San Elijo Hills Front Entry Renovation Project Update

This week we are wrapping up the demo phase of the front entry renovation project. In the next few weeks you’ll begin to see rock work and renovations being done to the pond, regrading of the soil, and the first phase of our electrical upgrades.

As mentioned in our last correspondence, this project is being driven by ongoing maintenance challenges. In addition to the invasive roots that were compromising our front entry, the pond was constructed in such a way that when turned off, the lowest pond does not have the capacity to contain all the water as the uppermost ponds drain into it. We will be making some changes to the pond area next week to be able to raise the water level to increase its visibility, but also minimize flooding potential. We will be regrading the area to create some depressions to divert water, as well as increase visibility of the pond, it’s waterfalls, and our new lighted welcome sign with water feature.

As that work is performed, we’ll have our electricians out trenching and laying conduit for our new landscape lighting. With those beautiful rock walls now exposed, we’ll be adding Hunter’s FXLuminaire lighting system that will really bring these renovations to life. The Luxor Lighting Controller, combined with RGBW versions of their LED fixtures will give us the enhanced capability of creating event and holiday based lighting themes. We have attached some rendering of what the area will look like lit up at night.

We’ll continue to provide updates as the project progresses.

If you have any questions, please email


San Elijo Life is not the HOA
**Since 2006 provides community news, photos, videos, and a directory of resources for residents of San Elijo Hills. The site is independent of the developer and the HOA and is run by local homeowners.

Double Peak Challenge-Saturday, September 25th!

City of San Marcos News: Double Peak Challenge-Saturday, September 25th!
It’s time for the Double Peak Challenge 10k/5k/Kids Trail Trot on Saturday, September 25th! The competitive 10k trail run will offer scenic views of San Marcos and beyond. The swag pack for the 10k will include racer’s bib, wood medal, socks, and race shirt. The 5k Fun Run is not timed but still offers the chance to beat your previous time on the course. The 5k Fun Run swag pack will include racer’s bib, wood medal and socks. The Kid’s Trail Trot offers a quick sprint course for younger kids and they will receive a medal. To participate in this year’s event REGISTER HERE or visit
This event may impact your neighborhood due to an influx of event participants that may decrease the amount of available street parking, increased trail usage between 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and may cause some traffic delays along Elfin Forest Road near Archer Road and Windemere Drive. Double Peak Park will remain closed to the public until the race finishes.  Parking at San Elijo Park and the surrounding area will be heavily impacted.  Ball field lights at San Elijo Park will be turned on from 5 a.m. – sunrise for event prep.  The City of San Marcos apologizes in advance for any inconvenience!  We hope to see you there!

San Marcos Parks & Recreation Department

San Elijo Hills Real Estate Market Update for end of Summer 2021

Average Price Per Square Foot in San Elijo Hills

The average home selling in San Elijo Hills is closing for 106% of the listing price in an average of 18 days. The price per square foot in August was $479, down from $482 in July. Currently, only 9 active homes are for sale in San Elijo Hills, and 20 homes are pending in escrow. With 23 homes selling in August. San Elijo Hills is highly sought after for its sense of community, schools, trails, and town center restaurants and shops. The market Low mortgage rates and historically low inventory of homes for sale make now the time to sell your San Elio Hills Home.

Please call or text 760 496-8134, and we can talk about selling your home in this amazing market.

760-496-8134 (Call/Text)
Edward Philbrick: REALTOR Lic #01967137
Corcoran Global Living Lic #02109201  

City of San Marcos News: San Elijo Hills Dog Parks Closed For Maintenance

City of San Marcos News: San Elijo Hills Dog Parks Closed For Maintenance
Ground maintenance will take place next week at the large and small dog parks at San Elijo Hills Park to keep the park safe and enjoyable. The closure dates are listed below:

Large Dog Park Closed: Wednesday, September 15
Small Dog Park Closed: Thursday, September 16
Other dog parks will be open at Sunset Park, Montiel Park and Hollandia Park. For questions, please contact the Public Works Office at (760) 752-7550.

Kelly Nicholl, professional North County-based photographer offers dynamic local images of North county and San Elijo Hills

Kelly Nicholl, professional North County-based photographer offers dynamic local images of beach scenes, wavescapes and landscapes.All images available on large print, canvas and metal.

Stay connected with Greeting cards featuring community images of Lake San Marcos, San Elijo Hills and Carlsbad. Fun, outdoor photo sessions for individuals, family and pets.

