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Executive director of San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to retire

Trish Boaz
Trish Boaz
(San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy)

After nearly nine years as executive director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, with accomplishments ranging from progress on Riverpath Del Mar to a campaign that helped preserve part of the lagoon boardwalk, Trish Boaz will retire at the end of the year.

“It’s just been a great run with them because we’ve been able to accomplish so much,” said Boaz, who plans on moving to San Luis Obispo to be near family.

As a child in the Bay Area, Boaz and her seven siblings often visited national parks with their parents. She said Yosemite, where her uncle was a ranger, was one of her favorites.

Boaz was part of a campaign that helped keep part of the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk in place.
(San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy)

Years later, Boaz served as a legal secretary and then paralegal for a San Diego land use attorney, who served as a mentor. She said the experience taught her a lot about land use, the environment and regulations such as the California Environmental Quality Act.

She also worked for the county of San Diego in a few different roles.

Those experiences propelled her to the head of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy in April 2013.

“My love was open space,” Boaz said, “preserve areas for wildlife and for people to enjoy.”

Those feelings helped lead a campaign to preserve the San Dieguito Lagoon Boardwalk, a short hiking trail near the San Dieguito River.

“Many people use it and it’s an incredible asset for the community,” Boaz said.

But in 2015, the Coastal Commission planned to remove it.

A Change.org petition at the time, signed by more than 1,000 people, called the boardwalk “a very valuable community asset that promotes environmental education and appreciation of our unique lagoon wetland environment.”

After protests from local leaders and residents, all sides reached a compromise and a portion of the boardwalk was allowed to remain.

More recently, the conservancy closed escrow in October on a small lagoon-fronting property to advance the development of Riverpath Del Mar. The $157,000 deal had been years in the making.

Those were two of many memorable moments Boaz mentioned from her time at the conservancy. But during a trip earlier this year to San Luis Obispo, where she spent summers as a child, she decided it was time to move on.

“This is where my heart is and I just decided then,” she said, adding that three more months of thinking it over reinforced those feelings.

Boaz said she will be “taking it easy and enjoying life” in retirement, which will include plenty of hikes.

“I’m leaving the conservancy the happiest I’ve ever been,” she said.

On Nov. 7, Chairman Nathan Fletcher and all members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors proclaimed November 7, 2021 to be “Trish Boaz Day” throughout San Diego County. They honored Boaz for her “outstanding service and commitment to the San Diego community.”

Visit sdrvc.org for more information on the conservancy.


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