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January 23, 2014 (Santee)--Home to many special and endangered plants and animals, Mast Park, like many open spaces in California that are surrounded by urbanization, faces threats from invasive  nonnative plant species and trash. The San Diego River Park Foundation,  supported by SANDAG’s TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program and in  partnership of the City of Santee, will  holid a kick-off celebration of the  $145,000 two-year restoration grant to help address those issues along the San Diego River Trail in Santee on  Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 9 am to noon. 

The grant will enable the San Diego River Park Foundation to increase  their presence in Santee to engage volunteers in caring for this  important habitat area by helping to remove targeted invasive, nonnative  plants and trees including palm trees, Arundo donax, Pampas grass, and  Tamarisk plants that displace native vegetation. The project will also  include trash removal service projects, native plant restoration, and  the development of a citizen Park Watch Program.  

The Park Watch Program provides opportunities for community members to  survey trail segments to provide information to the San Diego River Park  Foundation about the presence of trash, illegal dumping, graffiti and  other issues.

The public is invited to learn more at Saturday’s Kick-Off Event.  Activities will include an open house and outreach booth to answer  questions about the two-year grant, free coffee and snacks, an  educational activity for kids, guided walking tours, a Park Watch  demonstration, and volunteer activities to plant native plants along the  River Trail.

“This grant provides a unique opportunity for us to complete important  work to engage the community in creating a healthier, more beautiful  Santee’s River Park,” said Rob Hutsel, Executive Director of the San  Diego River Park Foundation. “Whether you are looking to volunteer or  looking to learn more about efforts along the River Park, we invite you  and your family to join us on Saturday!”

Event Information At A Glance:  

 Grant Kick-Off Celebration at Mast Park  

 Date: Saturday, January 25  

 Time: 9:00 am – noon  

 Location: Mast Park, located at 9125 Carlton Hills Blvd.

Visit or call (619) 297-7380 to learn more about the event or to RSVP.                                                                        

The San Diego River Park  Foundation’s mission is to engage people to work toward a better future  for the historic San Diego River and the creation of a 52 mile river  parkway from the mountains to the ocean. The River Park Foundation is a  non-profit community-based organization that was founded in 2001. Since  its founding, it has grown to more than 10,000 supporters and annually  organizes volunteers who contribute more than 25,000 hours of service to  San Diego. For more information, visit

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