The West Pond


You used to be able to see the West Pond from the trail but not any more. You might not even know it is there. And that is as it should be. The West Pond was a remnant sand mining pit. It was never supposed to be in the San Diego River. It was a danger to all downstream structures, called by the fancy term, hydromodificaitons, such as bridges, outfalls, etc. Why was it a danger, because it caused downstream scour and erosion in flood events. We changed this in 2006. We drained the pond and then we filled half of it and mother nature did the rest. Sediment moving from Los Coches Creek filled the panhandle, and is now creeping and encroaching on what is left of the open water. It is a bird sanctuary par excellence. It used to be home to the most massive carp you could ever imagine. When could reach its shores in the morning, the carp, these huge herds of carp would be rummaging around in the mud, looking for food, more like cows than fish.


Because the site has such a massive tule field, humans have abandoned the pond as well. No one wants to slog through massive stands of swampy, mosquito-infested, tule choked mud. All the animals are left to this little paradise. The wildfowl love it, and we know there are several coyote dens near it for spring pupping.


Welcome to our newest board member, Michael Cindrich. Michael Cindrich is the founder and principal attorney at the Law Offices of Michael E. Cindrich APC, a firm he started in 2008. Prior to that he was a Deputy District Attorney with the County of San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Michael received his JD/MBA from the University of San Diego and his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. A Pittsburgh native, Michael moved to San Diego in 2002 to pursue his law degree. He met his future wife after law school and they share two young daughters. In his free time Michael enjoys surfing and beekeeping. Welcome Michael!

Meet Our Newest Board Member

What's New

The Field Station!!! 

In 2019, we obtained a $250,000 grant from Proposition 68 (thank you voters) from the San Diego River Conservancy.  We give a BIG thank you to the Conservancy and its board for its faith in this project.  This aerial shows the portable classrooms.  They will be placed on a foundation, connected to utilities and hopefully open for business next year.  Below is an image of the plan for how they will be arranged on the site. 

Who are the partners with this project? 

We are working with Lakeside School District, Cajon Valley School District and Santee School District.  


Because each of these school districts has a deep commitment to science and to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and each understands the best way to teach science is in a child's own 'backyard' that is filled with water, mud, bugs, and bunnies. This has been a recipe for inspiring curiosity, deep questions about how the natural world works, and the creation of hypothesis since children have been exploring the natural world.  

What can I do to help?
Volunteer!!! We need help with everything from electrical to painting to planting and watering the landscaping. If you can't do these things, but you have a friend who could, would you let them know about this great opportunity to do something wonderful for the children of East County? Donate!!! We are a nonprofit and finding the money to fully finish the project is going to be a challenge.

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