News and Events
Weather/fire updates, park closures
Go to this page to sign up for the latest news, activity and program guides, or special projects.
San Elijo Nature Center recognized as County's "greenest" public building
On November 17, 2009 County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price accepted a plaque from the U.S. Building Green Council, recognizing the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center as the first public building in the county to become LEED Platinum certified. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” and platinum certification is the highest ranking a project can receive. The 5,600-square-foot nature center incorporates environmentally-friendly building features, including radiant floor heating, certified renewable lumber, photovoltaics that provide more than half of the building’s energy, and natural light and ventilation. The center is located at 2710 Manchester Avenue in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Groundbreaking ceremony for new trails in Otay Valley Regional Park
County Supervisor Greg Cox, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, and the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego invited the public to a groundbreaking ceremony for Stage II of the Otay Valley Regional Park on Monday, October 26, 2009. A pedestrian bridge, four new staging areas, and more than 2.7 miles of new trail will be added to the existing park, resulting in nearly eight miles of trail available for public enjoyment. For more information and directions, please go to this page.
New exercise stations now open at Lindo Lake County Park
On Thursday, October 29, 2009 County Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation invited the public to the opening of the new exercise stations at Lindo Lake County Park. Seventeen new stations have been added to the exercise course -- a total body workout without the gym fees! For more information and directions, see this page. A video of the new exercise stations is here.
Sweetwater Summit campground expansion underway
San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox and the County Department of Parks and Recreation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of Sweetwater Summit campground on Tuesday, October 6, 2009. This exciting project will more than double the number of campsites available to the public. The addition of 56 new campsites -- all with full hook-ups -- two restroom buildings, and an amphitheater will allow far more campers the opportunity to enjoy this popular County park. Please note that during the approximately 12 months of work some campsites adjacent to the project footprint may experience some disturbance associated with the campground expansion.
In addition, the South Bay Expressway is constructing seven RV campsites north of the existing campground, each with water, sewer, and electrical hookups. Improvements to the day-use park will include a wet play area, tot lot, 60-foot pavilion, four 16-foot pavilions, a 13-station exercise course, and a restroom facility. The existing pavilion onsite will be enclosed. A 4000-square-foot community/recreation building will be constructed, which will include restrooms, two tot lots, and a parking lot. All improvements will be completed by the end of 2010.
To see a video about the campground expansion, go to this page.
Three parks to have reduced hours
Beginning Tuesday, July 7, 2009 Wilderness Gardens Preserve, Hellhole Canyon Preserve, and Palomar Mountain County Park will be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For more information go to this page.
Letter to the Community
Please click on this link to read a letter to the Community from the Director of County Parks and Recreation.
To see the complete proposed operational plan, click here.
To see the schedule for the proposed budget/public testimony meetings, click here.
County expands Volcan Mountain Preserve
December 23, 2008
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation to add more than 467 acres of land to the Volcan Mountain Preserve.
"This partnership between the County of San Diego, The Nature Conservancy and the Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation demonstrates our shared commitment to preserve open space and provide recreational opportunities for current and future generations to enjoy,” said Dianne Jacob, Chairwoman of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors.
The acquisition will increase the County’s ownership within the Volcan Mountain Preserve to more than 2,900 acres. To fund the acquisition cost of 206 acres for $1.78 million, the County utilized grant and county funds. The remaining 261 acres were purchased by the Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation.
"The conservation significance of Volcan Mountain is enormous," said Dave Van Cleve, Senior Project Director for The Nature Conservancy. "This expansion helps safeguard some of San Diego County's most important watersheds and is a key piece in providing vital landscape connections between Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the San Dieguito River Valley in the west, as well as a north-south linkage from the Santa Rosa Mountains down to Baja. The public will have an opportunity to experience a rare and beautiful corner of the world."
This property is expected to be part of the proposed East County MSCP, a countywide initiative to protect rare, threatened or endangered species by creating a network of large, interconnected preserve areas. Volcan Mountain provides premier habitat for mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, gray foxes and many other native California wild animal and plant species.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for land operations and will develop a long-term management program that will allow public access to multi-use trails, while preserving the sensitive habitat for native species.
County expands Ramona Grasslands Preserve
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state to add more than 3,000 acres of high-quality habitat to the Ramona Grasslands Preserve. The acquisition increases the County’s ownership within the preserve to 3,470 acres, more than seven times its current size. The new acreage includes the areas of Gildred Ranch, Davis-Eagle Ranch and Oak Country, and was purchased with county, federal and state grant funds for $30.4 million.
“The land is a stunning example of our region’s rich rural history. From its hawks to its native grasses, the preserve showcases the wonders of Mother Nature like nowhere else,” said Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who represents Ramona on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
The Ramona Grasslands Preserve connects a key wildlife corridor between South and North County preserve areas.
“The expansion will help safeguard one of southern California’s last remaining large and intact grasslands. The public will have a rare chance to experience this extraordinary piece of our natural heritage,” said Chris Basilevac, a senior project director for The Nature Conservancy, an organization that works to protect ecologically important lands and waters around the world.
“Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other agencies demonstrates our shared commitment to preserve open space and provide recreational opportunities for residents today and generations to come,” added Renée Bahl, Director of the County Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is currently developing a long-term land management program that will include public access to multi-use trails connecting the County’s Santa Maria Creek Greenway and trails within the community of Ramona. Phase One of the preserve will be open to the public in late 2009.
Park use fees
On November 19, 2008 the Board of Supervisors approved the adjustment of various fees charged for the use of County park facilities. The new fees went into effect on January 1, 2009. Click here to review the adjusted fee rates.