RiverWatch October 2017!

Happy Halloween!

Featured Species:

Bats Chiroptera

by Tom Davis

Perhaps because of Count Dracula or the repulsive vampire bat, bats have a bad reputation. But did you know that bats are Mother Natures pest control? Seventy percent of bats consume insects. A single hungry bat can consume 1,000 mosquitos in one hour. That's a huge number of mosquitos that might otherwise be sampling our blood.

There are many other characteristics of bats that make them interesting and unique. Bats wings are structurally similar to a humans hand, with the exception of the extremely elongated finger bones. A membrane stretches between them, making the bat the only mammal capable of true flight.

There are almost 1,000 bat species worldwide, making up nearly a quarter of all mammal species on earth.Besides insect eaters, there are also fruit-eating bats, carnivorous bats, nectar-eating bats, and the aforementioned vampire bats of South America.

Bats are found anywhere in the world except for the polar regions, and extreme deserts. Giant flying bats in Indonesia have a wing span of six feet! Their hearing is extremely keen, and they use echolocation to fly at night, to avoid collisions and seek their prey. Because of this ability, vision has become less necessary in many species,and, through evolution, has diminished.

They live mostly in caves, but some congregate in trees or even buildings. A deadly virus is ravaging cave-dwelling bats. It is called "White-Nose Syndrome". It is a cold-loving virus and is responsible for as many as five to seven million bats deaths. Some scientists predict that if not brought under control, bats could become extinct in the northeast within 10 years.

What can you do to prevent the spread of this virus? Bat experts recommend not entering bat caves, as the spores can be carried inside on clothing and boots. Also, refrain from placing your backpack on the ground, as this is another way to spread the virus. Cats can spread the virus. If you have a cat keep it indoors, particularly in May and June when baby bats are born. You can also buy or build bat houses to put on your property. An added benefit: insect control!


FREE Education Program

Composting - traditional and Bokashi methods by Solana Center

Register Here

Composting - traditional and Bokashi methods


FREE Mystery Hike

December 15th, 8:30 AM

Register by: December 12th

Feeling adventurous? Let Robin take you to a surprise location, to be announced at the end of November.

Register Here



Our National Day Of Giving

#GivingTuesday is a national day of giving back and the River Park has participated since it’s inception in 2013.

The purpose of this giving challenge is to increase public awareness about our local environment, the San Diego River and to help raise funds and expand our online giving for the benefit of the San Diego River Science Field Station.

Please consider making the River Park your charity of choice on #GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017 to support the building of the San Diego River Science Field Station.

Help Spread The News!

#GivngTuesday relies heavily on social media to promote it.

Please help us spread the word!

And if you don't "do" social media you can still talk it up, talk up the River Park and the Science Field Station to everyone you know!


Featured Volunteers:

Cuyamaca College Science Program

A great big THANK YOU to Cuyamaca College Science Program volunteers for coming out to help restore native plant life in the El Monte Valley. Students were taught how to properly prepare the ground for planting and they dove right in to make it happen! Not only did they plant native Mule Fat, Baccharis, Buckwheat and Willow around the beautiful El Monte pond, but they worked as a team to remove some invasive clover from a steep slope down to the waterline.

If your group, club or company would like to volunteer please contact Alisha Curtin today!


Partner Spotlight:

The San Diego River Park Conservancy

The San Diego River Park Conservancy is an independent, non-regulatory state agency established to preserve, restore and enhance the San Diego River Area.

In 2006, the San Diego River Park Conservancy approved a Strategic and Infrastructure Plan to restore the health of the San Diego River. The plan included an important recommendation to remove the land in the river by removing invasive non-native plants to reduce the risk of flooding and fire, as well as enhance the natural resources of the river. Invasive non-native plants are a concern because they are destroying the ability of the San Diego River and watershed to properly function. For example, many invasive weeds contribute to flood damage, are a fire risk, and degrade native habitats.

Work began in 2008 with a pilot project in Santee at the Carlton Oaks golf course thanks to the City of San Diego and San Diego State University.

Funding for this work comes from a variety of sources including voter approved bond measures, the Conservancy’s operational budget, SANDAG, other non-profits and private donations. Private property owners are also participating in this important work.

Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy is fortunate to be a local partner with the San Diego River Conservancy on this removal project. Volunteers, donors and landowners can join these efforts to help make a significant difference to improve the conditions, functions and values of the riparian/wetland habitats along the rivers banks and that translates to fewer pollutants in the river and the ocean.

Please visit www.LakesideRiverPark.org to learn more about how to get involved to support the restoration of the river.


Arundo Control Project:

Update on this important program

Since 2013 Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy has been working to remove Arundo Donax, a tall, bamboo-like plants, and other invasive plant species from parts of the San Diego River Watershed. We began this project by reaching out to landowners next to Los Coches Creek.

We held a large community meeting at Lindo Lake Park where a panel of experts explained about how dangerous Arundo is to our environment.

Of great concern in our area is the fact that it burns fiercely and can spread a wildfire rapidly. Another hazard caused by Arundo is flooding: in heavy storms the canes break off and form dense mats and dikes that create dams, preventing the flow of water around bridges and culverts. Worst of all, it uses five-times more water than our native plants, and provides no food for our native birds and animals!

By removing this invasive weed and others, we are restoring our watershed’s habitat for wildlife and protecting our waterways and water supply.

Thanks to our funding partner, the San Diego River Conservancy, we have worked on this critical eradication project with over 200 landowners along the Los Coches and Sycamore Creeks, tributaries of the San Diego River watershed.

Due to bird breeding season, we have a short window of opportunity, from September 15th to February 15th, to stamp out this weed. When our crews are in full swing they can fill two 40-yard dumpsters every day with Arundo.

We are grateful for our working partners at Cal-Fire and Alpha Project who do the heavy labor. Volunteers also help by removing trash and debris before the crews even start cutting.

This program is free to property owners in targeted areas, who are asked to sign a permit allowing us to come on their properties. We do all the rest! So far over 36 acres have been treated. Because Arundo is so resilient, the removal process can take up to three years, as we must return every fall and winter to treat new growth.

We thank everyone involved, especially the property owners for allowing us access. Due to their participation the whole community benefits from reduced fire and flood hazards.


You can find more information on this program at www.LakesideRiverPark.org.


Sponsor Spotlight:

Barona Band of Mission Indians

The Barona Band of Mission Indians is always eager to share their culture and heritage, and is proud to welcome you to their land and the magnificent Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino.

Established in 1932, the Barona Indian Reservation is home to this regal tribe, which is recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, and is governed by an elected Tribal Council.

Sharing is a Native American tradition - one that dates back centuries. The Barona Band of Mission Indians still carries that tradition on today. They use Indian gaming revenues to take care of their own and to make a difference for charitable organizations throughout the San Diego region.

Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy thanks the Barona Band of Mission Indians for their recent sponsorship of our annual Once