Dear Members, Donors and Friends,

Summer solstice and midsummer are almost here. One tradition in Scandinavia during this season is celebrating your connection with nature. How will you celebrate that connection this midsummer? Maybe by exploring a Torrey trail that you have not been to in a while and by really noticing your surroundings. Maybe by closely paying attention to all the different  wildflowers blooming at Torrey Pines right now. Either way Torrey Pines is a wonderful place to celebrate that connection. Enjoy!

Happy summer solstice!


-Your Torrey Pines Conservancy

You Are Invited: Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Restoration

Formed in 1983, the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Foundation (LPLF) works closely with California State Parks to manage, protect and preserve Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, a dedicated State Marsh Natural Preserve. Key to LPLF’s success is its ability to engage and collaborate with the public and other key stakeholder groups to plan, develop and implement important projects and programs that include the original and updated Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Enhancement Plan, invasive species management, habitat restoration, and annual inlet maintenance. Currently, LPLF has several key projects moving forward that include the following:
Managed Retreat of the Torrey Pines North Beach Parking Lot. Funded through a State Coastal Conservancy grant, this project involves the redesign and retreat of the Torrey Pines North Beach Parking Lot using an approach that integrates nature-based solutions with low-impact development to improve storm water management and expand native habitats while preserving public access in a manner that is resilient to climate change. Using a phased approach, LPLF is currently wrapping up Phase 1 that consists of 30% Design of the preferred alternative and CEQA. A grant proposal to fund Phase 2 was recently submitted to the State Coastal Conservancy to complete design, generate construction plans and secure permits to move the project closer to implementation in Phase 3.
Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Restoration Project. The City of San Diego is leading the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Restoration Project, in partnership with California State Parks, LPLF, and other Responsible Parties in the area. The goal of this project is to restore historical salt marsh in the Lagoon, while also implementing sediment, trash, invasive species, and freshwater management to improve the sustainability of the restoration and overall health of the Lagoon.  The project will be split into two phases with Phase 1 set to begin construction in the fall of 2024.
Upslope Realignment of the Marsh Trail. The proposed project will further efforts to protect and preserve public access in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve through the upslope realignment of a 3/4 – mile segment of the Marsh Trail that will be lost to sea level rise. A grant proposal was recently submitted to the State Coastal Conservancy for Phase 1 of the project to conduct site assessments needed to determine viable alternatives for potential trail alignments, select a preferred alignment to be developed to 30% design, and complete CEQA. If funded, it is expected that Phase 1 will commence at the end of 2023.

LPLF invites you to attend this informative presentation given by the Foundation’s Executive Director and members of the City of San Diego’s project design team. Below is a zoom link and related information needed to attend the virtual presentation.

Saturday, June 24, 2023, 9 am to 10 am

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 982 0206 0854
Passcode: 706649

Grand Avenue Overlook, San Dieguito Lagoon, through to Dog Beach and the Pacific Ocean. ~~This image photographed from High Bluff Drive 27 October 2012 by Jim Coffee.

What's Blooming? by Donna Close

This months unique finds along the trails

As spring fades into Summer our cooler temperatures and residual moisture in the soil, have extended the bloom on many of our Spring favorites . Yellow is still the predominate color, with Yellow Pincushions adding to the mix of Golden Yarrow and Bush Sunflowers. The White-lined Sphinx moth caterpillars were out in force munching their way through the Sand Verbena attracting the attention of visitors and docents alike. As we make our way into June, here are the latest plants to look for while on the trails

Three-Spot, False Rosinweed (Osmadenia tenella)
This small aromatic annual herb is a member of the sunflower family. It is native to Southern California and Baja. The flower heads are in clusters of 3 to 5 on a branching stem, with three florets in white or fringed in light pink, with a pink dot. They prefer sandy soil, and you will find them all along the Guy Fleming Trail. Be sure to get close and check out their scent. These plants usually arrive when other spring plants are fading. With the abundance of rain, we may be in for a carpet of Three-Spot this year. Flowering time May to October.

