CNPS Chapter Council Activities
hosted by San Diego Chapter
Friday 12/1 to Sunday 12/3 2023 – San Diego vicinity

Torrey Pines State Reserve. Photo by Justin Daniel

update 11/5 – Registration will remain open through the event. If we can’t fit you into the Saturday meals, take-out is available nearby, so please join us.

FRIDAY 12/1 – Del Mar & Encinitas (directions)

  • 9:00 AM – Meet at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a guided walk among the seaside woodlands (Pinus torreyana var torreyana) and Southern maritime chaparral.
    • Led by Field Trips Chairs Justin Daniel and John Caffrey. Expect a 3.5 mile hike roundtrip with the option for driving to the Visitor Center and carpooling back down to the beach parking lot. Rugged terrain on trails, with paved road access for half the length. Elevation gain is approximately 350 feet.
    • $20 per vehicle, but free beach parking is available nearby.
    • The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
    • Expected return to beach parking lot by 12:00 PM.
  • 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm –  San Diego Botanic Gardens – Tour and entry to the San Diego Botanic Garden is covered by the San Diego Chapter for up to 40 participants. Come enjoy the garden for free as our guest!

  • 5:00 PM – Open Schedule
    • This is your chance to explore the San Diego nightlife! Suggestions for dining and entertainment are provided at the bottom of the page.
    • Dinner and Socializing – Many options around San Diego. We need guidance on how many to expect. We can reserve at a location that provides good all around options for vegan and allergy free choices.

SATURDAY 12/2 – Imperial Beach (directions)
Morning and Afternoon


  • 12:00 PM - Lunch: Lunch provided for all Chapter Council attendees and volunteers who have elected to receive a lunch preference via registration form.
    • Stroll: Wander the Tijuana River Estuary (McCoy Trails) around the estuary. Bird watching and self-guided walks to the beach via Seacoast Dr. (Oneonta Slough with an optional trail along sand dunes to the mouth of the Tijuana River.) Great views of the surf and of Tijuana's La Playas District and Border Field State Park.

  • 1:30 PM - Chapter Council Meeting Resumes
    • Adjournment approximately 4:00 PM


  • 3:00 pm - Estuary Visitor Center Socializing
    • Explore the Visitor and Research Center. Walk the pier or shops in Imperial Beach. There will also be breakout rooms and small discussion panels.

  • 5:00 pm - Sunset Apertif: Pre-dinner appetizers and drinks at Balsamico.
    • Location: Balsamico Italian Kitchen
    • Address: 791 Palm Ave #101, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
    • $40 per person suggested. Pay what you can at the meeting. Options covered at registration sign up. Alcohol is served separately and is not covered by dinner price.
    • Presentation: Global Oak Conservation with focus on Southern California & Northern Baja by Senior Horticulturist Dario Berrini of the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Alliance.

SUNDAY 12/3 Field Trip Option 1
    • 8:00 AM – Field Trip: San Diego's Finest Regional Park
      • Location: Mission Trails Regional Park
      • Address: 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119
      • For a guided walk from the beautiful Visitor's Center and native gardens down the paved live oak woodland with a scenic historic dam, one of theeasiest and best hikes in San Diego County any time of year.
      • Led by Board of Director's member Vince Scheidt.
      • The Visitor's Center is open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily. Expect to return to the parking lot by 12:00PM.
      • Meet at the Visitor's Center Entry. Alternative parking can be found at the Jackson Dr. Overflow Lot. From there it is a short, 0.3 mile hike to the Visitor's Center.
      • 2:00 PM - Fond Farewell and Safe Travels
        • Our complimentary 12 seat carpool van will head to the San Diego Airport and Old Town Trolley or other nearby destinations. Coordination possible for one more loop before ending the carpool shift. See the Travel and Lodging Sheet.

SUNDAY 12/3 Field Trip Option 2
  • 8:00 AM – Field Trip: Anza Borrego State Park - Palm Canyon and Sculpture Garden and Wildflower Loop
    • Location: Anza Borrego State Park
    • Map: Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead
    • A guided hike from the Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead will lead attendees up to the palm oasis, now fully recovered from a fire in 2020. The hike will go through Desert Bighorn habitat from creosote bush scrub to California fan palm oasis with inter grading desert vegetation communities with a lot of barrel cactus and ocotillos. With the monsoonal moisture from Hurricane Hilary in mid August (which dropped three years of rain in one storm) and cooler temperatures over the past month, the desert is promising to please the beholder early this year.
    • Led by Chapter Field Trips Chair Justin Daniel and ABSP Botanist Larry Hendrickson.
    • The hike is 2.5 miles roundtrip. Rocky and bouldering terrain and sandy/gravelly paths on unpaved trails. Elevation gain is approximately 840 feet.
    • Meet at the Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead and be sure to pay the $10 vehicle day use fee at the nearby campground kiosk.
      • Coordinated volunteer carpooling available from Imperial Beach, leaving around 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM. If you are interested in driving, please indicate this during registration sign up.
  • 12:30 pm - Lunch
  • 2:00 pm - Driving Tour and Stops: Borrego Springs SCulpture Gardens and Henderson CAnyon Wildflower Fields
    • After lunch, we will embark on a 15 mile driving loop around Borrego Springs and stop briefly at one of the Sculpture Gardens created by artist Richard Breceda known as Galleta Meadows. Afterward, we will head up to the Henderson CAnyon Rd Wildflower Meadows and stop to take pictures and find rare plants among whatever is blooming. Once satisfied, we will head back to San Diego with another chance to take a restroom stop before the 2 hour drive back. 
  • 5:00 pm - Fond Farewell and Safe Travels:
    • Location: We will return back to San Diego just before dark and drop off at locations of each member's choice in the metro area. See Travel and Lodging Sheet
Other Things To Do - For those staying longer in the area, here's a list of local attractions...
Council acting Chair - Woody Elliot Hosting chapter - Justin Daniel website issues - Larry Levine