Volunteers recognized at awards dinner

By Leslie Perkins | Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation

On Feb. 3, the city of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation celebrated and recognized the dedicated volunteers at Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) at the annual Volunteer Awards Dinner. Over 200 active volunteers selflessly give of their time and talents year-round to make the park such a special place to experience.

Last year, over 13,000 volunteer hours were worked by people coming from across the county to help make MTRP the special place that it is. The following individuals were recognized for their outstanding service in the respective areas during the year of 2017:

Winter is the perfect time to camp at Kumeyaay Lake. (Courtesy MTRPF)

  • Silvie Plesim: Volunteer of the Year
  • Dave and Jody Rowley: Trail Guide
  • George Varga: Volunteer Patrol
  • Mary Wagner: Visitor Center
  • Algie and Marnie Hassler: Campground
  • Gerry Tietje: Gift Shop
  • Carolyn Barkow: Library
  • Shane Douty: Habitat Improvement
  • Cody Ambrose: Trail Restoration
  • Kayla Poirier: Park Beautification
  • Bob Graham: West Sycamore

Mitsuo Tomita, Charles Carter, Desiree Cera: Concert Program.

After the hosted barbeque dinner at the Visitor Center, Councilmember Scott Sherman thanked the volunteers for their many work hours and dedication. The Rangers awarded the volunteers with recognition certificates and the foundation provided gift cards of appreciation. The takeaway message from the evening was how vital all the volunteers are to the successful operations of Mission Trails Regional Park, and in creating an extraordinary experience for all who visit.

Kumeyaay Lake Campground

Kumeyaay Lake Campground is the place to enjoy a wintry campout. Located among the 7,220 acres that make up Mission Trails Regional Park, the campground — open year-round on weekends and certain Monday holidays — offers a unique overnight camping opportunity in the largest open space park within the city of San Diego.

Amenities at the campground include a picnic table and fire ring at each of the sites, two comfort stations, each with hot showers, flushing toilettes, faucets and outdoor sinks with potable water.

Along with its 46 campsites, Kumeyaay Lake Campground also boasts a shade structure with three picnic tables and a stand-up grill, and an outdoor amphitheater with seating for larger groups. Please note, there are no electric or water hookups at individual sites.

Campsite fees are $24 per site per night. Reservations can be made through, and the campground rules can be found on that page as well. This is a great time of year to experience Mission Trails overnight, before the busy summer season.

With guided nature walks, easy access to hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, Kumeyaay Lake Campground is the fantastic camping choice conveniently located in the heart of San Diego.

— Leslie Perkins is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. Reach her at

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