The Coast News Group
Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve volunteer, Laurilyn Burson, has been helping at the reserve for more than two years. Courtesy photo

Open house welcomes Reserve volunteers

ESCONDIDO — The new year is bringing new opportunities to join a community of fellow nature lovers. Choose from hiking and monitoring Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s extensive trail system, assisting with outdoor field trips, or guiding visitors through the Hubbell-designed Interpretive Center.

A Volunteer Open House will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center, at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center, 8833 Harmony Grove Road, to introduce the opportunities to interested volunteers. A brief presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and after, guests will be free to roam the creek trails, explore the Interpretive Center, and ask questions about volunteer programs to staff and experienced volunteers. The next Trail Patrol training will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 25. Both events take place Escondido. Visit for more information or to register.

“Little did I know that it would become a bright spot in my life,” said Laurilyn Burson as she recalls first seeing the development of the center. Burson has been a volunteer for more than two years and continues to guide guests at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center honoring Susan J. Varty. The center was designed by local artist James T. Hubbell and contains several original works by Hubbell and other artists. The building also features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green “living” roof.

The Elfin Forest Interpretive Center was built in 2009 by The Escondido Creek Conservancy and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Through this partnership, thousands of children and adults experience nature at Elfin Forest through our education programs. The partnership has also created many ways for people to give back to the trails that bring the community many educational and recreational opportunities.