The Escondido Creek Conservancy Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020
TECC Strategic PlanIn the spring of 1989, a small group of Elfin Forest neighbors went on a hike up Meisha Creek, a tributary of Escondido Creek, to a picnic lunch under an oak grove which is now under the water of the Olivenhain Reservoir. Present were Steve and Nona Barker, Martha Blane, and Leonard Wittwer.
At that time development was taking off in North County. The friends had worked together for years to fight development via the governmental regulatory process, but their experience was disappointing; even if a development was denied by elected officials after a long fight, it just came back in a year or two in a different configuration. There was never a real sustainable victory for the land.
That day the group talked about how they could become more proactive to save land before it was developed. They were tired of fighting housing projects and wanted instead to work for land conservation. An idea that started on that walk up Meisha
Creek many conversations later became a discussion at Martha and Leonard’s kitchen table which led to the incorporation of The Escondido Creek Conservancy (TECC) in 1991.
Since that time TECC has helped preserve over 3,000 acres of land, is currently seeking to preserve an additional 1,000+ acres, and manages over 1,300 acres. Since 1991, TECC has purchased or facilitated the purchase of some of the most biologically sensitive properties in the Escondido Creek Watershed.
While much has been accomplished, especially in the Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove area, there are major challenges ahead. The preserved lands must be managed in perpetuity. A new generation of conservationists must be engaged. Water quality must be improved. And other areas of the watershed need TECC’s attention.
As TECC’s founders move on to other chapters of their lives, this strategic plan was written to help guide the next phase of the Conservancy’s growth and accomplishment.
~ Kevin Barnard, President, December 2014