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The historic Osuna Adobe will allow students to get a real-life, hands-on learning opportunity when area schools begin field trips to the site. File photo
Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast NewsRancho Santa Fe Lead Story

Students get learning opportunity with Osuna adobe

RANCHO SANTA FE — At its retreat earlier this month, the Rancho Santa Fe Association voted to make the restoration of the Osuna adobe and its grounds a priority during the next few years. 

“We want to focus on the adobe and make it a real community asset,” said Roxana Foxx, president.

Association Vice President Anne Feighner and the Osuna Committee are leading the charge to get the ball rolling by putting together an outreach program for the community at large and meeting with school officials to bring the historic property into a real-life, hands-on learning opportunity for local students.

“We are basically in the planning stages of this partnership of including information of the Osuna Ranch in our curriculum,” said Lindy Delaney, superintendent of schools.

She said teachers at the school have always been aware of the adobe and its history and have included it in their teaching, but this new plan gives them an opportunity to take the lessons to the next level.

“The goal is to take field study trips to the Osuna and study the Osuna property, learn how to make adobe, take a look at the native plants and to incorporate the study of the Kumeyaay Indians and the history of the area prior to 1831,” Delaney said.

She said the study of the Osuna Ranch will be incorporated into third grade when students study the area in which they live.

“It is already being taught but this will give them a more hands-on, visual approach to what they are already learning in the third grade.”

“I am very excited about our work in the third grade with the Osuna committee and how we can connect with our local history,” said Kim Pinkerton, elementary school principal.

The 28-acre Osuna Ranch was purchased with open space funds by the Association in June 2006 for $12 million. Its intended use is for education, social events and equestrian activities.

Built in 1831, the adobe underwent restoration and expansion in 1924 overseen by Lilian Rice, Rancho Santa Fe’s original architect.

Much work has already been done on the restoration of the adobe and its grounds, but most of it is not visible, including the architectural study, drainage control and work to minimize future deterioration.

The next phase will be the actual restoration of the adobe, building on-site quarters for a caretaker, bathrooms and a small kitchen.

“We need to let people know how important and how special it is,” Feighner said.

“No other community has something like this.”

She said there are no plans to open up the adobe or grounds to outside groups.

“This is for the enjoyment of our members and guests,” she said.