by:  Jennifer Frakes

“The Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve is a North San Diego County treasure! We encourage families to visit the Lagoon and to join us in preserving, protecting and enhancing it for future generations,” exclaimed Fred Sandquist, President of Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation (BLF). Batiquitos Lagoon is a magnificent part of the North San Diego landscape that offers a Nature Center, hiking trails, and many programs for all interests and ages.

Batiquitos Lagoon was created when the ice sheets of the last ice age melted and the sea level rose, flooding the valley. The creek that enters the lagoon drops its sediment when it reaches still water and the lagoon silts up. Batiquitos Lagoon would have disappeared with this natural progression, but according to Sandquist, the process of dredging enabled it to remain a flushing tidal lagoon. It is thought that the name of the lagoon, which means little watering hole, originated from the early Native Americans that inhabited the area years ago.

Visitors to Batiquitos Lagoon can learn about the history of the area, as well about local animal and plant life through many of the BLF’s educational opportunities, including docent-led walks and a summer camp series called Club Pelican. Registration for the 2013 summer camps will begin in late spring. Also coming up later in the year is the 8th Annual Kayak Batiquitos Lagoon Clean-up event. This unique and highly successful event is the only time the general public is allowed to kayak on the lagoon.

Sandquist encourages everyone to consider becoming a member of the BLF, which has no requirements to join other than a genuine interest in the Batiquitos Ecological Reserve. There are various levels of membership options, as well as many opportunities to volunteer. “There are many ways that people can get more involved. We are always in need of docents to lead public and school walks, hosts to provide information to guests in our Nature Center, and people to assist in trail maintenance. There are also internship opportunities for high school and college students,” stated Sandquist.

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Name:    Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center
Location:    7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Phone:    760-931-0800
Hours of Operation:        Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Weekends 9 a.m.-3 p.m.