Barbara Moore, a lifetime dedicated to natural history

Barbara Moore was born and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a child development major.

For a few years she taught elementary school before a stint in Niger, West Africa supporting the small pox eradication program.

She moved to Del Mar Heights in 1973 with her family, with every intention of teaching.

However, there were no jobs available, so she began volunteering at the old Scripps Aquarium, which ultimately led to teaching natural history classes for San Dieguito Adult School. As a result of these classes, "Walking San Diego" (The Mountaineers Books, 1989) was born, with co-author Lonnie Hewitt.

She was programs manager at Chula Vista Nature Center from 1989-2006. Her involvement with San Elijo Lagoon began when she joined the San Elijo Alliance, the first group to be concerned about the lagoon. She became a director of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy and created the docent training program as well as the Second Saturday walks.

Barbara recently was vice president of San Diego Audubon and Field Trip chairwoman. She lives with three cats, a desert tortoise and a box turtle.

What brought you to Del Mar?

My former husband's medical practice. He was a physician. Also, the schools are really important to me, so we chose Del Mar for the schools, really. My children went through the Del Mar school system, including Torrey Pines High School.

What makes the area special to you?

It is really close to a lot of open space, and places to go hiking. Even though my kids think that all of North County is wiped out - it's all built out. I can stand on my street and see the ocean. I have two adult children, who went to Torrey Pines High School when there was nothing out there in Carmel Valley but horse farms.

I was involved in the "North City West" battles, and going to city council meetings and having them put it off until the evening, and having to run home and make dinner… It was very frustrating. I remember when they bulldozed the beautiful old adobe on El Camino Real, up by where the police station is now. It was a beautiful building - an old stage station - and they bulldozed it on Memorial Day weekend when nobody was there. History is important; so many people who live here now have no notion what it was like.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Del Mar?

I would like the city of San Diego to step in and improve the median on Del Mar Heights Road. It should look like Scripps Poway Parkway or other landscaped medians.

Who or what inspires you?

Birds do, because they can fly. They can get away. I used to have dreams of flying, and would jump out of trees trying to fly as a child. The albatross bird takes off by running from a high elevation to gain speed; their landing is totally messed up.

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