New Birdwing Open Air Classroom opens at May 13 event

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito River Park officially open the new Birdwing Open Air Classroom, located at the San Dieguito Lagoon off Via de la Valle, on May 13 at 10 a.m.

County Supervisor Dave Roberts will cut the ribbon to welcome the community to the new Birdwing Open Air Classroom. Roberts is Chairman of the San Dieguito River Park JPA. Leaders from the Conservancy, the River Park JPA, and other public officials will join him in celebrating this occasion.

The unique Birdwing Open Air Classroom, designed by award-winning Spurlock Poirier Landscape Architects and Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, fits seamlessly into the natural landscape of the Lagoon. It serves as a gathering place for visitors of all ages and abilities to learn about the abundant natural resources of the San Dieguito River watershed and to participate in a wide variety of educational, research, and recreational programs. The Lagoon is the gateway to the San Dieguito River Park, which extends over 55 miles from the coast at Del Mar to the crest at Volcan Mountain near Julian.

Former County Supervisor, Pam Slater-Price jump-started the project with a $340,000 grant to the River Park. In November 2013, Dave Roberts secured another $150,000 to complete the construction of the Birdwing.

The San Dieguito RiverValley Conservancy raised over $170,000 through major donations from the D’Augustine Family Foundation, the Del Mar Foundation, Jimbos Natural Foods Grocer, Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, the Tippett Foundation, Joan Griffin, the Price Family Charitable Fund, Southern California Edison, the William Schwartz Memorial Fund, Doe Family Trust, Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society, and donations from many individual Conservancy supporters.

The Birdwing Grand Opening event takes place during Lagoon Days, an annual three-day event, during which, 600 third-grade students from Del Mar learn about the importance of nature and the environment, including water quality, butterflies, coastal wildlife and native plants. The students participate in hands-on activities, see plants and wildlife through scopes, binoculars and magnifying glasses, write haikus and create art inspired by the nature they see at the lagoon.

For the Grand Opening, the Conservancy and the River Park have partnered with other organizations and individuals to offer a series of free, public programs each weekend through July. The slate of programs offers something fun and interesting for all ages and a wide variety of interests. Download the complete Schedule of Events for the Birdwing Open Air Classroom. Visit