ENCINITAS — Olivenhain Municipal Water District is seeking volunteers to help celebrate Earth Day festivities from 9 a.m. to noon April 17 at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, 8833 Harmony Grove Road.
Volunteers for the creek clean-up will meet park rangers at the staging area of the reserve at 9 a.m. The creek clean-up is appropriate for all age groups, so volunteers are encouraged to bring their families. It is suggested that volunteers wear long pants and long sleeve shirts, and volunteers are asked to carpool as parking is limited. Those interested in volunteering must register in advance by calling (760) 632-4212. All volunteers will be asked to sign a volunteer waiver form; minors must have the waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Refreshments and sunscreen will be provided.
Recent rainfall has deposited debris in the reserve along the banks of the Escondido Creek, which can lead to erosion and the eventual change in the creek’s path. A key goal of the Earth Day festivities is to protect the natural environment in and around the Escondido Creek watershed by removing trash and debris that is both unsightly and harmful to the sensitive riparian habitat.
Organizations such as San Diego Coastkeeper, The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, San Diego Stream Team, Project Wildlife and the San Diego Mountain Bike Association will also be on hand to discuss environmental issues in Elfin Forest and throughout San Diego County. Earth Day creek clean-up volunteers will enjoy a presentation by Project Wildlife at 11 a.m. featuring one of the organization’s animal ambassadors.
In addition to the creek clean-up festivities, OMWD’s partners in the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center, The Escondido Creek Conservancy, will host its annual Spring Membership Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Membership Celebration will include lunch, a silent auction fundraiser, a TECC presentation, and the unveiling of the Interpretive Center’s newest exhibit, which will feature paintings completed in and around the reserve by local artist Robert Ferguson.
The reserve provides a wealth of opportunities for recreational use, educational research and environmental appreciation. The 784-acre open space park and recreational area was developed by OMWD in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority and the US Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management. Park rangers conduct guided group tours and student exploration programs to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds. All wildlife and natural resources at the reserve are fully protected so that future generations may enjoy these wonders.
For more information or to arrange a ranger-led tour of the reserve, call (760) 632-4212.