Tag Archives: Simmons

San Marcos nonprofit sponsors nature field trips for Title 1 schools

San Marcos nonprofit sponsors nature field trips for Title 1 schools

Every school year, hundreds of students take field trips to Jack’s Pond Nature Center to learn about our local ecosystem—and the important role they play in preserving it.

This year, even more students from all types of economic backgrounds will be able to participate thanks to sponsorships from Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation (Friends of San Marcos).

The nonprofit group is sponsoring several field trips for Title 1 schools, where at least 40 percent of students come from low-income homes.

“I have happy childhood memories of playing at Jack’s Pond and to this day, it’s still a communitytreasure. It gives kids a chance to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with nature,” said Friends of San Marcos board member Jason Simmons. “Our goal is to expand that enrichment to more children here in San Marcos.”

The Friends of the San Marcos Parks and Recreation will help hundreds of students learn about their local ecosystem this year.

Last year, Simmons helped Friends of San Marcos pilot the sponsorship program with several Title 1 schools, including San Marcos Elementary, Knob Hill Elementary and Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary in order to send 273 students to the nature center. Significantly, that accounted for about 35 percent of all the students who took field trips there last year.

Friends of San Marcos plans to ramp-up its support this school year by sponsoring field trips for allseven Title 1 schools in San Marcos. What’s more, the Vallecitos Water District has agreed to sponsor the cost of bus transportation, meaning all the schools can now participate with zero cost.

“These sponsorships are a tremendous gift to our community,” said Kim Valdovinos, City of SanMarcos Recreation Coordinator for Youth Programs. “This program teaches students about theirsurrounding environment and instills a sense of pride for living in San Marcos. We are teachingour future leaders how to appreciate and preserve our beautiful city.”

Jack’s Pond Nature Center is located at 986 La Moree Road. For more information about the center and the field trip program, please call (760) 744-9000 or visit san-marcos.net/play/jack-s-pond- nature-center.

Copper Hills Development

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San Elijo Life had an informative conversation with Jason and Scott Simmons. They are two brothers that have grown up in San Marcos and their company they are affiliated with are the developers of this project. Their father also has a historical footprint here in San Marcos as a developer.  They are very focused in connecting with the community by providing information on this project. They want to be available to speak and/or meet with anyone to answer questions, hear your feedback and solutions. This is a preview of information on this project and a more detailed article from us is coming soon. They provided this statement below for our San Elijo Life readers to learn more about Copper Hills. The site is a treasure for local residents to hike, bike, run and play and we encourage everyone to go and enjoy the spring green hills and familiarize yourself with the site. The old dump and it’s safety along with the long history of old recycling center are important parts of this area and the history before and during the existence of San Elijo Hills. Traffic, school crowding and designated open space are topics that should be part of the community discussion.


Just southwest of San Elijo Hills town center, nestled in between Old Creek Ranch and the old recycling center, is a little know gem of a property now known as Copper Hills.

You may have hiked or biked from the old recycling center gates on this property on your way to Copper Creek trailheads or the old Copper Mines southwest of San Elijo Hills. The property is currently located in the jurisdiction of the County of San Diego, but is being proposed to annex into the City of San Marcos. This will give us in San Elijo Hills and San Marcos a voice in the proposed uses for the site.  

While most of the land will remain in open space; a portion will be developed into usable residential and commercial as well as park space and recreation opportunities.  This is the last spot along San Elijo Road that could fulfill some of the needs of the community that have been missing.  Potential uses include community gathering facilities, trail access and parking, large park area, a Boys and Girls Club and Teen Center, a skate park, outdoor basketball courts, community pools, congregate care for seniors, family restaurants and breweries as well as a top notch residential community by respected high end builder Colrich Communities, who has built some beautiful communities in San Elijo Hills and Old Creek Ranch.  

The developer is actively developing solutions for traffic concerns and while the elementary school will be Carrillo, they understand school impact concerns and will be addressing those with the public’s involvement.  Your direct input to the developer is much appreciated and welcomed.  

The Bieri Companies, who has owned the property since 2003; however has been working in San Marcos since the 1980’s and is responsible for CSUSM and areas around it is much appreciated developments.  Local land planning firm CCI or Consultants Collaborative has been involved from the beginning and both principals live in San Elijo Hills.  All 3 firms involved are local and family owned. Please visit www.ExploreCopperHills.com for more information and direct contact information.

*www.ExploreCopperHills.com will be live next week