Cuyamaca College

FREE ADMISSIONS AT HERITAGE OF THE AMERICAS MUSEUM AND WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN: SECOND FRIDAY EACH MONTH

East County News Service
 
May 29, 2024 (Rancho San Diego) – Two of East County’s most unique attractions, both at Cuyamaca College, are offering free admission on the second Friday each month: Heritage of the Americas Museum and the Water Conservation Garden.
 
Visitors can enjoy tours of the garden and museum, participate in scavenger hunts, and pack a picnic lunch. The Garden is dog-friendly.

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GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES CELEBRATE COMMENCEMENT MAY 29-30

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Photos: Zachary Mass and Jessica Bahena, student commencement speakers

May 14, 2024 (El Cajon) -- Cheers and whoops of joy will mark the commencement ceremonies for Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in late May, as students celebrate their determination and perseverance on their path to earning a college diploma. 

The Cuyamaca College commencement is scheduled for May 29 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the college’s Communication Arts Building on campus, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. The Grossmont College commencement will be held May 30 at 9:30 a.m. at the Viejas Arena at San Diego State University. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed at Cuyamaca College Commencement and Grossmont College Commencement.

A total of 2,157 students from both colleges are set to receive 5,337 degrees and certificates, with many students receiving multiple awards.

“I’m proud of all of our graduates for putting in the hard work to reach this milestone,” said Lynn Ceresino Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “They received an excellent education at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, and their lives will be forever transformed by their experiences.”


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SPRING FESTIVAL AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE MAY 4

East County News Service
 
April 12, 2024 (Rancho San Diego, CA) — Cuyamaca College invites you to celebrate the season at its Spring Festival on Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event is hosted by the Ornamental Horticultural Dept. and Heritage of the Americas Museum.

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WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN REOPENS TODAY; JPA TO TAKEOVER OPERATIONS

Tomatomania event restored, will take place March 8-9

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left by Andy Franks:  Lauren Magnuson and Tim  Townsley are all smiles at entry of reopened Water Conservation Garden.

February 27, 2024 (Rancho San Diego, CA) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College reopened to the public today, after the Garden’s  Joint Powers Authority agreed to takeover operations from the financially struggling nonprofit group, Friends of the Water Conservation Garden. Following a brief closure,  Interim Executive Director Lauren Magnuson announced that she is “thrilled” that the Garden will be  “in bloom again.”

Hours will be limited initially to Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.to 4 p.m.  Education programs such as  Ms. Smarty Plants are temporarily paused until the operational transition is completed. 

The popular “Tomatomania” event has been restored and will be held as originally scheduled March 8-9.


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WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN CUTS STAFFING; JPA MEMBERS BALK AT REQUEST TO BOOST FUNDING

JPA to discuss options in a closed-door meeting with legal counsel

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Dr. Michael Hager, President, Friends of the Water Conservation Garden, and Lauren Magnuson, Interim Director of the Garden

January 30, 2024 (El Cajon) – Friends of the Water Conservation Garden and the garden’s new interim director, Lauren Magnuson, made impassioned pleas at a January 23 meeting,  asking the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to allocate additional funds through June to help alleviate a financial crisis.

The Water Conservation Garden is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Magnuson. said, “We supported the community during the pandemic. Now we are hoping that the community will support us.”

The Garden has over $1 million in financial obligations, including large loans taken out during the pandemic and some smaller grant funds slated to be returned. Questions have been raised by the JPA over years of inaccurate record-keeping practices and borrowing by Friends to cover the Garden’s operating expenses, among other concerns.

“The Garden has significantly cut our monthly budget by more than half,” Magnuson told ECM in an interview earlier this month. “We unfortunately had to furlough a good portion of our staff and lean on current staff to absorb those furloughed positions.” She has pledged full transparency and open communication with staff and volunteers, scrambling to pull together financial records and options to help the garden grow and thrive in the future—though the task is daunting.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by SA

January 8, 2024 (El Cajon) – Cuyamaca College in El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego community will host the ECHO Chamber Music series at the Samuel M. Cicatti Theatre.  The concerts will be held on select Thursdays at 7 p.m. from January 11 through May 30.

Below is the schedule of performances:


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WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN TO RUN OUT OF MONEY SOON; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RESIGNS AMID FINANCIAL TURMOIL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College

Updated January 8, 2024 with comments from Dr. Michael Hager regarding Jennifer Pillsbury's resignation.

December 20, 2023 (Rancho San Diego)--The Water Conservation Garden will run out of money as early as mid-December, the nonprofit organization Friends of The Water Conservation Garden (Friends) stated at an October 24 meeting of the Water Conservation Garden Joint Powers Authority (JPA),  the consortium of public utility and governmental entities that oversees the Friends.

