Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Discover some inner-city serenity in Allied Gardens Navajo Canyon.

Throughout the San Diego area, thin strips of canyon open-space break the symmetry of the urban/suburban continuum. Sometimes these shreds of natural landscape survive by design. In other cases -- in older neighborhoods especially -- the canyons survive because they were too steep and narrow to ever have been developed in a practical way.

Some 37 canyon bottoms within San Diego's city limits, ranging in length from 0.2 mile to 6 miles, are scheduled to receive "improvements" in the form of new or expanded utility maintenance roads. A number of local citizen groups are opposed to this plan or at least concerned that it will mean further environmental degradation of plant and wildlife habitat. I (and about 80 other people) recently joined an informational walk down the obscure Navajo Canyon sponsored by the Sierra Club to learn more about the issue. Navajo Canyon is threaded by an unpaved maintenance road today, and it could at some point in the future be paved over by an extension of four-lane Navajo Road from College Avenue to Waring Road at Interstate 8.

The gated (but open to pedestrians and mountain bikers) access road into Navajo Canyon starts from a parking lot at the end of Easton Court in Allied Gardens and descends about 1 1/2 miles to Adobe Falls Road near the Waring Road/I-8 interchange. On our way down this road, our astute guides pointed out specimens of coast barrel cactus and California spine bush (both endangered species), as well as the more common assemblage of sage, lemonade berry, toyon, prickly pear cactus, and coast cholla cactus that is typical of the sage-scrub plant community coating coastal hillsides throughout our county.

Native willows, cattails, and a couple of cottonwoods could be seen crowding into the bottom of the canyon, where a small stream trickled. But so, too, did nonnative fan palms, pampas grass, eucalyptus, and two kinds of pepper tree. These unwelcome if not-bad-looking interlopers were disparaged for their invasive behavior; I could only agree with that, having seen the canyon years ago in a more pristine native state.

Our watch for wildlife was highlighted by the impressive vertical flying maneuvers of an Anna's hummingbird in the throes of a mating dance.

I'd recommend the easy ramble through Navajo Canyon to anyone interested in seeing a better-than-average example of an urban canyon and in understanding the challenge of keeping utility infrastructure to a minimum in open-space areas. To learn more, call Liz Freirich at the Canyons Campaign, 619-299-1741.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies, uncovered

Nudity does more to advance an actress’s career than it does the plot
Next Article

What a teachers union has done to Gompers

29 teachers laid off in June, re-hired in July

Throughout the San Diego area, thin strips of canyon open-space break the symmetry of the urban/suburban continuum. Sometimes these shreds of natural landscape survive by design. In other cases -- in older neighborhoods especially -- the canyons survive because they were too steep and narrow to ever have been developed in a practical way.

Some 37 canyon bottoms within San Diego's city limits, ranging in length from 0.2 mile to 6 miles, are scheduled to receive "improvements" in the form of new or expanded utility maintenance roads. A number of local citizen groups are opposed to this plan or at least concerned that it will mean further environmental degradation of plant and wildlife habitat. I (and about 80 other people) recently joined an informational walk down the obscure Navajo Canyon sponsored by the Sierra Club to learn more about the issue. Navajo Canyon is threaded by an unpaved maintenance road today, and it could at some point in the future be paved over by an extension of four-lane Navajo Road from College Avenue to Waring Road at Interstate 8.

The gated (but open to pedestrians and mountain bikers) access road into Navajo Canyon starts from a parking lot at the end of Easton Court in Allied Gardens and descends about 1 1/2 miles to Adobe Falls Road near the Waring Road/I-8 interchange. On our way down this road, our astute guides pointed out specimens of coast barrel cactus and California spine bush (both endangered species), as well as the more common assemblage of sage, lemonade berry, toyon, prickly pear cactus, and coast cholla cactus that is typical of the sage-scrub plant community coating coastal hillsides throughout our county.

Native willows, cattails, and a couple of cottonwoods could be seen crowding into the bottom of the canyon, where a small stream trickled. But so, too, did nonnative fan palms, pampas grass, eucalyptus, and two kinds of pepper tree. These unwelcome if not-bad-looking interlopers were disparaged for their invasive behavior; I could only agree with that, having seen the canyon years ago in a more pristine native state.

Our watch for wildlife was highlighted by the impressive vertical flying maneuvers of an Anna's hummingbird in the throes of a mating dance.

I'd recommend the easy ramble through Navajo Canyon to anyone interested in seeing a better-than-average example of an urban canyon and in understanding the challenge of keeping utility infrastructure to a minimum in open-space areas. To learn more, call Liz Freirich at the Canyons Campaign, 619-299-1741.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Dex Romweber Livestream from the Cave, Author Livestream: Clare Mackintosh

Events August 16-August 18, 2020
Next Article

Tahona Bar takes it to the street

Perks include cemetery view dining, and cocktails out of a VW bus
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close