By Jay Wilson
The Explore Mission Trails Day (EMTD) on May 21 is not far away. Mark your calendars for a fun-filled day at the park. Behind the scenes, MTRP Foundation staff and key volunteers are already hard at work. It takes about eight months of planning by a dedicated staff to stage this event, and it takes an additional 125 volunteers to make it a successful day. Mark your calendar and plan to take part in this fun-filled free day at Mission Trails.
EMTD is primarily set at the Visitor Center and the East Fortuna Staging Area. There will even be free shuttle busses to transport you to and from our parking lots to both event locations. This popular family- oriented event features free guided nature walks with our very knowledgeable Volunteer Trail Guides, exciting interactive displays and talks and programs throughout the park, including live animals and special programs and activities for children. There will also be free pony rides from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Fortuna Staging area; please note the line for the pony rides will close at 12:30. Challenge yourself and tackle the climbing wall. Children will have lots of fun making a craft and/or having their faces painted. They will also be able to experience the many Discovery Stations at the East Fortuna Staging Area. More information about EMTD can be found at mtrp.org. EMTD is presented annually by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, and San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman.
Enter the Mission Trails 23rd annual Amateur Photo Contest. Go to mtrp.org. This is a great time to photograph wildflowers.
Donna and Paul Miller stopped in recently and stated they had a donation. It turned out to be a Kumeyaay metate used for grinding acorns and a Kumeyaay mortar and pestle found in the Laguna Mountains in the 1930’s. They will be used as part of the education programs for children participating in the many field trips conducted each year at MTRP.
Looking for a more adventuresome activity? Complete the 5-Peak Challenge by taking a selfie at the summit of each of the five peaks: Cowles Mountain, Pyle’s Peak, Kwaay Paay, and North and South Fortuna. Over 1,700 people have officially registered as having completed the challenge. You will receive a certificate, a 5-Peak Challenge pin and a $10 coupon for Adventure-16. 5-Peak Challenge T-Shirts are on sale in the Visitor Center Gift Shop. Do it in a day, or over several months.
The MTRP Foundation offers two unique education programs; “Natures Tales and Trails” with Cindy Christ for children 4 and up on designated Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. This is an ideal educational adventure for home-schooled children. Each session is a different topic. “Nature’s Tales and Trails” includes classroom time and a guided nature walk with Cindy Christ; each child will take home a nature-related craft.
On designated Saturday afternoons, artist and art teacher BetteAnn Pierce of Art Smarts, offers a 3-hour family-oriented art class for all those 7 years and above. Each session is a different nature-related topic. Whether it is painting clouds or a red-tailed hawk, this is an opportunity to unlock your artistic talents.
For more information about these two programs, go to mtrp.org and look under “More News.”
Unique art forms are always on display in the art expositions in the Visitor Center Gallery. “Seven – Our World through the Colored Pencil” featuring seven award-winning artists is on display through March 25.
Music is ever-present in the Visitor Center. The free concert series presented by the MTRP Foundation continues on Saturday, March 20, with outstanding guitarist Peter Sprague. All concerts begin at 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center Theater. There are only 93 seats and it is first come, first served. The following concert will be on April 3 and will feature members of the San Diego Harp Society. Then on April 17, vocalist Lillian Palmer returns for her third performance.
Looking for that unique venue for a wedding, retirement party, fundraiser or social event? Contact Maggie Holloway to inquire about holding your next after-hour event at the Mission Trails Visitor Center and Terrace. Reach her at 619-668-3280 or by email at MHolloway@mtrp.org.
—Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Reach him at email@example.com.