The Friends group had not been able to put together a financial status report for a substantial period of time. When the bookkeeping problems were finally resolved in September, they realized they were going to run out of money in December, Friends informed the JPA. JPA members voiced frustration and peppered representatives of Friends and the Garden with pointed questions over the financial situation,  including controversy over loans secured by Friends that JPA members said they were not informed about.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE BEST FOR VETS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 9, 2023 (El Cajon) - Military Times magazine has ranked Cuyamaca College 80th in the nation as Best for Vets: Colleges and 215th as Best for Vets: Employers. Cuyamaca College was the only San Diego County college or university in the top 100 of the magazines’ ratings of best colleges for veterans. 


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HEALTHY HALLOWEEN AT THE GARDEN OCT. 26

East County News Service

 

October 20, 2023 (El Cajon) -- Enjoy a healthy Halloween and free admission to The Water Conservation Garden on Thursday, October 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. courtesy of the Grossmont Healthcare District. 


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COUNTY SUPERVISORIAL CANDIDATES STEPPE AND REICHERT TO APPEAR IN PUBLIC FORUM OCT. 18 AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

East County News Service

October 13, 2023 (El Cajon)-- The two finalists for the District 4 supervisorial seat will address issues of concern to East County residents at a public forum to be held Oct. 18 at Cuyamaca College. Monica Montgomery Steppe and Amy Reichert were the two top vote-getters in the primary election for the District 4 supervisor’s seat vacated by Nathan Fletcher. The general election is being held Nov. 7.

The candidate forum starts at 7 p.m., with a meet and greet session starting at 6:30 p.m.  The event will be held at the Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center at Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon. Parking and admission are free.

The candidate forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters of San Diego and conducted according to their guidelines. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions that could be selected for the candidates to answer. The forum will be video recorded and posted on the League’s YouTube channel for future viewing.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE STUDENTS RECEIVE STATEWIDE PHI THETA KAPPA AWARDS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

May 17, 2023 (El Cajon) - Two Cuyamaca College students have each received one of the highest honors available to California community college students.

Mary Hamer and Hannah Renew have been named 2023 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California award winners. Hamer and Renew are among just 112 community college students statewide to be selected for the All-California Academic First, Second and Third Teams. Hamer was named to the First Team while Renew was named to the Third Team.


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GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA MUSIC ALLIANCE HOSTS STUDENT BENEFIT CONCERT MAY 25

East County News Service

May 10, 2023 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to an evening of musical celebration to bridge the gap between student success and equity, raising funds for students studying musical arts.  Nationally renowned musical artists will join students from Grossmont and Cuyamaca Community colleges and other local musicians at this inaugural event on Thursday, May 25 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center at Cuyamaca College.


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FALL GARDEN FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 5 HAS PLANTS GALORE AND MORE

East County News Service

November 2, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego invites you to its Fall Garden Festival and annual plant sale on Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


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FINAL COUNTDOWN TO FALL AT GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES: CLASSES START AUG. 22

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

August 18, 2022 (El Cajon) -- If you haven’t registered for fall classes at Grossmont or Cuyamaca colleges – there’s still time! Both colleges will welcome back students on campus beginning Monday, August 22.For help registering for classes, students are invited to:

Grossmont College: In-person Class Assistance events August 22-23 12 – 6 p.m., August 24-25 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and August 26 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Student Services Building computer lab; A Student Fair in the Main Quad on August 24 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., with a College Hour 12 – 1 p.m.; or the Virtual Help Center (https://www.grossmont.edu/help-center).

Cuyamaca College: Online Find Your Pack events, where students can meet faculty and staff to hear about programs and services, August 16-17 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.; Online Student Help Center (https://www.cuyamaca.edu/help-center) or How to Register for Classes webpage (https://www.cuyamaca.edu/admissions/how-to-register-for-classes);

Financial aid information is also available online through the Grossmont College Financial Aid Office (https://www.grossmont.edu/financial-aid) and the Cuyamaca College Financial Aid Office (https://www.cuyamaca.edu/financial-aid/index.php). If you are a first-time college student planning to attend full time, you may be eligible for free tuition through the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise program (https://www.gcccd.edu/promise/index.php)

Both colleges are offering a variety of compelling courses and programs this fall:


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GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES RETURN TO IN-PERSON COMMENCEMENTS FOR FIRST TIME IN TWO YEARS

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
 
May 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- After two years of virtual commencements, Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges are going live and in full regalia in June, with 500-plus more graduates than last year, celebrating the return of in-person ceremonies.

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GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES TO EXPLORE BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 29, 2022 (El Cajon) - For the first time, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will explore building affordable housing for students. The new initiative is being funded by a pair of $150,000 state grants received by the colleges, enabling college leaders to take a serious look at ways of providing housing security to students in need.


