by offering a site for meetings and events.

The celebration of the restoration of Wing C will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7 at Los Penasquitos Ranch House. Refreshments will be provided. There will be an adobe open house with docent interpretation, and free wagon rides. The adobe is located at 12020 Black Mountain Road, at the west end of Canyonside Park Drive, west of the ball fields at Canyonside Park.



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Final fire-damaged County park reopens
May 20, 2006: El Capitan County Open Space Preserve, the final park that remained closed due to the wildfires in 2003, reopened to the public on May 20.

More than 15,000 acres of County parkland were burned in the fires, causing damage to 23 parks and long-term closure to eleven of the parks. Over the past two years, $15 million worth of damage to parks and trails countywide has been repaired. Among these parks, El Capitan Preserve's trail system was one of the most damaged. Its seven-mile path, which is part of the Trans-County Trail, was completely wiped out from erosion caused by the fire and heavy rains.

"The parks and trails could not have been restored so quickly without the hard work of the staff and volunteers," said Renée Bahl, County Parks and Recreation Director. "We also received tremendous support from our partnerships with other agencies and organizations."

Grant support, as well as thousands of hours of work from park staff and volunteers, allowed the parks to not only be restored, but also improved. County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation employed better rebuilding methods and tools in the process, such as green building techniques and using fire resistant and low maintenance materials.

El Capitan Open Space Preserve is located at the intersection of Blue Sky Ranch Road and Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside, two miles north of Stelzer County Park. The preserve is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 

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Grand opening of Santa Ysabel Preserve in Julian
District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, and members of the public celebrated the grand opening of the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve on Thursday, June 29, 2006. The newly opened 3800-acre preserve offers more than 11 miles of scenic multi-use trails in the mountains near Julian. Various species of native birds, including such rarities as spotted owls and golden eagles, live in the preserve's oak woodlands and coniferous forest.

The preserve will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Access to the preserve is from Farmers Road, north of Volcan Mountain Preserve. For directions and more information, please go to this page.

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Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch center
August 31, 2006: The public is invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, September 12 for the new center at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserves. Much of the preserve, including historic buildings, was burned during the October 2003 wildfires. Join the County of San Diego, City of Poway, City of Santee, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Friends of Goodan Ranch in commemorating this milestone in fire recovery.

The ceremony will take place at the preserve on Tuesday, September 12 at 10:30 a.m. For more details and directions, go to this PDF file.


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Wilderness Gardens celebrates completion of beautification project
April 6, 2006: District 5 County Chairman Bill Horn, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Friends of Wilderness Gardens cordially invited the public to celebrate the completion of a park beautification project. The ceremony took place at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 6 at the open space preserve.

Wilderness Gardens Open Space Preserve recently benefited from a park entry enhancement project. Nearly $15,000 was donated by the Friends of Wilderness Gardens and the San Diego County Parks Society to provide a new automated entry gate and a native plant garden. Immediately following the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy refreshments and an interpretive and historical tour of the preserve.

Wilderness Gardens Open Space Preserve is located in northern San Diego County at 14209 Highway 76, approximately 11 miles east of I-15.

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Kelly Ditch Trail at Heise County Park reopens
October 12, 2005: Great news for hikers! The popular Kelly Ditch Trail, which connects William Heise County Park to Lake Cuyamaca and the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, officially reopened on Friday, October 28.

Following the devastating wildfires in October 2003, both County and State park staff have been working diligently to restore the 6-mile trail. Now that the work is complete, we have expanded trail use to include hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

 

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Finney interpretive overlook grand opening event
November 8, 2005: The County of San Diego, City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, and the Otay Valley Regional Park Policy Committee and Citizens Advisory Committee will celebrate the grand opening of the Finney interpretive overlook in Otay Valley Regional Park on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony and enjoy special artifact displays compliments of the San Diego Aerospace Museum. For more information go to this page.

 

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New playground opens at Felicita County Park
Just in time for summer, a new playground has opened at Felicita County Park. The new play area enhances the existing rich cultural resources of the park by including Native American design and interpretive signage. For the first time, children can play on the new swings, slides and climbing features. In addition to the playground, park construction improvements include nature trails, a gazebo, an amphitheater, and a grassy knoll.

County Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and children from the local Boys and Girls Club celebrated the grand opening of the new Felicita Park playground on Thursday, June 23, 2005. The park is located at 742 Clarence Lane in Escondido.

