Your donations at work in the Reserve
Torrey Pines Association puts donors' contributions to good use by making grants to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and the Torrey Pines Docent Society. Our goal is to preserve native habitat -- especially the pine woodlands -- and increase enjoyment and stewardship of the Reserve.
Torrey Pines Lodge
With construction of the original coast highway in 1915, Torrey Pines Park became the gateway to San Diego, and Torrey Pines Lodge the focal point, welcoming the newly mobile motoring public with a rest stop complete with food and souvenirs. Designed by noted architects Requa and Jackson and built between 1922-1923, this gracious Pueblo Revival structure was the gift of philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to the people of San Diego. Today with its exhibits on natural history and Museum Shop, the Lodge continues to welcome visitors to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. It embodies the legacy and generosity of Miss Scripps, who wished all could share her vision of "the scenic beauty and educational and recreational value" of Torrey Pines. Preserving this legacy, through a restoration of the Lodge, is our challenge in the 21st century.
The Torrey Pines Docent Society maintains the Visitor Center exhibits and manages the Museum Shop. In 2006 with funding from TPA and the Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation, a major renovation of the Docent Library was completed, giving the docents a modernized work room and secure storage for their valuable book collection on natural history. To read more, please see the Winter 2007 issue of our TPA Journal. Another upgrade to the Lodge funded by TPA and the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation is the gas-log fireplace, creating a more healthful, smoke-free atmosphere in the Museum that protects visitors, parks staff, and the collections.
TPA and The Seeley Foundation funded the Historic Structure Report for the Lodge that enabled state parks and TPA to move forward with restoration plans and seek grant support. Please view our web film about the Lodge --
Bark Beetle Monitoring
Monitoring bark beetle populations at the Reserve is an important program to protect the Torrey pines from insects and disease. Charlie Kerns, California State Parks Environmental Services Intern, is responsible for the monitoring program. He regularly surveys the Reserve looking for sick or dying trees. The major threat is the California Fine-Spined Engraver Beetle, which proliferated during the drought in the late 1980s, and by 1991 had killed over 840 trees -- 12% of the Reserve's stock! Implementing a "trap-out" technique, black funnel traps were baited with pheromones specific to these beetles and deployed along the high ridges above the Guy Fleming and Parry Grove Trails. Over 330,000 beetles were trapped between 1991 and 1993. As tree mortality decreased, the trapping program was reduced to a monitoring level. The pheromones, purchased with funds from State Parks and TPA, are replaced every few months. To learn more, please see the Fall 2006 issue of the TPA Journal.
TPA funded the first comprehensive tree census at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. A Masters Thesis project of Liz Santos, graduate research assistant at SDSU, it updated earlier partial mapping and measuring of the Torrey pines in the Reserve as part of a baseline study for developing a management plan. Liz mapped 98% of the area and recorded 5,346 trees. The encouraging news is the better-than-expected range of sizes, indicating that new trees are rooting and growing. Further, she found little recent mortality of adult trees. Working with her advisor, Professor Janet Franklin, and District Environmental Scientist Darren Smith, Liz's census will lead to management and monitoring plans for the Torreys here at the Reserve. Click here to read a report of the tree census.
Native Plant Revegetation Projects
The Flintkote Restoration Project at the east end of Los Penasquitos Lagoon is designed to increase the acreage of native habitat to support native or endangered species including the California Gnatcatcher, Least Bell's Vireo, Bobcat, and Southern Mule Deer.
Connecting Children to Nature
The Torrey Pines Docent Society runs the Children's Program, which brings classes in grades 2 through 5 to the Reserve for nature talks and active naturalist-guided trail hikes. Due to State budget cuts, the program was endangered. TPA stepped forward with funding to keep the Interpretive Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator on staff from January until June 2010. We also teamed with the Docent Society to submit a grant proposal to the San Diego Women's Foundation. In May 2010, that proposal was one of only four selected for funding! TPA is a proud partner with the Docent Society in providing quality nature education to 5,000 San Diego County schoolchildren this year! The grant allowed expansion of the program to other grades and senior citizen groups. We are truly grateful to the San Diego Women's Foundation for their support.
The El Niño winter storms of 2005/06 caused severe erosion of the access to the beach from the Upper Reserve. Beach Trail repairs were completed in 2007 with funding from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, TPA, and the Torrey Pines Docent Society. Installation of the steel staircase formed the final link in the Reserve's tree-to-sea trail.
Guy and Margaret Fleming House
TPA has completed Phase III stabilization of the Guy and Margaret Fleming House at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This picturesque 1927 house, built by Guy Fleming and his father, is closely tied to Ellen Browning Scripps and the development of the Torrey Pines reserve. Working in partnership with the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation and the Torrey Pines Docent Society, we have controlled water damage by redoing the roof and replacing all interior galvanized piping with copper as well as upgrading all waste lines. We installed new, historically accurate windows and copper rain gutters, restored beams, lintels, and railings, and brought the electrical up to code. Exterior stucco was sealed and repainted in the original color. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with California State Parks, TPA agreed to help maintain the structure in exchange for a law enforcement officer living in the house and acting as an on-site steward, as did Guy Fleming. To read more about the Fleming House, please see the Summer 2008 issue of the TPA Journal.
The beautiful stone interpretive signs along the Guy Fleming Trail, at High Point, near the beach, and in the Extension are all donated by TPA. We are pleased to be able to tell the many stories of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve — its history, natural environments, plant communities, and the people who have contributed to its preservation. We hope you will pause in your walks to read and enjoy these interpretive efforts. Happy hiking!