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South Rim Conservation Area
Working to Save the Magnificent Upper Gorge

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Click Here for a General Map of Area (PDF)

Click Here to See Google Map

The South Rim Conservation Initiative has set an ambitious goal of conserving the incredible South Rim of the Upper San Diego River Gorge. The Initiative includes many privately owned properties which are surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest and the fantastic Temescal Creek area. This initiative extends the River Park Foundation's original Eagle Peak Preserve ( 551 acres) across Eagle Peak Road and along the south rim of the Upper Gorge to Temescal Creek.


40 Acres - Multiple Parcels
NEEDED TO RAISE: $12,000 For Deposit, Appraisal and other Direct Costs

Details: after several years of informal discussions, we have been invited to submit a bid for a key property (multiple parcels totalling 40 +/- acres) within the South Rim focus area. This property is the largest remaining one on our list of potential South Rim conservation properties. We anticipate the purchase price to be at least $3000 per acre ($120,000 total). In order to proceed, we need to raise funds for a deposit, appraisal and other direct expenses which is $12,000. The owner has indicated that if we can come to agreement that we wouldn't need to complete the purchase for at least one year which gives us significant time to raise the remaining funds needed.
Click Here for More Info and to Donate to this Project

21 acres - 2 Parcels
NEEDED TO RAISE: $3099 - RAISED! Great Work to All Who Joined In!

Details: we have the opportunity to purchase 2 parcels from the County of San Diego that were scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. As a nonprofit interested in acquiring these lands for open space, we have the opportunity to purchase them at a fixed price (adjusted based upon purchase date) of just $3099. After working with the County for considerable time, the sale was approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 14, 2017. Once the purchase contract is executed, we will have 30 days to complete the purchase. We raised the funds neededl and are now waiting for the paperwork from the County. We will post an update when the paperwork is received.

Recently Completed Project(s):
13 acre South Rim Small Parcels:
This property is made up of 6 individual parcels. They are near and in one case adjacent to the recent 97 acre Gastil acquisition. This land was successfully acquired.

Temescal Creek Overlook:
This is a beautiful 40 acre property within the the Eagle Peak Ranch unit. The property was successfully acquired in December of 2016. This acquisition protected a major trail corridor as well as the scenic integrity of the valley and its associated critical ecosystem.

Many reasons to conserve:
Towering Engelmann oaks
Deer, badger, fox, mountain lion and other wildlife
Adjacent to proposed Wilderness Area!
Trail and other public enjoyment opportunities


  • 97 Acre Gastil Acquisition Completed
  • 1 property donation secured
  • 299 acre Eagle Peak Ranch Acquisition Completed
  • 6 parcels totalling 13 acres Acquired
  • 75 acre Temescal Creek Gateway Acquired
  • 160 acres Homestead Acquisition Completed (120 acres transferred to National Forest Service)
  • 40 acre Temescal Creek Overlook acquisition completed to create open space buffer for Temescal Creek

The Upper San Diego River has been called one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the entire country! It is a very special place, and you can help protect it. We will also be working with the National Forest Service, County of San Diego, San Diego Mountain Biking Association, Sierra Club and others to establish the South Rim extension to the regional San Diego River Trail.

The River Park Foundation will continue to solicit donations of properties in this area. If you are an owner, please contact us. There may be significant tax benefits to making a donation.

We do not have an good estimate on the cost of completing this project. For planning purposes, it requires $1000 to accept a donation for title insurance and the cost of transferring the property. For purchases, we anticipate the value to be $1500 - $3000 per acre or higher (more for small legal parcels). As any agreements are reached with landowners, we will post the details.

Other Needs:

1. $500,000 for the Eagle Peak Preserve permanent management fund PHASE II.
As part of PHASE I, an endowment was established at The San Diego Foundation to support the operations and maintenance of Eagle Peak Preserve in perpetuity. For PHASE II we have set a goal of raising $500,000 which will generate sufficient funds for liability insurance as well as basic maintenance and care of the property.

You can donate directly to the Fund at The San Diego Foundation (scroll to San Diego River Park Foundation Eagle Peak Preserve Endowment Fund) Click Here

A. This is a wonderful planned gift opportunity. This is something that can be placed in a will or be named as the beneficiary of an insurance policy, IRA or Trust. Only the investment returns on your gift are used so that your gift will be a legacy to benefit future generations. Please contact Rob Hutsel, President and CEO, at 619-297-7380 to discuss how you would like to make a lasting impact.

B. You can also "Adopt an Acre" by donating through The San Diego River Park Foundation. When you donate $250 or more toward the Land Management Fund your name (or that of a loved one) will be included on a special apprectiation plaque on a Trail Bridge over Temescal Creek.

2. An Additional $38,000 to rebuild the Acquisition Fund
With each land acquisition we deplete our acquisition fund. Ideally, we have at least $50,000 in the fund at all times so that we can respond to opportunities to acquire high priority properties if any become available. Often these properties will go on the open market to be sold for development of residential structures. Therefore, time is on the essence. If we have funds available, we can enter into negotiations immediately to secure the right to purchase the property.

