News from the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation – May 20, 2016

By Jay Wilson

Explore Mission Trails Day

“Connecting with Nature” is the theme for the 2016 Explore Mission Trails Day to be held on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This popular event features free guided nature walks, talks and programs throughout the park, including live animals and special programs for children.

The San Diego Natural History Museum and Scholastic Publishing’s Ms. Frizzle and The Magic Schoolbus will present a special program featuring coyotes for children in the amphitheater at the Visitor and Interpretive Center. There will also be free pony rides beginning at 9 a.m. at the East Fortuna Staging Area. The pony rides operate until 2 p.m., but the line will close at 12:30 p.m.


The climbing wall at the East Fortuna Staging Area is always popular with children and adults. (Photo by David Cooksy)

There will also be a mini-mountain bike track, a climbing wall, crafts for children, and many Discovery Stations at the East Fortuna Staging Area.

SDG&E is participating at the East Fortuna Staging Area by displaying two electric vehicles and will be available to discuss the many benefits of this new technology. Electric vehicles are great for the environment and are available in many models to suit lifestyle needs.

The Santee and Lake Murray Kiwanis Clubs will be selling hamburgers, hotdogs and sodas.

Thank you to our sponsors: Republic Services Inc., the city and county of San Diego, Superior Ready Mix, Kaiser Permanente, SDG&E, Lightspeed Outdoors and in-kind donations from San Diego Family Magazine and San Diego Community News Network.

Amateur Photo Contest

Enjoy the park, and pause to take that special picture to be entered into our contest. The deadline to submit photos is May 31. We especially encourage children 12 and under to participate.

If you are involved with a photo club, please pass this information on to the members. Go to and scroll down under “More News” for more information and entry forms.

The divisions are: Adults (18-plus) and Students (13-17); and the categories are: Flora (plants), Fauna (animals), Landscapes, People and/or Man-Made Structures and any photo from the children 12-and-under division.

Mountainbiking with a ranger

On June 4, meet at the West Fortuna entrance to Mission Trails located at the very east end of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in Tierrasanta. Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and food.

Join Ranger Araceli Dominguez and MTRP Foundation administrative assistant and member of the San Diego Mountain Bike Association, Maggie Holloway, for this fun-filled nature and progressive beginner series of rides.

If you are new to riding, this is for you! Come early and volunteers from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association will help you make adjustments to your bike. The program will begin again in October.

Art exhibition

The next art exhibition “Nature: Near and Far” features three award-winning nature photographers – Will Gibson, Kim Hirsch, and Jack Quintero, and will be on display from May 20 to June 17 in the Visitor Center Gallery.

Free concert — May 29

Rewind to a bygone era with an afternoon of endearing, enduring, enchanting, and entertaining music from London-born ‘croonadour’ (crooner + troubadour) and V2 recording artist Gregory Page. The Gregory Page songbook has been featured in film, on television, the BBC and NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion.” He is an international touring artist, and has performed his one-man show in Europe to both critical and popular acclaim. There are only 93 seats in the theater and the event is first come, first served.

Our June 5 concert features Caprice Strings and on June 12 enjoy a performance by the San Diego Native American Flute Circle.

Art Smarts — May 28

Learn how to draw herons and egrets in chalk pastels. The class is from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $25 or $88 for four consecutive classes.

Summer Camp

Camp for for children ages 6-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 11 to 15, River Camp; July 25 to 29, Creep Crawly Camp; August 1 to 5, Nocturnal Creatures Camp; and August 15 to 19, Nature Detectives Camp. visit website for more information and registration form.

Private events

The Visitor Center is also a spectacular venue for a private after-hour event such as a wedding, retirement party, celebration of life, or business mixer. Contact Maggie Holloway at 619-668-3280.

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

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