News from the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation – Nov. 18

By Jay Wilson

The 5-Peak Challenge enjoyed its first anniversary on Nov. 7. It continues to be a great success as nearly 4,000 people have successfully completed the challenge and registered their accomplishment with Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP). It certainly has accomplished its initial goal of expanding the horizons of hikers to more than just climbing Cowles Mountain. Hikers continually tell us how much they enjoyed the 5-Peak Challenge and how they have now discovered so many new places to hike in the park. MTRP has 60 miles of trails to be explored and enjoyed.

If you have not taken the challenge, now is the time to begin your hike of the five peaks: Kwaay Paay, North and South Fortuna, Cowles Mountain, and Pyles Peak. You can do it in a day or take your time. Show us your “selfies” taken next to the summit sign at the top of each peak and we will be pleased to give you your lapel pin and a certificate verifying that you successfully completed the 5-Peak Challenge. 


Mission Trails Regional Park will celebrate Arbor Day by inviting volunteers (below) to plant native plants and trees, like the Coast Live Oak (above). (Photos by David Cooksy)

Music and art at the Visitor Center  

On Sunday, Nov. 20, you can enjoy the music of guitarist Peter Pupping at 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center Theater. The Peter Pupping Quartet was formed in 1996 in Encinitas, California, which eventually lead to the Peter Pupping Band. The next concert features the Santee Community Chorus on Dec. 4 and Many Strings returns to the Visitor Center on Dec. 18.

The current art exhibition is entitled “Four of a Kind.” This exhibit will be on display in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center Art Gallery through Dec. 2. The artists are:

Janine Free is a street photographer from France. After retiring from Qualcomm, she embraced digital photography as a full-time activity. Janine travels to cities all over Europe and the United States; she has exhibited in the San Diego area since 2006.

Jill Rowe creates her digital images painting with pixels using photo compositing to convey her visions and stories. Rowe invites viewers to discover their own meaningful interpretation.

Kirk Sullivan is an Orange County-based artist who loves to experiment with photography. Sullivan loves macro photography and exploring the unseen world. From snowflakes to waves and even astrophotography, he likes to experiment with nature and challenge himself.

Jennifer Wolf’s Marine Biology and Ecology degrees led to 25 years of work in sea urchin fisheries. Through ballooning, she is able to travel for 10 weeks each year photographing the landscape, exploring the west, and seeking out dog-friendly travel destinations.

The following exhibition will feature artists from local high schools – Dec. 3–30.

Arbor Day

3737Arbor Day in Mission Trails will be celebrated at the Oak Grove area across the street from the Visitor Center on the east side of Father Junipero Serra Trail, on Dec. 3, beginning at 9 a.m. The public is invited to take part in the donation and/or planting of Coast Live Oak Trees and other native plants. Volunteers may help with the planting — or act as cheerleaders. Shovels will be available, but it would be helpful if you could bring your own. Gloves and comfortable shoes are recommended. You may donate a tree for $100. To make a donation, go to our website at and click on “More News” on the right-hand side of the page. In order to ensure that trees are available for all donors to plant, please make your donation by Nov. 21.

For further information, contact the Visitor Center at 619-668-3281 or email Arbor Day at Mission Trails is sponsored by city of San Diego Councilmember Scott Sherman, city of San Diego Park & Recreation Department, MTRP Park Citizens’ Advisory Committee, and the MTRP Foundation.


David Lee, the Center Director for the MTRP Visitor Center is looking for a few good volunteers; particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email David at and let him know you are interested.

In addition to making a post on the MTRP Facebook page, Twitter, and/or Instagram pages, you may use a new opportunity through Click on “Projects” and enter Mission Trails Regional Park in the search box. This MTRP Biodiversity project aims to track the biodiversity of the park. Add a picture. This project was initiated by Patricia Simpson, a Volunteer Trail Guide for MTRP.

Every day is an adventure at Mission Trails Regional Park. Visit

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

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