Kelly Nicholl Lake San Marcos

Cell (845) 242-5126 call / text



San Elijo Hills Front Entry Renovation Project

Association News from The San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA)

Front Entry Renovation Project
The Board has inherited significant challenges regarding trees throughout the community. 
Many trees have reached their capacity to thrive in their current locations or become
problematic due to their proximity to various structures.  The Board has been working tirelessly
to resolve these issues.

The Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum) trees in the concrete cut out boxes in town center, for
example, have been lifting concrete and creating hazards and liability issues. On the bright side,
the Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle) trees that we’ve been replacing them with are a great
addition to our tree palette, with flowers in the spring, and beautiful fall foliage in autumn, as
well as eliminating those pesky seedpods (aka spikey balls).

One of the areas we are currently working on is the front entry feature. The Pinus canariensis
(Canary Island Pines) that were planted in this area are oversized for the space. Additionally,
the Erythrina caffra (Coral) trees and Populus nigra (Poplar) trees in that same space have very
invasive root systems and are starting to compromise the rock retaining walls in that area. The
elimination of the deciduous trees above and around the pond will alleviate water chemistry
and litter issues that they cause with the pond itself.

Starting Wednesday, September 8th we will begin removing the trees in the front entrance to
our community. This will kick off a renovation project in this area where we plan to accomplish
the following: remove the trees with invasive root systems, renovate the pond feature so that
the water level can be raised without flooding, regrade the area to enhance the visibility of the
pond, plant new trees that have been properly selected for the space, install water-wise plant
material that can be maintained on drip irrigation, install a lighted welcome sign and landscape
lighting to increase the aesthetics of the main entry to our community.

We will be releasing additional details as the project progresses and we have included a
concept plan of what the space will look like once completed. In the meantime, please give
yourself more time Wednesday through Friday (September 8-10) during the tree removal phase
(approximately 8:30 am- 2 pm each day). Our contractor is familiar with the traffic concerns
during commuting hours and will do their best to limit their lane closure to the side of the road
that is opposite traffic.

If you have any questions about this project, please email the San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA):

Thank you,
Your San Elijo Hills Board of Directors

The Escondido Creek Conservancy Earns National Recognition

For sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship

One thing that unites our Nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the wild lands they love. Since 1991, The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) has been doing just that in North San Diego County. The Conservancy announced today it has achieved national recognition for its work – joining a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust.

“We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means special places–such as the LeoMar, Keithley, and Sardina preserves–will be protected forever, making the region an even greater place for us and our children,” said Conservancy Director of Finance and Operations Rita Petrekova, who led the multi-year accreditation effort.

The Escondido Creek Conservancy provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive independent third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever. Around the Nation, non-profit accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land–the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades, and Yosemite National Parks combined.

“Accreditation demonstrates the Conservancy’s commitment and ability to provide permanent land conservation through ethical business practices, good corporate governance, and top-notch long-term stewardship.” said Leonard Wittwer, Conservancy co-founder and current Board President.

“It is exciting to recognize The Escondido Creek Conservancy with this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 450 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

The Escondido Creek Conservancy is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at

About The Escondido Creek Conservancy

Over the past three decades, the Conservancy has helped protect over 7,000 acres of wildlife habitat and currently manages 3,000 acres of wildlands in North San Diego County. The Conservancy also annually implements outdoor educational programs to 5,000+/- students and provides compatible outdoor recreation to children and adults, including all third graders in the Escondido Union School District. The Conservancy strongly believes the benefits of outdoor education are numerous and exposing young people to nature enriches their lives and helps them understand why it is so important to protect wild spaces.

Recent Conservancy conservation efforts include the Missing Lynx campaign–a continuation of the Conservancy’s successful 2015-2019 Save 1000 Acres campaign. In 2021, as part of the Missing Lynx effort, the Conservancy created a new preserve in Olivenhain called LeoMar. The recent purchase of 104 acres of land adjacent to the Gaty reservoir is serving as a centerpiece of the new LeoMar Preserve The Conservancy is also promoting the Park in the Park to create new park space for Escondido residents and improve water quality in the creek and ocean. The Conservancy believes all people should have access to nature close to where they live, which is one of the reasons why it is advocating for creek restoration in the City of Escondido.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit

Notice of meet with Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson regarding San Marcos landfill

Attention hikers and local homeowners: Our views of the natural habit of the San Marcos Landfill are changing. Previously The County of San Diego spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a natural habitat to have this landfill blend into the natural landscape. Within the last 2 years, trees have been cut down. Recently large amounts of asphalt has been laid over sage and other natural vegetation. We see bright orange sandbags that have been placed on what used to be a pristine landscape. In an effort to restore our view and protect the natural animal and plant life next to our community, environmentalist Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson will be meeting with the homeowners and hikers. Tiffany is on the water board. Please join us. Hikers, homeowners in the San Elijo Hills and Elfin Forest communities are encouraged to come. Summer Light will have a petition for signatures to voice our concerns to the County. This will take place this Wednesday, August 25 at 3:30. We will be meeting at the south/west corner of the Albertson’s parking lot located on San Elijo Road.

