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Places we Protect

The Escondido Creek Conservation Area
Currently the Escondido Creek Conservation Area (ECCA) consists of approximately 1300 acres, located throughout the Escondido Creek watershed.  The Conservation Area lands are protected by combination of fee ownership, conservation easements and management agreements.  The primary management goal for all ECCA land is wildlife habitat conservation and TECC strives to provide the highest level of stewardship. This includes frequent site visits and annual wildlife surveys to track the health of the ecosystems and to alert if any changes in stewardship are warranted.  Public access is not allowed at some sites due to the sensitivity of the habitat or easement restrictions.   At other sites respectful public access for the enjoyment of nature is allowed.

MJM Ranch, 2013: 92 acres protected by an easement north of the City of Escondido. This is off site mitigation for the Harmony Grove Village development and is comprised mainly of coastal sage scrub.

Cielo Del Norte, 2012: The Conservancy and the Conservation Fund bought the 240 acre Cielo Del Norte property in Elfin Forest for $11.5 million with grants from the California Wildlife Conservation Board and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, distributed by the California Department of Fish & Game.

Cielo Azul, 2010: After decades of work by TECC, the 100 acre Cielo Azul property was finally purchased by the County for permanent preservation. If developed, this property would have meant homes on the popular “Way Up Trail” in the middle of the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. To achieve this milestone purchase TECC worked in partnership with the Conservation Fund, a national conservation organization responsible for preserving over seven million acres in North America, San Diego County Parks and Recreation and Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD). Scott Ferguson of the Conservation Fund brokered the deal, the County was the ultimate purchaser, OMWD agreed to cover the cost to manage the property and TECC contributed it’s Coler parcel of 45 contiguous acres worth over $1.2 million to make the deal happen.

Bottle Peak, 2010: The California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) granted TECC $3.5 million to purchase 418 acres on Bottle Peak, the iconic landmark east of the city of Escondido at the headwaters of Escondido Creek. The County of San Diego subsequently purchased the second half of Bottle Peak creating an 800 acre preserve.

Family Stations, 2010: TECC facilitated the preservation of 119 acres along Harmony Grove Road by purchasing the Family Stations property and transferring it to the County of San Diego.

Onyx Ridge Development, 2007: TECC accepted title and management responsibility for a 59 acre remainder parcel located at the confluence of Escondido and Meisha Creeks plus 12 acres of conservation easement.

San Elijo Ridge, 2007: TECC accepted title and management responsibility for a 37 acre remainder parcel located on Questhaven Road.

Greenlands Preserve, 2007: TECC acquired a conservation easement over the 73 acre Greenlands property located along Escondido Creek on the eastern slope of Paint Mountain.

LeRiche Property, 2004: TECC acquired the 10 acre LeRiche parcel along Harmony Grove Road. In 2013 this property was donated to the County of San Diego as a partial match for the acquisition of a further 80 acres.

Del Dios Highlands, 2002: TECC played a key role in the purchase and preservation of the 345-acre Derbas property. The County of San Diego purchased 95 acres and TECC purchased 253 acres which were eventually sold to the County. The land is now known as Del Dios Highlands.

Quarry Property, 2002: TECC purchased an 11 acre parcel at the corner of Harmony Grove Road and Country Club Drive which contains a portion of Escondido Creek. In 2010 and additional 10 acres was acquired resulting in a 21 acre preserve.  In 2011another  2 acre parcel which is contiguous to the Quarry reserve was purchased . This parcel allows improved access to the other acres.

Coler Property, 2001: TECC purchased 76 acres adjacent to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve with funds raised from the community and a San Diego Foundation matching grant. 31 acres were eventually sold to the County of San Diego as part of the TEA grant program. The remaining 45 acres were donated to the County of San Diego in 2010 as a match for their purchase of the 100 acre Cielo Azul property. In total, 176 acres were preserved. TECC retains management responsibility for 7 acres of riparian habitat along the Escondido Creek.

TEA Grant, 2000: TECC worked with the County Parks & Recreation Department to secure a $2,000,000 grant for land acquisition within the Escondido Creek watershed. 120 acres were preserved and the Small Parcel Corridor was enlarged.

Bumann, 1998: TECC accepted title and management responsibility for a 21 acre remainder parcel including a portion of Escondido Creek.

Olivenhain Reservoir Project, 1994: As mitigation for the impacts of dam construction, TECC successfully lobbied OMWD to place a conservation easement over 117 acres of wetland habitat along Escondido Creek. As mitigation for the construction of pipelines associated with the dam, TECC proposed and championed the “Small Parcel Corridor”, a string of parcels at risk for development connecting valuable habitat along Escondido Creek to preserved lands in Carlsbad. Wildlife Agencies and OMWD agreed, 104 acres were preserved.

Santa Fe Creek Development, 1992: Strong advocacy by TECC during the planning process for this 200 acre project resulted in 145 acres of dedicated open space – up from 40 acres in the original proposal.