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Escondido Creek Conservancy Logo

"The Escondido Creek Conservancy ( TECC ) is a non-profit, public benefit, corporation dedicated to the preservation and protection of the natural open space within the Escondido Creek watershed*. We support educational programs and compatible outdoor recreation within the watershed for the benefit of all residents of the area."    For more info see www.escondidocreek.org

*watershed [n. WAH-tur-shed]
Literally, a watershed is an imaginary line that separates waters flowing into different rivers or
basins. A watershed can also be a crest or ridge or other land area that separates two
drainage areas. 

It is the first of these two meanings that provided inspiration for the figurative sense of
watershed. Figuratively, a watershed is an important point of transition at which significant
change occurs. Near synonyms include turning point and juncture. Example: "1997 was a
watershed for her (or a watershed year for her) -- she married and moved to a new country." 

The word watershed appeared in English about 1800. It is believed to be an imitation of the
German wasserscheide (something separating water flow) that had been in use since the 14th

If you live in the United States you can use this map to locate watersheds in your area:

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Escondido Creek Conservancy purchases 76 acres

Staff Writer
HARMONY GROVE ---- The Escondido Creek Conservancy is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by making its first land purchase in the name of conservation, officials said Monday.

The nonprofit organization purchased 76.2 acres of undeveloped land along the Escondido Creek on Harmony Road for $685,000 earlier this month, said conservancy president Leonard Wittwer. The property is north of the 800-acre Elfin Forest Recreation Reserve and crosses over the creek.

The nonprofit organization received $580,000 in grants from the San Diego Foundation through three anonymous donors, plus $70,000 from Citizens Against Rural Exploitation and $120,000 from local residents to purchase the property.

"There were lots of concerned residents in that area that were able to speak with their pockets and get us over the hump," Wittwer said. "With that kind of support, we hope this will be one of many acquisitions in the area."

This is the first property the conservancy has purchased, but it is not the only land it owns. Twenty-one acres along Escondido Creek, just before the creek enters the city of Encinitas, were deeded to the organization by a developer, Wittwer said.

Both properties will be dedicated to open space, he said.

The new property includes 6.5 acres of riparian woodland, towering granite cliffs, coastal sage scrub and southern mixed chaparral.

Cindy Ribant, vice president of marketing and communications for the San Diego Foundation, said the donors share the conservancy's goal of protecting land along the Escondido Creek.

Tim Costanzo, conservancy secretary, said he talked to donors for about a year.

"I think residents are tired of development covering up everything in North County," Costanzo said. "They're not against developments, but they want to keep some open space around."

One of the anonymous donors agreed to make a $300,000 grant if the conservancy could match that with at least $150,000. It did.

"The donor is a very strong advocate to preserve land," Ribant said. "He recommended the grant be made to acquire this critical parcel of land for preservation."

Wittwer said the conservancy will continue to raise money to purchase more land along the creek.

On Sunday, March 25, proceeds of the Banff Mountain Film Festival will go to the conservancy. The films are the best of a Canadian festival that goes on tour throughout the world.

Showings will be at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the La Paloma Theatre at 471 S. Coast Highway in Encinitas. Tickets go on sale March 1. The cost is $8 in advance and $10 at the door for each showing. Each show features several different films.

For information on the conservancy or to make a donation call (760) 471-9354 or visit its Web site at www.escondidocreek.org.



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