Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation news – June 16, 2017

By Jay Wilson                

25th Amateur Photo Contest

All the entries for the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation’s 25th annual Amateur Photo Contest will be on display in the Visitor Center Gallery from June 17 through July 14. The public reception and awards will be at the Visitor Center on Sunday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Come and view all the photographs and cast your vote for the “People’s Choice Award” which will also be awarded on June 25. This year’s contest sponsor is San Diego Family Magazine.

Explore Mission Trails Day

“Connecting with Nature” was the theme for the 2017 Explore Mission Trails Day held on Saturday, May 20 at the Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) East Fortuna Staging Area (EFSA). Over 1,400 people attended the event.

This popular event featured free guided nature walks, talks and programs throughout the park, including live animals, special programs for children and the ever-popular free pony rides. There was also a mini mountain bike track presented by the San Diego Mountain Bike Association, a climbing wall, crafts for children, and many Discovery Stations.

The sponsors of the 15th annual Explore Mission Trails Day were: The City of San Diego Special Promotional Program, County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program, Republic Services, Superior Ready Mix, REI, Lightspeed Outdoors, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Family Magazine and San Diego Community News Network.

Summer camp for children ages 6 to 12.

The MTRP Foundation is offering four different one-week summer camps at the Visitor Center. The camps are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The camps are:
June 26–30: River Camp
July 10–14: Creepy Crawly Camp
July 24–28: Nocturnal Creatures Camp
Aug. 7–11: Nature Detectives Camp

For more information and registration form, go to Scroll down under “More News” to “Summer Camp for Children.”

Kumeyaay Lake Campground

For more summer fun, have a family adventure and camp at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground which is open for Friday and Saturday night camping. The 46 campsites are available for reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis and the cost is just $24 per night. On the reservation website page (, go to the “Location” drop-down menu at the top of the page and select Kumeyaay Lake Campground.

Camp out the second weekend of the month and discover the universe with the San Diego Astronomy Association for a “Stars at Mission Trails” program, which is presented in the Day-Use Parking Lot adjacent to the Kumeyaay Lake Campground.

Bioblitz Bonanza

[Note: The following is excerpts from Millie Basden’s article in the May issue of the Volunteer Trail Guide “Trail Talk”]

April 9 marked the first ever Trail Guide-conducted bioblitz using iNaturalist to document observations of plants and animals in Mission Trails Regional Park. A bioblitz typically involves an intense period of biological surveying in a specific locale. The term was coined in 1996 by the National Park Service and the model has been replicated by many different groups in many different locations.

This image of bees is one of the photographs taken by MTRP Trail Guides and uploaded to iNaturalist as part of a “bioblitz.” (Photo by Don Endicott)

For the MTRP bioblitz, instead of collecting specimens, Trail Guides took photographs and uploaded them to iNaturalist, an online database which serves as a forum for amateurs and professionals to share observations and to document biodiversity.

After the MTRP bioblitz, organizer and top observer Patricia Simpson said, “WOW: over 1,100 observations, and over 300 species! 24 members participated!”

Those numbers support Fred Kramer’s sentiments as he said, “I am gratified that so many Trail Guides enthusiastically participated in our first bioblitz event. I hope other Trails Guides will join them using iNaturalist to document species in Mission Trails and elsewhere.”

All of the observations contributed to iNaturalist during the MTRP bioblitz can be viewed online by pointing your browser to In addition, you can join the ongoing MTRP Biodiversity Project on iNaturalist and contribute your own observations from any trail in MTRP at any time.

Host special events at MTRP

For that special after-hour venue, the Visitor Center is a unique venue for a wedding, retirement party, fundraiser, celebration of life, corporate or business function or a retirement party. Call 619-668-3280 or email Maggie Holloway at for more information.

—Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Reach him at

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