By Jay Wilson
Congratulations to Audrey Baker, the 2014 Volunteer of the Year for Mission Trails Regional Park. Audrey contributed over 600 hours as a Trail Guide, volunteer at the Visitor Center, and author of the articles that appear monthly in this newspaper.
The dainty and colorful “Shooting Star” is blooming and can be seen at Four Corners, on the Rim Trail, and near the Old Mission Dam. The Shooting Star is about one inch in diameter; its petals begin with black at the base, blend to a golden yellow, then add a touch of white and ultimately a gorgeous pink. The periodic gentle rains we have received over the past couple of months are showing off the bountiful gifts of Mother Nature.
Our 23rd Amateur Photo Contest runs through August 31. Take advantage of all the spectacular wildflower blooms and spring growth provided by a warm winter and the gentle rains. The categories this year will be Scenic Views, People, Flora and Fauna, and Black and White. There will also be a special category for digitally enhanced color and black and white photos. Children 12 and under are urged to participate. Gerry Tietje, one of our volunteer trail guides and exceptional nature photographers, is offering a free two-hour class on how to take great nature photographs for students 10 – 17 years of age with a maximum of 20 students. It includes classroom instruction and a guided nature walk in Mission Trails. The class is Sunday, March 22, from 2 – 4 p.m. Reservations are required and the class is for point-and-shoot cameras and above. No smartphones please. To register, email Maggie Holloway at MHolloway@mtrp.org and include your name, phone number and email address. To submit a photo, go to mtrp.org and look under “More News” for the photo contest information and registration form.
Have fun at the Visitor Center
Our next free concert features contra bass player Bert Turetzky and will be held on Sunday, Feb. 22. Bert has been a featured contrabass soloist in the music centers of the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Australia. All hour-long concerts are at 3 p.m. and will be performed in the Visitor Center Theater. The San Diego Native American Flute Circle continues its monthly program in the amphitheater on the second Sunday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m.
Our current art exhibition, “Nature’s Eternal Dance,” features the work of award-winning artist Joan Hansen in the Visitor Center Art Gallery through Feb. 27. Joan writes, “As artists, we have the opportunity to express our unique thoughts and passions. Interwoven through my work are threads of organic lines and luminous color.” The next exhibition will feature the San Diego Pastel Society and will be displayed from Feb. 28 – March 27. The artist will hold a public reception on Saturday, March 7 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Above the Ozone IV with George Varga returns to the Visitor Center Theater on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. George also holds monthly star parties at MTRP. He will be showing spectacular photographs from the Hubble Telescope. Chuck Carter, our volunteer music program instructor, will again providing the ambient space music as background for George’s program. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Email Maggie Holloway at MHolloway@mtrp.org and include your name, email address, phone number and number in your party.
Linda Hawley’s “Children’s Nature Adventures!” for children 4 and up will meet on March 17 and 18, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The topic will be “Wonderful Woodrats.” Following the classroom lesson, Linda leads an easy trail walk. Returning to the classroom, the children will make a related, take-home craft. You may attend one class per month; for ages 4 & up, adult attendance required. Fees are $10 per child per class or $8 per child for three or more classes. Parents and siblings under 4 attend free. MTRP reserves the right to cancel a class 72 hours in advance. Please visit “More News” on our home page at mtrp.org, for additional information and registration forms.
To support the Friend of Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, go to mtrp.org and click the donation button.
There is always an adventure waiting for you at MTRP!
‑Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.