By Jay Wilson
The 5-Peak Challenge at Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) has been very successful. As of the writing of this article, over 375 people have verified to staff at the Visitor Center that they have completed the challenge and are eligible to receive their certificates and lapel pins. To complete the challenge, hikers need to remember to take a selfie with your face adjacent to the appropriate peak sign. You may do the 5-Peak Challenge at your own pace; one day for whatever time-frame fits your schedule.
So far, the record time is 2 hours and 22 minutes by someone who runs 100-mile ultra-marathons. Although the youngest person is a 1 year old who rode on mom’s back, a 5 and 7 year old accompanied their mother to successfully complete the 5-Peak Challenge. We offer a big thank you to Ranger Levi Dean for coming up with the idea of the 5-Peak Challenge.
On Dec. 5, the 10 winners of our drawing, randomly selected from the first 100 people to complete the challenge, met at the Visitor Center to receive prizes donated by Adventure-16, Lightspeed Outdoors, and REI. It was exciting to hear each one of the winners comment about his or her 5-Peak Challenge experience. They were all very enthusiastic about their experiences. All but one person frequently hikes in the park. The one exception was a young lady from Glendale who found out about the challenge from our webpage and returned to claim her prize. If you would like more information about the 5-Peak Challenge, go to our homepage, mtrp.org, and click on the 5-Peak Challenge logo.
Activities in the Visitor Center
The current art exhibition “Natural Views” features works from students in the Grossmont Union High School District. Their artwork will be on display in the Visitor Center Gallery through Dec. 31. The first exhibition in the New Year will feature seven artists that combine paintings in acrylics, oils, water colors, and two nature photographers. Their exhibition will be on display from Jan. 2 to 29.
Our concert series continues and features the Pomerado Brass Quintet on Dec. 20, the Danny Green Trio (jazz) on Jan. 3, and Yale Strom returns on Jan. 17 for a concert featuring klezmer and Roma music. It is first come, first served, for the 93 seats in the Visitor Center Theater. All concerts begin at 3 p.m. and are primarily on Sundays. Concerts are booked through November of 2016. The complete schedule is available on our website.
Check out the Visitor Center gift shop for that special holiday gift. “We have a new supply of Kumeyaay wedding pots, lots of animal puppets, educational books on plants, birds and geology, new storybooks for children, a great variety of walking sticks in various sizes, Native American pocket flutes, and some novelty items for stocking stuffers,” said Patty O’Reilley, our gift shop manager. The gift shop is open every day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.
If you are shopping online this holiday season through Amazon, remember to use Amazon Smile. It costs you nothing and in return when you select Mission Trails Regional Park as your designated nonprofit, we will receive .05 percent of your purchase price on just about every item they sell.
If you are looking to make a tax deductible donation to the MTRP Foundation before the end of the year, go to our home page, mtrp.org, and click on the “Donate” button in the top right hand corner of the page.
Looking for a unique venue for a meeting or after-hour private event? Remember that the Visitor Center has day-time meeting room accommodations for groups up to 65 people, and that we can accommodate up to 370 people for an after-hour event such as business mixers, fundraisers, weddings, celebrations of life, or retirement parties. For more information, contact Maggie Holloway at 619-668-3280.
Everyone associated with the MTRP Foundation wishes you and your family a happy holiday and a happy New Year!
––Jay Wilson is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Write to him at email@example.com.