Public Programs

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Public Programs

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Guided nature walks

Discover the native plants of the Tijuana Estuary on this tour led by a knowledgeable docent who can provide an overview description of the estuary and answer your questions.

Nature Walks are held on the 1st, 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month at 11:00 a.m. Check calendar for current schedule. Walks are all ages and free of charge.

The 1st and 4th Saturday walks meet at the Visitor Center. The first Saturday Nature Walk, titled An Eye-Opening Experience Without Sight, is led by Docent Ron, who is blind, and demonstrates how using other senses, besides sight, will create an enriched appreciation and enhanced knowledge of native plants. The 2nd Saturday walk, with Docent Anne, is on the River Loop Trail at the end of 5th Avenue at Iris Street and reveals the microhabitats along that trail. The 4th Saturday nature walk, with Docent Jan, connects the wetland to the sensitive animals it supports. (Topics are subject to change, please call Visitor Center for updates Wednesday-Sunday 619-575-3613).

Group of people overlooking the marsh at the Tijuana Estuary for a guided nature walk
A group of people overlooking the marsh at the Tijuana Estuary during a guided nature walk

On the second Sunday at 2 p.m. we have the Explore the Colors of the Estuary nature walk and community art therapy experience where participants will be able to paint with watercolors after a guided meditation. Space is limited so please call the front desk at 619-575-3613 to reserve your space. Please speak slowly and clearly and leave the date for the preferred walk with your full name and phone number.

Bird in the marsh at the Tijuana Estuary

Guided bird walks

The Tijuana River Estuary is a United Nations RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance because of its vibrant bird habitat. Join a trained docent to learn about and observe the birds that call the Tijuana Estuary home or are just passing through, including the Ridgway's rail, a marsh hen that is on the endangered species list.

Bird Walks run the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays of the month and meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center. Check calendar for current schedule. Walks are all ages and free of charge. Binoculars are provided for participants as available.

Saturday Speaker Series

Meet and hear from estuary experts at our Saturday Speaker Series. Invited guest speakers will engage the community in a variety of topics related to the Tijuana Estuary and its watershed. There is no charge for the Saturday Speaker Series, and all are welcome.

Talks take place the 3rd Saturday of the even Months at 10:00 a.m (excluding December) and are held in the Training Center building located near the Visitor Center entrance.

Local San Diego middle and high school teachers attend the (TOTE) Teachers On The Estuary, a teacher training program that explores Authentic Data Literacy and brings coastal research into the classroom.

2023 Saturday Speaker Series Schedule: 

October 21: Justyn Stahl
"How are the California least terns and western snowy plovers doing?"
The Reserve has been providing and protecting habitat for two listed beach-nesting species for decades: the endangered California least tern and the threatened western snowy plover. The USFWS Refuges staff have been overseeing monitoring and banding of these species as well. Hear from USFWS Wildlife Biologist Justyn Stahl about the status of the populations of these beach-dwelling birds.

February 18: Luke Miller and Gabriela Kalbach (M.S.)
"Habitat heartbeats"
San Diego State University

April 15: Dr. Jeff Crooks
"Biological invasions in the Tijuana River Valley"
Research Corodinator, Tijuana River NERR

June 17: Nancy Torres (M.S.)
"Determining the health of the Tijuana River Estuary by looking at pollutants in fish and invertebrates over time"
Margaret A. Davidson Fellow, Tijuana River NERR
University of San Diego

August 19: CANCELLED