 

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Jess Martin Park now has drinking fountains
June 28, 2005: With the installation of a new well, water is now available at three drinking fountains in Jess Martin County Park. The community park, a half-mile south of Julian on Highway 79, has ballfields, a playground, and a skateboard park.

On Tuesday, June 28, District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and community members gathered to celebrate the "first drink" at the new fountains.

 

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Hellhole Canyon reopens
May 20, 2005: District 5 County Supervisor Bill Horn, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Friends of Hellhole Canyon celebrated the complete restoration of Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve on Friday, May 20. Guests and visitors at the celebration were treated to views of the many park improvements, including an amphitheater, a kiosk, fire ecology interpretive signage, and parkland expansion.

Restoration efforts and park improvements are thanks to generous donations from Pardee Homes and Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego County Parks Society, the Friends of Hellhole Canyon, Roel Construction, and DCXcavating.

 

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Mt. Gower, Simon Open Space Preserves reopen
December 17, 2004: Recent rains delayed the opening of two fire-damaged county parks, but the parks reopened today, thanks to the work of various volunteers.

The October 2003 Cedar fire devastated Mt. Gower and Simon Open Space Preserves, and they were scheduled to reopen in mid-November after hundreds of hours were spent clearing debris restoring trails, and rebuilding the preserves.

However, because of last month's heavy rains and extensive erosion, the reopening date was rescheduled for December 16. County Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the California Conservation Corps, and volunteer trail groups gathered to celebrate the reopening of the two parks, which offer more than 2240 acres of open space and miles of multi-use trails in the Ramona area.

County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation Director Renée Bahl said that volunteers were crucial in the efforts to reopen the parks. "Staff, National Emergency Grant crews, the California Conservation Corps, and volunteers worked incredibly hard to rebuild Mt. Gower and Simon," she said.

The Ramona Trail Association (RTA), a local trails group, has been at the forefront of the volunteer effort to help combat the setback from rain damage at Mt. Gower. "Because of the selfless efforts of volunteer groups such as RTA, residents and visitors will once again be able to enjoy Mt. Gower," Bahl said.

It is estimated that the recent heavy rains caused an additional $1 million in damages to fire-impacted County parks and open space preserves.

 

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Lake Jennings playground reopens, park is completely restored
September 3, 2004: Just in time for the Labor Day holiday, the scorched and melted playground at Lake Jennings County Park reopened on Thursday, September 2, making it the first fire-damaged County park to be completely restored and rebuilt after the October 2003 wildfires.

More than 75% of this 100-acre park was completely burned in the Cedar Fire. Park signage, pavilions, fencing, and vegetation burned, but the most significant damage was the total loss of the brand-new playground. Many children were eagerly waiting for their turn to swing and slide at the playground reopening event of September 2 at 4:00 p.m.

Lake Jennings County Park was the first fire-damaged park to partially reopen to the public, on December 12, 2003. Currently six other fire-damaged County parks have reopened, and three of the four remaining closed parks are expected to reopen by the end of 2004.

Lake Jennings County Park is located at 10108 Bass Road in Lakeside, five miles east of El Cajon, and offers many educational and recreational adventures for local residents and visitors. Lake Jennings provides unique opportunities to have fun the natural way by offering outdoor activities such as fishing, wildlife observation, hiking, and camping. This County park offers nearly 100 full hook-up, partial hook-up, and primitive campsites, as well as a youth camping area. For Lake Jennings camping specials, camping reservations, and additional information, please call the Reservation Desk at 858-565-3600.

 

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Cedar Trail Reopens at Heise Park
October 15, 2004: The fire-damaged Cedar Trail at William Heise County Park in Julian has been rehabilitated and reopened on Friday, October 15, 2004. The one-mile trail loops around the south side of Cedar Creek pond and provides hikers with a unique opportunity to see a knoll of burnt oak trees and the current vegetation regrowth as nature restores itself after the wildfires. This is an easy to moderate hike that meanders through a dense, cool cedar and oak forest and opens up to a panoramic view of the Julian backcountry burned areas.

According to Renée Bahl, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, this is another milestone on the road to recovery. "It is exciting to celebrate the restoration and reopening of our fire-damaged trails, as they provide unique opportunities for San Diego residents and visitors to come and see how nature restores itself after a wildfire. It's also healthy recreation." The reopening of the Cedar Trail means more than 44 miles of fire-damaged County Park trails have been rehabilitated.

 

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Palomar County Park reopens
September 3, 2004: Palomar County Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 4, 2004 after completing a month-long removal project for dead, dying, and diseased trees.

