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River Park History

Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy (LRPC) was established in 2001 to restore 100 acres of depleted sand mine on the San Diego River.  Over two decades later, this restored property now provides critical riparian habitat for wildlife and provides important ecosystem services to the surrounding community. 


The land has been enhanced to provide flood protection, improve water quality, and provide the conditions for life for native species.  There are two standing ponds and trees and plants have matured to provide canopy and ground cover.  In addition, the river park maintains a 2-mile trail segment of the San Diego River Trail from Channel Road in Lakeside to the eastern edge of Santee.  The trail is currently the primary way the public can access and enjoy the wild space created by the Conservancy. 

In a world where almost 70% of the planet's biodiversity has been lost in the last 50 years, the river park is one small example of the type of nature restoration that can actually move the needle back the other way.


The LRPC field crew works in the surrounding community, actively managing the eradication of invasive species along the San Diego River and providing fire risk reduction services to private property owners by lifting trees, constructing fire breaks, and removing dry material and potential fuel for wildfires.  Finally, we are in the process of building the San Diego River Science Field Station, for use by students, teachers, and scientists to practice environmental science on site and take advantage of the river park’s natural “living laboratory,” opportunities for learning outside the classroom.

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