Organized by a local resident- Summer Light contact her at

March of 2020
Same area May of 2021

San Marcos Unified Announces Passing of Former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

San Marcos Unified Announces Passing of Former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt
Message from Superintendent Dr. Andy Johnsen on the passing of former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

It is with great sadness that the San Marcos Unified School District announces the passing of beloved former superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt.

Dr. Holt retired as SMUSD’s superintendent in June 2017, after 14 years with the district. He was hired as SMUSD’s superintendent in 2007 after serving as Assistant Superintendent of

Human Resources for three years. Dr. Holt briefly returned to SMUSD as interim superintendent in late 2020.

Dr. Holt discovered his passion for education at an early age, working as an instructional aide at an elementary school when he was 18 years old. He earned his BA and teaching credential from California State, Long Beach. He held a master’s degree in Education Administration from CSU Los Angeles and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC San Diego. Prior to joining SMUSD, Dr. Holt worked as a teacher and administrator for Long Beach Unified, Norwalk/La Mirada Unified and Temecula school districts.

As a lifelong educator, Dr. Holt was passionate about equity and access for all students. He co-chaired the San Diego County Office of Education’s Achievement Gap Task Force and helped form the San Marcos Promise Foundation, which provides scholarships and college admission support to SMUSD students. He was serving on the Board of the San Marcos Promise Foundation at the time of his death. Dr. Holt also served as a Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos. In 2015, Dr. Holt was honored with the Fran Aleshire Award for his outstanding leadership and regional involvement by the San Diego North Economic Development Council. His program Just Pick One was created to encourage North County educators and staff members to support and mentor a student. He led by example and continued to mentor students even after his retirement, making substantial progress towards closing the achievement gap in San Diego County.

Plans are being made to celebrate Dr. Holt’s life and legacy.

The Double Peak Challenge 10k, 5K and Kids Trail Trot is back!

We are thrilled to announce that the Double Peak Challengeis back and IN-PERSON!!! Over the past 5 years, the Double Peak Challenge has been a fun and challenging 10k/5k and Trail Trot. This year will be no different.The competitive 10k trail run will offer scenic views of San Marcos and beyond. The swag pack for the 10k will include racer’s bib, wood medal, socks, and race shirt. The 5k Fun Run is not timed but still offers the chance to beat your previous time on the course. The 5k Fun Run swag pack will include racer’s bib, wood medal and socks. The Kid’s Trail Trot offers a quick sprint course for younger kids and they will receive a medal. This year’s Title Sponsor is KAISER PERMANENTE.  The event will be IN-PERSON this year on Saturday, September 25th. There will be fun prizes for the overall winners and age-group winners, race expo, cool swag and a beer garden for participants and spectators 21 years or older. To register or get more information, visitwww.doublepeakchallenge.comThe Friends of San Marcos Parks & Recreation and The San Marcos Promise
Register for the Race HereVOLUNTEERThis race is quickly becoming one of the best races in the County and many volunteers are needed to make this event a success.  If you’re interested in volunteering, please click the link below to sign up. Volunteers are needed on Friday, 9/24 and Saturday, 9/25. Various assignments (pre-race setup, race packet distribution, course crew, and more!) and time slots are available. Community service credit will be given. So if you’re not participating in the 10k/5k, gather your friends and family and join us for a really fun community event! Sign up to Volunteer Here 
More about the non-profit organizations who benefit from your participation: The San Marcos Promise (TSMP) is a non-profit education foundation connecting education, business & industry, and community leaders to impact the futures of the 21,000 students in SMUSD.  TSMP serves the 21,000 students by providing programs, resources, and opportunities that guide and support students on their educational journey beyond high school and into the workforce.The Friends of San Marcos‘ mission is to advocate for the health and happiness of the community and visitors to San Marcos by enhancing the city’s Parks & Recreation programs and facilities. The Friends of San Marcos are dedicated to responsible stewardship with an emphasis on collaboration, reaching out, and working to realize shared goals. The Friends of San Marcos have been busy supporting the San Marcos Parks & Recreation Scholarship program for classes, camps and swim lessons, funding the design process of a new Mountain Bike Park coming to Bradley Park in the near future, and sponsoring the staffing costs for Las Posas Pool recreational swim program this summer when the City was not able to fund it. #ReachThePeak   #DoublePeakChallenge
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