In conjunction with the County's Fire Safety and Fuel Reduction Program, Palomar County Park was closed on July 9, 2004 to remove more than 300 trees that posed fire and safety risks. This $250,000 project was funded by a State Fire Assistance grant and was a collaborative effort between the County of San Diego's Department of Public Works and Department of Parks and Recreation.

During the tree removal project, improvements were also made to the picnic area and parking lot in preparation for the park reopening.

Palomar County Park is located at 21818 Crestline Road and is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. At just under four acres, this park offers a quiet place to enjoy a picnic or experience an escape to enjoy the serenity of nature.

 

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Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch reopens
August 12, 2004: County Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the cities of Poway and Santee, the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Conservation Corps, the State Office of Emergency Services, the Friends of Goodan Ranch, and members of the public celebrated the reopening of Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch Open Space Preserves on Thursday, August 12, 2004.

Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch was completely burned by the October 2003 Cedar Fire, so this was an especially exciting event. Refreshments and a ranger-led fire ecology nature walk followed the ceremony. The hikers got an up-close and inspiring look at how the preserves and their nine miles of trails are coming back to life.

Preserve hours will resume the summer schedule through September. The Goodan Ranch staging area, off Sycamore Canyon Road from Poway, will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Sycamore Canyon staging area, off Highway 67, will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For a map and more information on the preserves, go to this page.

 

 

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Louis Stelzer County Park reopens on April 1
District 2 County Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, the Department of Parks and Recreation, members of the Stelzer family, and park lovers celebrated the reopening of Stelzer County Park on Thursday, April 1, 2004. This special event marked the first time the park has been open to the public since the October wildfires. A ranger-led tour immediately followed the opening ceremony and highlighted the many signs of new life in the park. Stelzer County Park is located at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside.

 


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Tree Planting Day in East County parks
East County Kiwanis Clubs are partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department to help restore fire-damaged parks and the East County community. More than 250 trees were donated to County parks by the Kiwanis Club and were planted at four County parks -- South Lane, Lake Jennings, El Monte, and Flinn Springs -- by volunteer groups on Saturday, March 20. More than 35 Kiwanis chapters, key clubs, and youth groups contributed to this event, and event organizers said that more than 200 volunteers participated. In addition, Harbison Canyon and Crest residents affected by the wildfire were eligible to receive up to three free trees compliments of the Kiwanis Club.

This day also marked the official reopening of two County parks in Crest, Nancy Jane and South Lane, which have been closed since the wildfires.

 


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Heise County Park reopens
William Heise County Park, known as one of San Diego County's precious gems, was impacted by the recent wildfires but was not destroyed. It reopened for the first time since the wildfires on Friday, December 26, 2003. While Heise's youth area, trails, and a few camping sites will remain closed, more than half the park is now accessible to the public.

According to Renée Bahl, Parks and Recreation Director, the first consideration when reopening the park was safety. "Since the fires, we have been working diligently to remove debris and hazardous trees to ensure safety in our parks. It is important to us to provide residents and visitors safe opportunities to see and learn about how nature restores itself after the occurrence of a wildfire."

William Heise presents many recreational and educational opportunities for campers and for those interested in day excursions. The park is located just outside of Julian and offers primitive campsites as well as wilderness cabins. Visitors can also enjoy picnic areas, hiking and equestrian trails, and wildlife observation.

For more information about William Heise County Park, camping specials, or the status of other County Parks, call the Reservation and Information Center toll free at 1-877-565-3600 (858-565-3600 local).

 

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Lake Jennings has reopened
December 12, 2003: The first of the County parks that were closed due to recent wildfire damage has reopened. Lake Jennings Regional Park opened its campsites to the public on Friday, December 12. According to Renée Bahl, Parks and Recreation Director, Lake Jennings is the first of many parks that the Department is working diligently to reopen. "Our first priority is to ensure that the County parks and open space preserves impacted by the wildfires are safe to reopen to the public. Since the fires, we have been working hard to restore damaged parks quickly so that residents and visitors can have an opportunity to learn firsthand about how nature restores itself after the occurrence of a wildfire."

Lake Jennings offers many educational and recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors. The park is located only five miles east of El Cajon but provides visitors a relaxing sense of "escaping to nature" by offering outdoor activities such as fishing, wildlife observation, hiking, kayaking, and camping. Lake Jennings offers nearly 100 full hook-up, partial hook-up, and primitive campsites as well as a youth camping area. For camping specials, park promotions or additional information please call the Reservation Desk toll free at 1-877-565-3600 (858-565-3600 local).


Information updated 7/29/08