RiverWatch December 2017!

End of another great year thanks to you!

Featured Species:


Heteromeles arbutifolia

by Tom Davis

Christmas Berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a shrub or tree native to California. Its other common names are Toyon, and Hollywood Berry. It is common in the foothills, often in association with scrub oak.

It has small, inconspicuous white flowers. If pollinated, small, berry-like fruits form. The fruits start out green, and contain a toxic substance called cyanogenic glucoside, which repels birds. As they ripen, the toxin is absorbed into the seed. When fully ripe, they are safe for consumption.

Mocking birds, robins, and cedar waxwings feast on them. Native Americans also ate them. They removed the bitter taste by roasting them over a fire, or boiling them in a basket.

Toyon's are able to rapidly regrow after a fire. New growth sprouts vigorously from dormant buds on the root crown. They do, however, require more water after a fire to become re-established.

Seedlings are eaten by many browsing animals, so the long-term survival is low. The next time you are out on a hike in the foothills, keep an eye out and see if you can identify a Christmas Berry.



Thank you for helping us raise $18,250 in 24 hours!

On behalf of everyone here at the Lakeside's River Park Conservancy, THANK YOU for your support this year.

We had an extremely successful #GivingTuesday, thanks to you! Last year we raised $12,025 and this year we raised $18,250! That is a substantial increase and it is because of donors like you!

We want to especially thank the Lila Park Family for the gift-match and to the River Park's Board of Directors who contributed additional funding to it. We had 100% Board of Director participation and we know that inspired others to give!

We also want to thank Atlas Pumping Services, Inc. for their sponsorship and the Gates Foundation for their Facebook match.

It is because of you Lakeside's River Park Conservancy can continue our work preserve the San Diego River and build the first-ever San Diego River Science Field Station for future generations to experience the magic of nature.

If you didn't have a chance to donate, you still can! Maker your year-end, tax deductible donation by December 31st and know you will be helping to build the future!

Donate now!


Volunteer Appreciation

Meet the Wakelands!

Meet the Wakelands!

They will be a frequent presence around the River Park is noticed and they are our new work camper family!

Mom, Ashely is a graphic artist and will be doing all of our graphic art as part of her volunteerism. She works for Verizon as a graphic artist and is going to school working on her Master's degree.

Father, Keith, is a general handyman, and in the Navy as a survival specialist. You Children, Indigo and Fenton, will add to the general level of cuteness here at the River Park.