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Lake Calavera Trails News

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Native planting, erosion repairs to start 2011

On Saturday, Jan. 15, the Solana Ranch Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of America partnered with the City of Carlsbad and other trail volunteers to improve the native restoration sites at the city- owned Lake Calavera Preserve. The Girl Scouts donated $250 towards the purchase of native plants for their planting project at the five-acre native habitat restoration site. More than 300 plants were planted that morning by the scouts and parents. After the planting work was done, scouts also enjoyed a hike to the lake and dam.

Another group of volunteers, including students from Carlsbad High School AP Environmental Science class, also spent the morning making erosion repairs on many of the trails north of the lake and picking up trash. Parks & Recreation maintenance staff supported this large effort with equipment, tools, and manpower to keep the event running smoothly. In total, approximately 275 hours of volunteer service were logged for the day.

Special thanks to Habitat Restoration Sciences Inc. for supporting the event with approximately $400 in in-kind services including by delivering the plants, providing training, as well as water, hoses, and other equipment. Special thanks also to Markus Spiegelberg of the Center for Natural Lands Management, and Rosanne Humphrey, Land Steward, for educating and speaking to the group about the importance of the preserve and the protection of native habitats.

National Public Lands Day 2010

scouts mixing concreteNational Public Lands Day is the country's largest, hands-on effort to improve and enhance America's public lands. It is a project of the National Environmental Education Foundation, a congressionally chartered nonprofit organization advancing environmental literacy in the general public.

Carlsbad celebrated National Public Lands Day on Sept. 25 at Lake Calavera.  Approximately 80 volunteers repaired and cleared trails, planted native species and installed trail signage including 15 scout volunteers (Scout Troop 706) and 60 volunteers from the Carlsbad Stake Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Over 240 hours of volunteer service hours were donated for this work.

Businesses who donated in kind services for this event include:

  • Habitat Restoration Sciences, Inc.
  • Kahoots Pet Store
  • Jimbo’s Naturally

Habitat restoration efforts take bloom

These photos show "before and after" habitat restoration efforts began in early 2010.  Signage is posted at the habitat restoration sites with information on native plants and animals, and what the city is doing to protect and preserve them.

before habitat restoration

after habitat restoration


Students improve Lake Calavera trail access

students work with staff at Lake Calavera trailsOn Thursday, April 29 thirty-five students from Pacific Ridge High School in Carlsbad descended upon a section of the Lake Calavera preserve for a community service project that will benefit the preserve and recreational users for years to come.  With assistance from seasoned trail builders, students planted 160 Coyote Brush and  improved the trail access at the east end of Skyhaven Lane.  The students completed more than 50 hours of volunteer service in just one and a half hours!

Providing assistance to the students were volunteer Gary Hill, trail captains Gerry Rea and Wanda Stiles, Markus Spiegleberg from the Center for Natural Lands Management, and HMP Land Steward Rosanne Humphrey.  Special thanks to the Parks Maintenance “A-Trail Team” of Tom Sanchez, Michael Bliss, Galdino Mendez and  Matt Goedert for their stellar customer support service in getting all the supplies, tools and plants ready for the work, and for having everything well in place and ready to go for when the kids arrived.  

Partnering with San Diego Mountain Biking Association

workers on Lake Calavera trailWith the approval of the Lake Calavera Trails Master Plan, the City of Carlsbad kicked off the first of what will be many volunteer events for the trail improvements at Lake Calavera.

On February 20, the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) partnered with city trail volunteers to complete repairs and trail improvements in the upland areas of the preserve. The SDMBA trail crew were a mighty impressive group of workers bringing a significant amount of manpower and trail building knowledge.  Using only sheer human brute force, the SDMBA team repositioned huge boulders to narrow and delineate trail routes, and redirect trail users to the more sustainable trails. Led by CNLM biologist, Justin Trujillo, another group of seasoned trail volunteers installed three-strand wire fencing and habitat protection signage along trails to assist in the protection of sensitive habitat areas adjacent to the trails.  It was truly a transformative day, with approximately 70 volunteers and over 268 volunteer hours logged.

Lake Calavera Master Plan update

The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) was hired in January 2009 by the City to manage the preserve. CNLM is partnering with the city to install fencing, signs, and information kiosks; fix trails; close unauthorized trails; conduct plant and animal surveys; and remove invasive plant species. CNLM will be performing this work in accordance with the recently completed Lake Calavera Trails Master Plan. This plan, which identifies authorized trails and trail improvements, was developed by the Parks and Recreation department with input from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, Preserve Calavera, and residents. Other activities include several habitat restoration projects, which will restore a total of eight acres (in five locations) of disturbed areas back to natural habitat, providing homes to numerous native plant and animal species. Restoration areas are identified by orange construction fencing. It can take up to five years for restored areas to become self-sustaining, so please help us protect these areas!

Contact Information

Parks & Recreation Department
Liz Ketabian, Park Planner

799 Pine Avenue, Suite 200
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Parks & Trails Maintenance: 760-434-2824