Donations can be made online, over the phone or by check
. Remember, SDRPF is a 501c3 so your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.
EIN 01-0565671. For the Acquisition Fund, make a secure donation with PayPal by clicking below and selecting "South Rim.".

Click Here for Other Ways to Donate

Donor Appreciation for Acquisition Fund
$10 - $99: Receive an invitation to a future dedication open house and be listed on this website (if desired).

$100 - $499: Receive a set of commemorative postcards and above.

$500 - $999: Donor Appreciation Bench. You, your family, business or group will be recognized on a bench at Eagle Peak Ranch! You will be invited to a future dedication open house and listed on the website (if desired) for your generous gift to the Acquisition Fund..

$1000 - $4999: Be recognized on the property dedication sign plus on the website (if desired) and open house invitation. Also you will be invited to join or extend your "membership" in the exclusive Conservation Society.

$5000+: Receive prominent recognition on the preserve dedication sign plus website (if desired) and open house invitation. Also you will be invited to join our extend your "membership" in the exclusive Conservation Society. For larger gifts, please contact us so that we can discuss appreciation opportunities.


Other Current Projects

  • Acquisition on El Cajon Mountain

    We have successfully completed the acquisition all but one remaining privately owned property in our El Cajon Mountain Conservation Area! Thank you to all that have joined the effort to save El Cap!

    We have set a goal of raising $25,000 in donations and pledges toward the purchase of this remaining parcel. We will hold the funds as we continue discussions with the current owners. If they agree to sell the property at a market valuation, we will use the funds to put a deposit on the property and then work to raise any remaining funds required.


  • Boulder Creek Conservation in the Eagle Peak Conservation Area

    Did you know recently there were wild rainbow trout in San Diego County on Boulder Creek? You can help us restore and protect a cold-water stream where the trout were found living year-round. In 2013 we completed our second acquisition in this project area. We are working to restore Boulder Creek and create a field station for research and learning. If you are interested in learning more or supporting this effort, please contact Sarah Hutmacher, Associate Director, at or 619-297-7380.

    Donate Now


For more information on any of these projects or other ways to get involved, contact our Executive Director Rob Hutsel or call (619) 297-7380.

40 acres:

Provided by 


* Any additional funds will be applied to our future acquisition project (and restricted for that purpose).


$2500 and Above
Beth Bruton

$ 500 and $2499
Jack in memory of Inge
Maartje D. Scherpenisse
Danny Lancaster, in honor of wife, Debra Lancaster

$100 to $499
Victoria Mature
Tony Turner
Howard Lange
Kai Johnson
Derek Loranger
Gingy & Bud Ferguson
Jennifer Cochrane - Schultz
Michael Rhodes
Donna Gookin
Scott Sandel
William Graham
Susan Perry
Linda Espino
Stuart Robinson
Jeanette Poling
Meredith MacCracken
Terri Johnson
Patricia Coe
Douglas S. Coe
Bonnie Sipe
Peg & David Engel
Amy Schmitz
Ann Ramirez
Wayne Seim
Julie Hocking and Jim Baross
Thomas Harrison
Marilyn Gibbs
Jan Sachs
Judi Ravetti
Linda & Fred Kramer
Theresa Acerro
Wesley Dawson
Tracey Rivera Insurance Agency, Inc.
Rob Hutsel and Karen Begin

Up to $99
John Caffrey
Esther Davis
Charles Simmons
Donna Zoll
Marc Reynolds
Connie Beck
Joan Raphael
Bob Self
Ingrid Baisch
Jake Sibley
Bryan Furbee
Lori Mendez
Jaime Gold Kitchen and Bath Design, LLC
Mona Anderson
Sandra Morgan
Leah Healy
Judith Tillson
Erik Hauenstein
Rosemary Reed
Nancy & Mack Bryson
Barry Pechersky
Tom Cottrell
Caroline Kreiser
John Hildebrand
John Kennedy
James Almon
Shannon Cegarra
Kerri De Rosier / Write It Right
Michael Lysik / Calhoun Vision
Catherine Avila
Nan Renner
Susan Danner
Gary Mitrovich
Jessica Barlow
Jean Kaiwi
Susan Jones
Kathleen Cudahy
Julia Colpitts
Lee Barken
Dave Brown Coaching
Anneli Kyner
Gary Nach
Bharath Ramaswamy
Patrick Jelsema
Jacqueline Semenova
Marilyn Allen
Mathew Kaplan
Cindy Nelson
Patricia Roberson
The C. Forte Company
Lisa Stempka
Stephen Fanshier
Jason Kevane
Marti Kranzberg
Glenn Little
Jeffrey Mason
Mary Parrish
Lisa Sides
Michael Golden
Paula Proper-Wasserman
Amanda Carter
Robert Keck
Leslie LaForest
Norrie Robbins
Ann & Michael Sixtus

* we sincerely apologize for any errors, please let us know so we can correct it.
Listing reflects total value in cases of multiple gifts.



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