Time for annual events feting the San Diego River

A view of the San Diego River, which runs from the mountains near Julian to Ocean Beach. The San Diego River Park Foundation is holding its 15th annual “San Diego River Days” this weekend and next weekend to highlight the watershed areas around the county.
(Karen Pearlman/San Diego Union-Tribune)

More than 40 free events are set for this weekend and next weekend throughout the county as part of the 15th annual San Diego River Days.

The two-weekend celebration of the 52-mile San Diego River starts Saturday, May 12, and Sunday May 13, with more events Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20.

Activities include environmental education events for kids, public art workshops, cleanups, talks, hikes to exclusive locations and tree planting.

Participants will be able to walk, hike, bike, tour, learn about and explore dozens of areas along the river and other watershed areas of the county during the event.

“San Diego River Days started 15 years ago as a great way to experience the river, meet like-minded people and have fun,” said Rob Hutsel, president and CEO of The San Diego River Park Foundation, which coordinates the annual event and hosts many of the events.

Some of the highlights for this weekend:

  • A guided field hike will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Wright’s Field in Alpine.
  • A monarch butterfly learning event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Edgemoor Barn belonging to the Santee Historical Society in Santee.
  • Hands-on science and arts projects for kids will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday near the intersection of Qualcomm Way and Camino de La Reina in Mission Valley.
  • Ocean Beach will have three cleanups starting at 9 a.m. this Saturday. One will be at Dog Beach, another one at the OB Pier and a habitat restoration cleanup off Voltaire Street.
  • In Lakeside starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday there will be a cleanup and tree planting event at El Monte County Park; a stream-side hike is set for 10 until 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary on Wildcat Canyon Road.
  • A beautification event is set from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Lake Murray in La Mesa.
  • There will be a wildlife tracking event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Kumeyaay Lake in Mission Trails Regional Park near Santee.
  • A Mother’s Day hike is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at Eagle Peak Ranch, south of Julian.

A full schedule of events is available at
The San Diego River Park Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001, focuses on keeping up the San Diego River and creating a 52-mile river parkway from the mountains near Julian to where it ends in Ocean Beach.