History of the Torrey Pines Association

In 1949, the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation recommended that:

...an organization be ... formed that would be charged with the primary responsibility of guarding San Diego's priceless heritage, Torrey Pines ... permanently.

In pursuit of this goal, the Torrey Pines Association was founded in 1950, with Guy Fleming as its first president. Since then it has played an active role in:

  • achieving State Reserve/Preserve status
  • leading the campaign to acquire 168 additional acres of native trees
  • funding interpretive signs and exhibits
  • publishing informational materials and producing educational videos
  • establishing an endowment for the benefit of the Reserve
  • renovating Visitor Center facilities and the historic Guy Fleming House
  • funding bark beetle monitoring and invasive plant eradication efforts
  • supporting State Parks with equipment donations
  • sponsoring symposia and other events that increase appreciation of the Reserve
  • funding a tree census
  • monitoring the overall welfare of the Reserve and responding to projects that could reduce native habitat, cut off wildlife corridors, cause further siltation of the lagoon, or threaten the Reserve's integrity

Current Programs

TPA helps fund the Carmel Valley Road Revegetation Project where Parks staff and volunteers are removing invasive iceplant and replanting native species along the lagoon margin of Carmel Valley Road.  TPA is supporting restoration of the Guy and Margaret Fleming Residence, one of the structures on the National Register of Historic Places, at the Reserve.  We continue to provide ongoing support for the pheromones used to monitor bark beetles among the pine groves.

Our Finest Effort

TPA’s proudest accomplishment was the successful conclusion in 1974 of a matching fund campaign  to purchase the Extension above Carmel Valley Road.  In the face of overwhelming odds and with a decade of effort, citizens devoted to preserving the last unprotected groves of Torrey pines, led by the TPA, succeeded in saving 1,500 trees and 168 acres of natural beauty on the north side of Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. 

A Legacy of Literature

Another multi-year effort was the 1994 publication of our signature volume, Torrey Pines: Landscape and Legacy, with text and photos by Bill Evarts. 

Endowing the Future

We joined with the Torrey Pines Docent Society in 2007 to establish the Torrey Pines Reserve Endowment with the goal of building a long-term, sustainable source of support for the Reserve.

With the increased pressure of urban growth, the challenge remains: Can the rarest pine tree in the United States continue to coexist with one of the country's fastest growing cities?

We invite you to join with us in our ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the rare Torrey pines and their scenic refuge by becoming a member of the Torrey Pines Association.

Torrey Pines Association

P.O. Box 345
La Jolla, CA 92038