November 2016                                                                               
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Welcome to another edition of Habitat Happenings, a newsletter provided by San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC). We have been quite busy! In addition to working on securing and managing new preserves, here is a quick rundown of what we've been up to.

In June, volunteers from HELIX Environmental Planning joined us at Quarry Creek Preserve bright and early on a Saturday to remove trash from along Buena Vista Creek. This event was coordinated in large part by Vince Rivas, a former volunteer with SDHC who now works with HELIX. Their help was so appreciated!

In July,  after working over several months, Jim and Sarah completed baseline surveys at Quarry Creek Preserve, which included vegetation transects, photo-documentation, and surveys for the federally endangered least Bell's vireo and federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher. With assistance from biologists with Rocks Bio, they discovered 4 pairs of coastal California gnatcatcher and documented 2 least Bell's vireo territories within the preserve.

In August, Eagle Scout Senator Rawers built and installed a kiosk at Seacliff Preserve. The kiosk houses an outreach sign educating the public about the 5 years of restoration that occurred at the site.

In September,  volunteer Paula Larkin hosted ILACSD's Coastal Cleanup Day at Bridges and Santa Fe Creek Preserve. Read more about SDHC's first time participating in this event later in the newsletter. This same month Dan Root and Omar Acosta stepped down from the Board of Directors, after serving nearly 5 years and 2 years, respectively. We thank them both for their commitment to our organization and wish them all the best as they move on from their leadership roles with SDHC.

In October, the SDHC team hosted our Annual Night Out at Mission Trails Regional Park which we couldn't have pulled off without the expert guidance and commitment of Board Member Trish Jones. Later in the month, Sarah attended the Land Trust Alliance Rally in Minneapolis, MN where she accepted our accreditation award! October was also a big month for newcomers at SDHC with Inga Lintvedt joining the Board of Directors, Mary Applon joining the staff as Bookkeeper and Kelsey Dix joining as a volunteer working on the newsletter and other social media efforts. Read more about Mary and Kelsey and our Annual Night Out in this issue.

Sarah with a volunteer at the HELIX clean-up event along Buena Vista Creek


Eagle Scout Senator Rawers reviewing plans for the kiosk he built and installed at Seacliff Preserve.

One of our wonderful volunteers with the pile of giant reed removed during California Coastal Cleanup Day

 Sarah receiving our accreditation award from Tammara Van Ryn, Executive Director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Habitat Manager Jim Rocks conducting baseline surveys at Quarry Creek Preserve
Annual Night Out
This year's annual fundraiser was held on Saturday, October 8th at Mission Trails Regional Park's Visitor Center. The night began with a nature walk led by trail guides with Mission Trails, followed by dinner from Parioli Italian Bistro, libations, and a silent auction. Live music was generously provided by John and Sabine of Dryad Flutes, who played inspiring original folk tunes on wooden flutes handmade by John. The night culminated with star-gazing thanks to a volunteer from the San Diego Astronomy Association who set up a telescope to observe the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies. The silent auction was a great success, with a variety of items including Patagonia gear, Eagle Optic binoculars, SDSU basketball tickets, plus a painting by Executive Director Don Scoles!

A special thanks to our sponsors: Regal Wine Company, Mission Brewery, Karl Strauss Brewery, The Privateer Marketplace and Wine Bar, Lonely Oak Design, Eagle Optics, The Law Offices of Jeff Gaffney, Patagonia, and Massage Therapist Amanda Lopez.
New Faces at SDHC

We are excited to welcome Inga Lintvedt to the Board of Directors. Inga is a land use attorney with the City of San Diego. In her twelve years of practice, Inga has advised local governments on a range of issues, including planning, development, CEQA, housing, elections, ethics, and open government. A third generation San Diegan who grew up in El Cajon, Inga has seen much of the County bustling with development and wants to help ensure that our natural environment also thrives. Inga lives in North Park with two kids, one husband, and one pug.
Mary Applon joins SDHC as our part-time Bookkeeper. Her responsibilities are to assist SDHC's Accountant and Executive Director in accounts receivable and accounts payable, manage the annual budget, prepare invoices, track endowments, schedule releases of funds, and prepare thank you letters to our donors. Mary enjoys being active in the community and is involved in various organizations around San Diego County to help end hunger and assist our golden aged generation in maintaining a healthy living environment. Mary obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from California College and the University of Redlands and has over 8 years of experience in the accounting and finance field. She is a ray of sunshine and a great helping hand to the organization.                                

