News from the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation – July 15, 2016

By Jay Wilson

Mission Trails says goodbye to a great Senior Ranger. For the past two years, Andy Quinn has served as an outstanding Senior Ranger for Mission Trails Regional Park. Unfortunately for us, he has accepted a new position as a district manager for the San Diego County’s Park and Recreation Department, which he began on July 8. He did an outstanding job during his tenure at Mission Trails and he will certainly be missed by the city staff and the MTRP Foundation as well.

This year we had 142 entries for the 24th annual Amateur Photo Contest and we were very pleased with all the new photographers entering the contest. All 142 photos were on display in the Visitor Center Gallery from June 18 through July 15. Each photo was judged by a panel of expert nature photographers: Patricia Simpson, Hans Kuwert, and Wendy Esterly. Their selection for the Best of Show was “March of the Goslings,” and the public voted “Good Morning Little Squeaker” as the winner of the People’s Choice. Both photos are by Darlene Luckins.

Throughout the year, there are always people and businesses lending a hand by donating their time and expertise to MTRP and the MTRP Foundation. Each month Cameron Scott, a videographer, donates his time and expertise to produce a video of all the art exhibitions on display in the Visitor Center Gallery. Each video is posted on our home page as part of the art exhibition section found under “More News.”


“March of the Gosslings” was selected Best of Show in the Mission Trails Amateur Photo Contest. (Photo by Darlene Luckins)

On the second Friday at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground and the fourth Friday at West Sycamore, the San Diego Astronomy Association offers a “Star Party” with telescopes for the public to view the universe beginning at sunset.

In the business world, Ideal Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical; Republic Services; and Adventure-16 continually donate in-kind services to the MTRP Foundation.

Countless MTRP volunteers continually donate their time and expertise such as George Varga, who also conducts a “Star Party” at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground on selected Saturdays listed on the Events Calendar. Outstanding nature photographers Gerry Tietje and David Cooksy are continually taking photographs for MTRP Foundation events and providing photos for the Mission Times Courier and the Tierra Times. And there is Fred Kramer, president of the Volunteer Trail Guides and Terry Gaughen who donate hundreds of hours every year to the park. And a special thank you to Tom Thompson who is frequently seen volunteering at the front desk and edits all of my articles. It definitely takes a village to maintain Mission Trails, and those listed above are just a handful of the more than 100 volunteers actively donating their time and expertise to MTRP.

Check out our website under “More News” to learn about all the events and activities from free guided trail walks, to star parties, camping at Kumeyaay Lake Campground, concerts and art exhibitions, and children’s summer camps – all at Mission Trails.

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

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