Thousands of East County residents turned out on Saturday, May 19 for the 10th Annual "Explore Mission Trails" celebration. The free, family event serves as a way to let people discover the great natural resource that Mission Trails provides, as a way to have lots of fun in the great outdoors.
The theme of the event was "Connecting Children with Nature," and the wide variety of activities for kids of all ages, helped them do so.
EMTD is usually held on the third Saturday in May, is free and has drawn thousands of families over the last 10 years. Attendance was down slightly this year, but the event still attracted a crowd of more than 2,000 for the pony rides, rock-climbing, mountain-biking demos, a live program by Ms. Frizzle of Scholastic Publishing’s “The Magic School Bus©” series (visiting courtesy the San Diego Natural History Museum), live reptiles, raptors and other wild animals, sun-spot viewing, family-themed hikes and mini-nature walks and dozens of Explore and Discovery Stations with hands-on activities in both areas.
The event was jointly presented by the City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department, the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation and San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald. Title sponsors were the City of San Diego Special Promotional Program, Republic Services and the County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. A number of Community and Neighborhoods sponsors also helped make Explore Mission Trails Day possible.
Mission Trails Regional Park comprising over 6,000 acres of natural open-space parkland, is one of the largest natural urban parks in the United States. The largest portion of the park is located at the east end of Mission Valley, bordered by the communities of San Diego (San Carlos neighborhood), La Mesa, Santee and Tierrasanta.
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La Mesa Courier editor Pam Crooks contributed to this story.