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RiverWatch August 2023: San Diego Gives' Day of Service - Friday, September 8

This year we are once again delighted to join San Diego Gives, a day of online philanthropy that benefits the local non-profit community. The very next day we urge you to volunteer with us on Friday, September 8th for San Diego Gives' Day of Service, a one-day, countywide collective volunteer effort to support the crucial work of nonprofits like ours. Bring yourself or gather a group of friends and family for a day filled with community, connection, service, and FUN!


Castor Bean - A Naturalized "Frenemy"

Ever been threatened with a dose of castor oil?Did your ailment suddenly disappear if that was going to be the cure?

Castor oil has been used medicinally for centuries, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. But the plant (Ricinus communis) is a complex member of the Euphorbia family. Despite its cultivation, the seeds contain ricin, a toxin that is 6,000 times more poisonous that cyanide . But ricin is water soluble, not fat soluble, so the oil that is pressed from the seeds does not contain this poison.

Castor bean plants in southern California are a different kind of pain - a naturalized invasive that grows exuberantly and displaces native species. Sold widely as an ornamental for tropical gardens, castor bean grows readily from seed in riparian areas. Our crew is on the lookout to remove it from the river whenever possible, and we encourage you to do the same. Mature plants can reach a height of eight feet, so it's easier to deal with smaller seedlings, shown below.


Courtesy on the Trail

There are so many ways to enjoy the High Trail - on foot, on bicycle, and on horseback. We have been asked by some of our "regulars" to remind trail users to use caution, use courtesy, and to respect the rules of the road.

Here are some specific notes from friends of the river park.

  • Electric bicycles are often too fast and too quiet for others to respond

  • Dog owners must have dogs on leashes (max 6') and clean up after pets

  • Plants are on a watering schedule in the "Sahara" section; please be mindful of volunteers, crew members and equipment

  • Please stay on the trail, for your own safety and the safety of others

Thank you for taking good care of each other!




About Us

Lakeside's River Park Conservancy is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which means that we raise our own funds for operations. Project grants allow us to do work that fulfills our mission, but individual donations literally help to keep the lights on. Please consider donating today! Thank you.

Contact Us:

Julie Turko, Executive Director

Karen Beshirs, Office Manager

Robert Doty, Field Superintendent; 619-381-0977

Darren Laursen, Field Crew: 760-936-1668

Tim Macy, Field Crew: 714-597-0011

Lamont Richardson, Field Crew

John Allen, RiverTrekker


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