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Tijuana River Valley Trails to Connect with Estuary, Beach

Once completed, the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park will have a 17-mile trail network that connects to to Border Field State Park, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, the California Coastal Trail and the Bayshore Bikeway.

Assemblyman Ben Hueso announced Friday that the California Coastal Conservancy awarded $1.5 million to projects to increase trails in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park.

With an additional $2.5 million from the county, the grants will pay for construction of 6.5 miles of multi-use trails for people to walk or ride bikes or horses as well as removal of invasive and non-native plants and new vegetation in the 1,800-acre park.

The Tijuana River Valley Regional Park is located south of Imperial Beach and north of the international border.

"This is huge news for nature lovers, hikers, equestrians and everyone who enjoys the outdoors," said San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, who represents the district where the park is located. "This grant will help us open up the park a lot more so that visitors can explore areas of the park that weren't accessible before because they lacked formal trails."

Hueso, D-San Diego, presented Cox with a ceremonial check when the announcement was made on Friday. Hueso chairs the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

Cox said the goal is to build a 22-mile system of trails that will eventually connect to Border Field State Park, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, the California Coastal Trail and the Bayshore Bikeway.

Around 17 miles of the trail system have been funded and will be completed by the end of next year, he said.

The California Coastal Conservancy is a state agency that works to purchase, protect, restore and enhance coastal resources.

Once completed the trails will connect to additional trails in Border Field State Park and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve in Imperial Beach.

Longtime Imperial Beach resident and executive director of WiLDCOAST Serge Dedina said he's glad future generations will be able to traverse the river valley safely.

"What's really really important about this project: It's going to connect some of the most low-income and some of the most underserved communities in San Diego County to one of the most wildlife friendly or filled with wildlife and beautiful river life in Southern California," he said. "And that's really important to make sure that kids and families in San Ysidro and South San Diego and Imperial Beach can ride their bikes to a beautiful, natural area."

The Tijuana River Valley is one of the most biologically diverse areas of San Diego County.

The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve hosts more than 370 species of native and migratory birds as well as endangered plant and avian species.

Border Field State Park is the only place in Southern California where one can legally ride a horse, Cox said.

Tucked in the continental United State's most southwest corner, Border Field offers views of the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood in Mexico, San Diego Bay and the city skyline. 

The Dairy Mart Loop Trail, the most recent addition to the regional park's trails, was completed in March 2012.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Mark February 16, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Taxes are not being used wisely.
Ed Sorrels February 16, 2013 at 04:49 AM
An understatement Mark, Never mind that as Illegal law breaking trespassers here in the United States sometimes get lost in the reserve, Now we are going to build them trails to the north ! When does the bus line open ? If that isn't misuse of taxes I don't know what the term means. Look at the crossing sign's on the freeways and streets in our area and you begin to wonder just who is running this circus ! For sure not the voters here in southbay ! We must secure our borders before there is any talk of amnasty Period !
Libi Uremovic February 16, 2013 at 01:10 PM
what's up with cox...every other day he's in the paper with another multimillion dollar construction project... i heard this is his last term ...maybe he's padding his 'retirement fund'... go for it cox...no one is going to look at all of the bribes you're pocking to push these construction scams....you'll get away with it...
Pitcher Erick February 17, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Can you believe the stupidity!! Staggering!! Talk about corruption!
Serge Dedina February 17, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Using a state grant to clean up the Tijuana River Valley and provide trails so that families in IB and South San Diego can hike, bike and walk through the valley to the beach is a great project. Additionally, I am so stoked that our friends at TRVEA will be able to continue exploring the valley via horseback. This is a great project and an excellent use of our taxpayer dollars. Additionally the California Conservation Corps will be doing the work--which puts low-income kids from underserved communities to work. This is a win-win and demonstrates that can continue to make our community a better place. I invite everyone to join Wildcoast in our cleanup efforts! www.wildcoast.net
Dante Pamintuan February 17, 2013 at 08:42 PM
I agree with you Serge. This precious southwest corner of open land has so much potential for the future generations that follow. Nature hikes, outdoor activities and good stewardship of the land helps mentor young families the value of clean air, water and a healthier lifestyle. Thank you for your continued efforts with Wild Coast. The BEST is before us!
Jennifer Smith February 18, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Wonderful news! As a longtime Imperial Beach resident, my family and four legged kids enjoy having such a rich ecosystem close by to stretch our legs and explore... Great place to take the bikes as well! Kudos to the city for thinking about nature and the importance of incorporation of the Bayshore Bikeway too.
Star Fish February 19, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I appreciate the potential of trails extending past the estuary, but given the illegals and homeless presence in the estuary, am concerned about the safety factor.

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