Torrey Pines plans party

The Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension became part of the park 35 years ago and on Saturday, the Torrey Pines Association invites the public to celebrate the beauty of the area during a celebration.

The school overlooks the extension, which at one time was slated for development.

A grass-roots fundraising campaign in 1974 led to the acquisition and incorporation of the extension into the state reserve.

To celebrate, the Torrey Pines Association and the Torrey Pines Docent Society will host a "habitat" party at Del Mar Heights School from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Activities for children include a scavenger hunt, owl pellet dissections, art activities and a photo contest. Exhibits by Project Wildlife, Sky Hunters and the California Native Plant Society will teach about the plants and animals found in the extension.

Representatives from Backyard Habitat will demonstrate techniques to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and small animals into home gardens. Exhibits will also address reducing water use, controlling runoff, composting and mulching.

There will be a free raffle for landscaping and irrigation equipment donated by Hydro-Scape Products Inc. and recognition will be given to residential landscapes in the vicinity of the extension that best exemplify habitat-friendly design.

Sensitive habitat

The 168-acres of native Torrey pine habitat on the north side of Los Penasquitos Lagoon are especially vulnerable, association Vice President Patricia Masters said.

Masters said that funding for trail maintenance has declined with state budget cuts, leaving many of the trails in poor condition.

She also said that pets, which are often allowed to roam freely because there is no money available to pay for a patrol in the extension, harm rare and endangered plants, disrupting the habitat for birds, insects and other species. "Storm water runoff, excess irrigation and invasive nonnative plants are also threats to this wildland," Masters said.

Photo contest

Local children, grades 1 to 6, were asked to submit photographs they took of the extension in a contest. The winners' works will be on display during the celebration.

For more information, visit

www.torreypines.org

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