By Jay Wilson
Over 2,000 hikers have registered as having successfully completed the 5-Peak Challenge since it was initiated on Nov. 7, 2015. Every day at least one person stops by Visitor Center to claim their certificate and to receive a lapel pin and a $10 A-16 coupon. A great 5-Peak Challenge T-shirt is available in the Visitor Center Gift Shop. Anyone may purchase a T-shirt. The April issue of San Diego Magazine features 15 Outdoor Challenges in San Diego. Number 11 is the 5-Peak Challenge.
Explore Mission Trials Day
Be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the 14th Annual Explore Mission Trails Day. The theme is “Connecting with Nature.” This event features free, guided nature walks as well as talks and programs throughout the park, including live animals and special programs for children. There will be free pony rides sponsored by Kaiser Permanente beginning at 9 a.m. The pony rides will operate until 2 p.m., but the line will close at 12:30 p.m. There will also be a mini-mountain-bike track provided by the San Diego Mounty Bike Association; a rock-climbing wall sponsored by Republic Services; crafts for children; and many Discovery Stations — all of this at the East Fortuna Staging Area.
San Diego Family Magazine is sponsoring The San Diego Natural History Museum and Scholastic Publishing’s Ms. Frizzle and The Magic Schoolbus, which will present a special program featuring coyotes for children in the amphitheater at the Visitor and Interpretive Center. Explore Mission Trails Day is presented annually by the San Diego Park and Recreation Department, the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, and San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman. Additional sponsors are Superior Ready Mix and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.
Art, education, music
The current art exhibition, “Feature on Nature: Beaks and Peaks,” runs through April 22 featuring the nature photographic art of Gerry Tietje and Scott Streit. Tietje has been a nature photographer for over 16 years. His first subjects were birds. Nature photography became an obsession. Streit has been photographing the birds of San Diego and the Southwest for more than two decades. His eye for detail and expression can be seen in his work.
While at the Visitor Center, stop by the new Rock Cycle exhibit in the Exhibit Hall. It was designed by geologists Dr. Pat Abbott and Shannon O’Dunn, both board members of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.
Take a hike in Mission Trails and capture that perfect photo to enter in our annual Amateur Photo Contest. The contest is open through May 31 so you can take advantage of the spring blooms throughout the park. Check our website under “More News” for categories and entry forms.
The next “Nature’s Tales and Trails” class for children 4 and up will be held on Tuesday, April 26. Join nature educator Cindy Christ from 9:30-11:30 a.m., when the topic of this two-hour class will be “Woodrats, Rabbits and Deer-Oh My!” Family art classes continue with artist and art instructor BetteAnn Pierce on May 23. Learn to draw and paint dragonflies and damsel flies. Check our webpage mtrp.org under “More News” for additional information, including cost and registration forms. Both classes are offered twice each month and each class has a different topic.
Our concert series continues featuring vocalist Lillian Palmer on April 17 and Quartet Nouveau on May 1. Concerts begin at 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center Theater.
If you are new to mountain bike riding, join Ranger Araceli Dominguez and MTRP Foundation Administrative Assistant Maggie Holloway for a guided mountain bike ride on May 7, beginning at 9 a.m. at West Sycamore Staging Area at the east end of Stonebridge Parkway in Scripps Ranch. You will ride a new, wide single-track trail down and up through Beeler Canyon. This will be a ride for confident/fit beginners. The two-hour ride will cover approximately 10 miles.
Every day there is an adventure waiting for you at Mission Trails!
—Jay Wilson is executive director of Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Reach him at email@example.com.