The first three of seven large housing developments proposed to be built in various parts of unincorporated San Diego County will go before the Board of Supervisors Wednesday for approval.Two are controversial; both are planned for the Harmony Grove/Elfin Forest areas just west of Escondido and south and east of San Marcos in a semi-rural pocket of the county surrounded by urban dedevelopment.The third is a much larger project in Otay Mesa that has limited opposition and has flown through the planning process.It is the North County projects that have nearby residents and environmental groups up in arms.The Harmony Grove Village South and Valiano projects combined would bring 779 homes to the region. When the local community planning groups evaluated both projects, they unanimously voted to recommend denial, citing traffic, fire danger and community character issues, among others concerns.
DECEMBER 3, 2017 | ELFIN FOREST RECREATIONAL RESERVE
Come join the community of Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove for a 5k/ 10k trail run/hike to raise funds to help “keep it rural.” Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove are a hidden gem in San Diego North County, home of diverse wildlife, scenic trails and biological diversity. This event raises money to help fund the cause of keeping this area scenic, rural and pristine.
This will be a chip-timed race for both the 5k and the 10k. The 5k can include hikers and runners while the 10k will be limited to runners. A 2 hour time limit will be imposed on the course.
DATE: Sunday, December 3, 2017
6:45: registration begins (runners pick up packets or register)
7:00: Festival ready for business
7:45: 10K Race Begins
8:00: 5K Race Begins
9:45: Both courses close
10:00: 1K fun run for kids
10:15: raffle winners announced
10:30: award festival for 5K, 10K and 1K fun run.
A timed, relatively accurately measured 5K and 10K trail run. All registered runners/hikers receive a T-Shirt and a raffle ticket for a special racer raffle. For both races: top 3 places, both men and women get killer prizes which will be announced as they become confirmed.
PAST YEARS’ PRIZES included:
— Spy Optic performance sunglasses (~$90 to $150) (1st, 2nd, 3rd: M & F, 5K/10K)
— Rudy Project gift certificates (~$90 to $150) (1st, 2nd, 3rd: M & F, 5K/10K)
— Gift Certificates from Movin’ Shoes ($30, $20 and $10) (1st, 2nd, 3rd: M & F, 5K/10K)
— Milestones Running: $50 gift certificates for 1st place (1st M & F, 5K/10K)
— Patagonia apparel: ~$90 to $140 (1st, 2nd, 3rd: M & F, 5K/10K)
— Moving Shoes (top 3 M & F, 5K/10K)
— Prana gear
— And the satisfaction of racing hard for a great cause.
— This year’s prizes are still TBD and will be announced as they become available.
FUN STUFF FORALL: If you’re not hiking or running, there will still be plenty
to do at the Keepin’ it Rural festival.
• Local Craft Beer garden (courtesy of Alesmith and Stumblefoot Brewery).
• Coffee and snacks for sale courtesy of Cafe Stoked;
• Gourmet Food Trucks;
• Massages courtesy of Ernie Villanueva;
• Expo featuring vendors offering free or discounted goods or services
KIDS:Kids are welcome to sign up for the 5K or they can participate in the 1K fun run, free with adult admission. Other kid-friendly activities will be available.
• 1K kids fun run with prizes for fastest kids kicking off around 10am. (flat-ish course)
• Cool bug presentation by EFRR docent (pending availability)
• All kinds of fun carnival-style games, prizes and giveaways.
• Kid-friendly snacks and drinks for purchase.
ADDRESS: Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Olivenhain Dam Staging Area at 19090 Via Ambiente, Elfin Forest, CA (Click here for map). IMPORTANT: this area can only be accessed from Elfin Forest / Harmony Grove area. It cannot be reached from Del Dios Highway, Cielo or Rancho Santa Fe (online maps are often incorrect about this).
This not at the main trailhead and parking area for Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. It is on the backside off of Via Ambiente at Harmony Grove Road right after the bend on Elfin Forest Road (if going East) or after the Reserve (if going West). See directions below.