Kelsey Dix recently joined the team at SDHC as our Social Media & Marketing Volunteer. Kelsey decided to volunteer in order to learn more about the local environmental industry while spotlighting San Diego’s natural beauty through newsletters, Facebook and Instagram. Her passion for the environment stems from a trip to the Amazon Rainforest, which has fueled an enthusiasm to work and volunteer with biological institutions as well as a desire to travel. She is fresh to San Diego, after a year in Scotland completing her Master’s in Botany at the University of Edinburgh, succeeding her Bachelor’s in Biology at California State University, Long Beach. San Diego is a perfect fit due to her strong desire to be outside, whether jogging or exploring the city, and her fondness of craft beer and burritos. We wish her the best of luck on the start of her career and are glad to have her on board!   
California Coastal Cleanup Day

On September 17th, environmentalists of all ages came out to Bridges and Santa Fe Creek Preserve to celebrate California Coastal Cleanup Day by helping to remove two invasive species, giant reed (Arundo donax) and cape ivy (Delairea odorata). This event, in collaboration with I Love a Clean San Diego, was part of a larger annual effort throughout the state to clean up beaches, lakes, and waterways.

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the State’s largest volunteer event and last year more than 68,000 volunteers showed their appreciation for California’s amazing coastline by removing almost 1,143,000 pounds of trash from California waterways. Keep an eye out for next year’s event on the third Saturday in September!
New Preserve
Rancho Coronado Preserve in San Marcos consists of 120.5 acres on the northern side of the Merriam Mountains, just west of Twin Oaks Valley Road. The preserve consists of 97.7 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub and 11.5 acres of southern mixed chaparral, and is home to two sensitive plant species, wart-stemmed ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus) and summer holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia) as well as three sensitive animal species, coastal California gnatcatcher, yellow warbler and yellow-breasted chat. The preserved vegetation is recovering after the May 2014 Cocos Fire and a portion of the preserve is currently undergoing restoration to expand and enhance existing wetlands. SDHC's management duties will include quarterly monitoring visits, removal of invasives, outreach with the neighboring community, and surveys for sensitive species.
Species Spotlight
Prickly Thistles
Thistles are a group of flowering plants, found mostly in the Asteraceae (Daisy) family. The prickles that evolved on their stems and leaves are an adaptation for anti-herbivory. While most species are seen as weeds, there is one economically important thistle – the artichoke! Ecologically, thistles can be the favorite nectar choices for certain butterflies and their seeds are the preferred food for birds such as goldfinches and linnets. The thistle is also the floral emblem of Scotland.

In San Diego County, there are five invasive species and one endemic species of thistle. It is important to tell them apart, in order to extract non-natives while keeping the native species. The native California thistle, sometimes called the cobwebby thistle, fits right in with all the Halloween decorations!
Name   Characteristics Picture
Bull Thistle
(Circium vulgare)
Invasive Leaf tips with very long spines
Italian Thistle
(Carduus pycnocephalus)
Invasive Steam and leaf tips spiny
Star Thistle
 (Centaurea solstitialis)
Invasive Long yellow spines
Artichoke Thistle
(Cynara cardunculus)
Invasive Huge! Up to 6 feet
(Centaurea melitensis)
Invasive Long purple spines
California Thistle
(Cirsium occidentale var. californicum)
Native Wooly stems and leaves making it appear silver
Donate Today!
Our efforts to preserve native habitat and biodiversity in San Diego County and to expand our education program can only be accomplished with the support of donations. As a dedicated supporter, you are helping to preserve those spaces that are unique to San Diego and you are helping to ensure that future generations may enjoy the same beauty that never ceases to astound and inspire us. Please make your voice heard by donating today!
Go to to donate. Make a minimum $35 donation
                                              and receive a lightweight SDHC t-shirt.
Eric Mondero, President
Kenneth Little, Treasurer/CFO
Trish Jones Mondero, Secretary
Chelita Borbón
Dave Claycomb
Joe Duffel
Robert Leiter

Inga Lintvedt
Christina Schaefer
Don Scoles, Executive Director
Jim Rocks, Habitat Manager
Sarah Krejca, Program Coordinator
Mary Applon, Bookkeeper

Volunteer at SDHC!
Join us! SDHC has volunteer opportunities on
the Board of Directors as well as in fundraising and filmmaking!
See our website for details.
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2770 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 205, San Diego, CA  92106
Phone: (619) 365-4839 ~ Email:

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San Diego Habitat Conservancy · 3065 Rosecrans Place Suite 106 · San Diego, CA 92110 · USA

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