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FREE TREES AND DONUTS APRIL 23 AT THE GARDEN

East County News Service

April 9, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – In honor of San Diego Tree Week, the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego will be giving away free trees and donuts on a first-come, first-serve basis.


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GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES HOLDING EVENTS RECOGNIZING ARAB, MIDDLE EASTERN CULTURES

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 4, 2022 (El Cajon) - April is widely recognized as National Arab American Heritage Month and both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will celebrate the cultures, contributions, history, and resilience of Arab and Middle Eastern communities. 


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SHORT-TERM CLASSES START APRIL 4 AT GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

March 27, 2022 (El Cajon) - Looking for a quick, affordable and flexible way to earn college credits, obtain critical work skills, or expand your academic horizons?


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THIS SALE ROCKS

East County News Service

February 17, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – Heritage of the Americas Museum will hold a “Rock Sale” this Saturday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can find rocks, crystals, fossils and more. 


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LOCAL COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES RETURN TO ONLINE LEARNING DUE TO OMICRON SURGE

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Major colleges, universities and community colleges across the region have temporarily shifted back to virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 surge fueled by the Omicron variant and holiday gatherings.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE CELEBRATES RIBBON CUTTING OF REVAMPED ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE COMPLEX

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Communnity College District

December 4, 2021 (El Cajon) - Like a shot of Miracle-Gro to a houseplant, Cuyamaca College’s expanded Ornamental Horticulture complex is expected to invigorate the campus flagship program.


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FALL GARDEN FESTIVAL NOV. 13 AT THE WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

East County News Service

November 10, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Beauty abounds at The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, where the Fall Garden Festival will be held on November 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The event includes fall plant sales, educational talks, and tours to help you get planting for the season.


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RIBBON CUTTING TURNS OVER NEW LEAF FOR CUYAMACA COLLEGE’S ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE COMPLEX

UPDATE:  Due to rain, the Ornamental Horticulture ribbon-cutting has been rescheduled for  Friday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

Source: Cuyamaca College

Photo:  The Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Complex & Building M Renovation includes a new nursery sales office for the campus’ retail nursery that will be open to the public.

October 21, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held Monday, Oct. 25 for Cuyamaca College’s expanded Ornamental Horticulture complex marks a new chapter for one of the campus’ flagship programs.


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CUYAMACA COLLEGE PRESENTS REMEMBRANCE OF 9/11 ATTACKS

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

September 10, 2021 (El Cajon) -- On a cloudless morning with the San Miguel Fire & Rescue’s massive 70-foot flag serving as a backdrop, the Cuyamaca College campus community and East County firefighters gathered Friday for an early commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.


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TOPPING OUT CEREMONY FOR CUYAMACA COLLEGE STUDENT SERVICES BUILDING

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

July 8, 2021 (El Cajon) - A ceremonial topping out is set for Tuesday, July 13, at 9:00 a.m. for a three-story Student Services Building under construction at Cuyamaca College, a milestone representing nearly a decade’s effort to centralize student support at the campus.


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BUTTERFLY RELEASES RETURN TO WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN IN MAY AND JUNE

East County News Service

May 5, 2021 (El Cajon) – Butterfly season is back.  The Water Conservation Garden invites you to release your very own butterfly each Saturday in May and June from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at its Dorcas E. Utter Butterfly Pavilion and Native Habitat Garden.


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THE WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN REOPENS FOR PUBLIC ACTIVITIES

Story and photos by Alexa Oslowski

Click to view a video tour by Angela Kurysh including full interview with Pam  Meisner, or view the embedded video below this story.

April 24, 2021 (El Cajon) - The Water Conservation Garden, a beautiful and serene East County treasure located on Cuyamaca College’s campus, is open to the public for educational and recreational enjoyment.

The Garden hosts events for people of all ages. Adults can enjoy outdoor yoga classes, educational workshops and online seminars. Children can spend time with Ms. Smarty-Plants, a character created by the Director of Operations Pam Meisner.


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GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES HAIL WINNING EMPLOYEES

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

February 22, 2021 (El Cajon) - Four employees at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been awarded top honors for their commitment to the East County campuses.


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WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN REOPENS IN MID-JUNE: BUTTERFLY RELEASES PLANNED

East County News Service
 
June 11, 2020 (El Cajon) -- As of June 15, The Water Conservation Garden reopens for members and reopens to the public on June 16, but with a small admission fee for non-members. All visitors in June will receive free ice cream and popsicles, as well as having the opportunity to visit the Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion to view butterflies throughout June. Butterfly release dates are planned June 15, 19 and 27.

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