DIRECTIONS FROM 5 FREEWAY:
Take the 5N:
Leucadia Avenue Exit.
Follow it straight. It runs into Rancho Santa Fe Road.
Take a RIGHT on San Elijo Road,
RIGHT on Elfin Forest Road which ends and then curves sharply LEFT and turns into Harmony Grove Road.
Take a RIGHT on Via Ambiente. Follow signs up to the Dam and staging area.
DIRECTIONS FROM THE 15:
Take 9th Avenue W exit,
Follow it until it turns LEFT onto Hale Avenue.
Take a RIGHT on Harmony Grove Road,
Then take a LEFT to stay on Harmony Grove Road.
Follow it to Via Ambiente. LEFT onto Via Ambiente. Follow signs up to the Dam and staging area.
ORGANIZER:The Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council, a 501c(3) non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to the preservation of the community character, open space and natural habitat of the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove area. For more information: http://www.efhgtc.org
PLEASE NOTE:The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is being opened for us only on this date. If you wish to pre-view the course, you must park at the main entrance on 8833 Harmony Grove Road and take the Way Up Trail to get there. Please do not try to access from Via Ambiante as it is considered trespassing and it will make it a lot harder for us to get the race approved in the future if people try to access the course this way. Thanks for helping us to keep it rural.
The Escondido Creek Conservancy is co-sponsoring a one-day creek clean-up event. This is a wonderful way to make a positive impact to the local community, the watershed, and our ocean. The date of the event is Saturday, September 19th, from 9:00AM until noon. The site is located at 1845 Harmony Grove Road, which is an urban portion of the Escondido Creek. Interested volunteers can get more information and register by going to the following link:
For potential volunteers looking for a more on-going opportunity, we are seeking new recruits for out Elfin Forest Trail Patrol program. In a nutshell, our Trail Patrol volunteers help maintain the trail system at the Reserve, provide information to trail users, and serve as ambassadors of our natural lands.
Volunteers are permitted to patrol on their bikes! Scheduling is extremely flexible. Volunteers make their own shifts any time and day of the week that works for them (within regular park hours, of course). All we just ask that Trail Patrol volunteers perform, at minimum, three hours of patrolling per month.
To become a Trail Patrol volunteer you have to:
be at least 18 years old
allow us to run a background check
complete the training course that we provide
contribute a one-time $40 Trail Patrol application fee (of which $20 is a refundable deposit)
obtain First Aid, AED, and CPR certification
patrol a total of 3-hours per month (exceptions permitted)
The next Trail Patrol training course kicks off in this month. It consists of two 3-hour sessions held on back-to-back Saturdays (9:00-noon September 26th and October 3rd). There are only twelve more spots available and we only hold these trainings once every four months, so the sooner you sign up, the better.
Training course topics will include a thorough explanation of the program and volunteer duties, park rules & regulations, safety & security, trail maintenance techniques, nature interpretation techniques, identifying native and invasive plants, an introduction to local wildlife, and how to use the specialized communication radio.
For the uniforms, there’s a standardized hat and a short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirt that we provide. When volunteers can no longer continue participating in the program we refund $20 of the $40 application fee upon the return of the uniform. Volunteers are responsible for providing their own hiking shoes and green-colored pants/shorts of choice.
All Trail Patrol volunteers must also have up-to-date adult First Aid, AED, and CPR certification (which is separate from the regular Trail Patrol training course). Since we don’t provide the certification ourselves, volunteers have to shop around the various independent certifiers in the area and sign up for the one that is most convenient for them.
Groupon has a limited time deal right now for this certification, done entirely online, for just $20 (which is an incredibly good deal):
Harmony Grove Residents Worry About Fire Evacuation Routes. The community of scattered homes in the hills and valleys of Harmony Grove was hard hit by the Cocos fire in May 2014. The flames burned dozens of homes in the neighborhood on the outskirts of Escondido, wiping out the century-old community of Harmony Grove Spiritualist Center.