Dark-tip Bird’s Beak, Stiff Branched Bird’s Beak (Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. Settigerus)
This annual plant is a member of the Broom-rape family. It’s lacy, bristle covered leaves are up to 1 ½ inches long and the plant can grow up to 3 feet in height. It is easy to miss this plant as it sprouts along the trails, the foliage may be green or burgundy colored. The unusual flowers are white and flattened between two burgundy straps, which viewed from just the right angle, looks like a bird’s beak. Like the Wooly Paint Brush, this plant is hemi-parasitic, penetrating the roots of neighboring plants for nutrients. You will find Dark-tip Bird’s Beak growing along most trails in the Reserve. Flowering time is typically May to August.

Prickly Skunkweed, Hooked Skunkweed (Navarretia hamata)
Ever encountered the slight scent of skunk while hiking the trails? Most likely, you have come across the Skunkweed. This member of the phlox family grows along the edges of the trails in clusters of light pink to purple flowers. It is native to coastal mountains and valleys of California, from San Francisco Bay Area south to Baja California. Flowering time is after the end of the rainy season, and lasts about a month. (April to June)

Cleveland Sage, Fragrant Sage (Salvia clevelandii)
This salvia is the most aromatic of sage varieties at the Reserve. Hiking along the park road past the West parking lot, you will encounter it’s sweet scent, especially on foggy mornings. This sage has leaves that are small, grayish green in color and is covered in light blue-purple flowers. This plant was named after Daniel Cleveland, who started the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum. The two most visible plants are adjacent to the exit of the West Parking lot (right hand side). Make sure to stop and rub a leaf to appreciate it’s wonderful aroma. Blooming June to August.

Amole, Small Flowered Soap Plant (Chlorogalum parivlorum)
This perennial herb grows from a bulb in the coastal sage scrub. You will find it growing in the Linda Vista formation on Broken Hill and Red Butte to the soft sand areas of Guy Fleming. The basal leaves have wavy edges and have been visible along the trails for months. It is native to coastal southern California and Baja California. The cluster of flowers are white or pinkish in color and darkly veined, which develop along a single stalk. Each flower has 6 petals, and is only open for one day! You will have to zoom in with your camera or look closely with a magnifying glass to really appreciate these beautiful tiny flowers. Flowers from May to August.

Prostrate Spineflower (Chorizanthe procumbens)
This annual member of the Buckwheat family is native to California and Baja California, growing in the coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. As it flowers the leaves disapear along the redish stems and flowers are small cream or yellow and surrounded by yellow spine-tipped bracts. Look for it growing just before the Razor Point Overlook turnoff (Left hand side), and the Beach Trail just before heading down the steps past Yucca Overlook trail. (Right hand side). Usually flowers March to June.

Don't forget to Gargoyle and Rinse by Judy Schulmann

This is the sixth in a series of articles by Judy Schulman about Torrey Pines Lodge, whose 100th anniversary we celebrated on April 8, 2023.
Be careful the next time you walk around the Lodge. You don’t want to get scared by the gargoyles. Yes, you read me correctly … Torrey Pines has gargoyles! According to Richard Requa’s architectural plan, we should have eight of them. There are two in the front of the Lodge, three on the west side, and three on the east side. There are none in the back. You don’t need to be alarmed. What Requa referred to as a gargoyle is more commonly referred to in southwestern architecture as a canale. The purpose of the canale is to channel the flow of rainwater from the flat roof to the ground and away from the building. The flat roof is slightly tilted to aid in the runoff. In his building plans, Requa specified that they be made from hollowed-out logs
with two coats of Cabot’s creosote stain #249. But if you look at them closely, they look more like they were made from cement or plaster. So why did Requa refer to them in his design as gargoyles? I think this is a result of his interest in Mediterranean architecture, where canales are called gargoyles. The function remains the same. In some cases, the scarylooking creatures at the end of the canales were added to ward off evil spirits. See if you can find the remaining gargoyles that we have!