The Tucker team's dream becomes reality. The first land donation in
1990 led to the creation of Los Jilgueros Preserve. From left, Ian Forsyth,
Pamela Van der Linden, Wicker Gamble, Wallace and Karen Tucker
and Paul Finot
“This quote describes our Karen perfectly,” FLC director and friend Megan Gamble said at a celebration of life held on December 13 at the Palomares House. “She was vibrantly alive in word and deed, and especially passionate about the beauty and wonder of nature.”
Born in Oklahoma on October 13, 1939, Karen’s life ended at Scripps
Memorial Hospital in La Jolla on December 11, 2008, just five weeks
after she was diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer, a rare form
that is often
Karen, who played a vital role in the 20-year success story of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, is remembered in this newsletter as a conservation activist, author and friend.
The inseparable “Tucker team” was formed when Karen met Wallace at high school in McAlester, Oklahoma. Shortly after their graduation, they eloped – determined to spend the rest of their lives together pursuing their mutual passions. They did.
“The ability of Karen and Wallace to work together so productively on projects ranging from astrophysics, education, and play-writing to farming, land-conservation and more . . . was remarkable,” said longtime friend and colleague Paul Gorenstein of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “I have never known any other couple who complemented each other so perfectly and were able to have the lifestyle they wanted.”
Teamwork – Coast to Coast
In 1972, Wallace resigned his position at a high-tech company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to pursue a life that would enable them to work together. For many years they split their time between Fallbrook and Lincoln, near Cambridge, where they both worked at the Center for Astrophysics, Karen as a science writer and Wallace as an astrophysicist.
It was in Lincoln that they became friends with noted conservationist Robert Lemire, and learned of the success he and others in Lincoln had achieved in preserving open space there.
“Build what needs to be built, but save what needs to be saved.”
Inspired by Lincoln’s model, the Tuckers invited Lemire to Fallbrook and organized a town meeting at the Community Center. Before a packed house, he presented his philosophy and practical ideas for land preservation. The idea took root, and the Fallbrook Land Conservancy was formed with the Tuckers, Vince and Joy Ross, Milt and Mania Black, Mickey and Irene McCullough, and Jack and Lila Sandschulte serving on the founding board.
In 1990, the FLC acquired its first nature preserve, Los Jilgueros, through a generous donation from the family of Pamela van der Linden, who purchased the property and donated it to the FLC in her honor.
Years of Dedication to
Throughout her 20 years as a board member, Karen served as chairman of the acquisitions committee and as a member of the executive committee. In these capacities, she was involved in the acquisition of every one of FLC’s preserves, and the formulation of the management plan for the preserves, as well as countless policy and administrative decisions.
She also served as co-editor and writer for the Conservation Chronicle since its inception, drafted articles for the newspaper, helped write the by-laws and the application for the IRS tax exemption. Countywide, she served on the founding board of the San Diego County League of Conservation Voters, and with Wallace co-founded the Center for Conservation & Education Strategies, networking group for San Diego County land trusts.
“Karen was a great advocate of preservation and her legacy will live on,” said Renee Bahl, Director of San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation.
“She was a great woman who enriched the lives of countless people,” said Supervisor Bill Horn. “Karen’s work as a cofounder of the Land Conservancy 20 years ago is a lasting legacy . . Fallbrook will remain a gem for future generations.”
It was co-founder Vince Ross who dubbed Karen “First Lady of the Land Conservancy.”
“The Tucker team has been the nexus of a significant legacy for the protection of our open space and rural character. Karen’s dedication and bright, cheerful personality will be greatly missed.”
by Vince Ross
On the East Coast for a Land Trust Alliance conference, Joy and
Vince Ross meet up with Wallace and Karen Tucker to brainstorm
the idea of a land conservancy in Fallbrook
When the shock and sadness of Karen Tucker’s passing can be set aside, we can ease our pain for a while by remembering and celebrating Karen’s active, meaningful life.
Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying: “It’s not the years in our life that count, it is the life in our years.”
Karen put a tremendous amount of life in her years.
From the formation of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy to its 20th anniversary last year, Karen was our First Lady, in every way.
I can’t think of any of our programs and accomplishments that she was not an important part of. I can’t think of a more important legacy than her part in the Land Conservancy’s great success.
I will always remember Karen’s cheerful energy, her sense of humor and her intense dedication to Conservation.
What a wonderful life she led. What a great role model for all of us.
by Wallace Tucker
One night about 22 years ago, Karen and I were sitting on the couch in our living room discussing the idea of forming a land conservancy in Fallbrook.
“You know, it’s going to take a lot of work,” she said.
“Maybe,” I said.
“No maybe about it,” she answered.
“Could be interesting.”
“So, what are you waiting on?”
The next morning I called Vince Ross, with whom we had discussed the concept when he and Joy had visited us in Lincoln, Massachusetts the previous summer, and we began formulating plans for a conservancy.
Of course, Karen was right. It was a lot of work. Some of it tedious and frustrating, most of it fun and rewarding, because we were doing it together for a cause we both believed in. And many wonderful people joined with us, contributing their time and money for the shared vision of preserving and enhancing the rural character and natural beauty of our community.
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy has since grown to about a thousand members and owns 1850 acres of permanently protected open space. Twenty years later, we were sitting in the same room (different couch) watching the television journalist Bill Moyers interview the noted scientist and author E.O. Wilson on the future of the Earth.
“What would the stewardship of the Earth mean to us personally?” Moyers asked Wilson. “If I said, ‘I'm going to take my share of the responsibility,’ what would that mean to me personally? I think most people listening want to do something. They want to know what to do.”
Wilson replied that one of the most important things people can do
is to be locally active
Karen turned to me and smiled – that big beautiful trademark smile of hers – and said, “We have done that.” We gave each other a high five, then a hug and a kiss.
It was a magical, profoundly satisfying moment that I will treasure always. Thank you everyone for helping to make that moment possible through all your work for and support of the FLC over the years.
Karen was deeply grateful, and so am I.
The outdoor girl we all remember so fondly
This was the headline for the obituary story that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, on Saturday, January 3, 2009.* Staff writer Blanca Gonzalez described Karen perfectly as “the unofficial first lady of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy with a passion for nature who believed in focusing on what mattered most.”
Everyone who contributed to this issue of the FLC newsletter has a special memory of Karen. As a fellow editor, and long-time FLC supporter, I (Sue Thorne) enjoyed every moment I spent with Karen and Wallace. We took many hikes together, shared some fun games of tennis and golf, enjoyed theater visits and gourmet dining. But my lasting impression will always be Karen’s love of life and the outdoors. From the tiniest plant to the stars farthest away, she appreciated it all.
*The Union Tribune article can be found on the paper’s website:
by Karen Tucker
What is open space? Is it a trashy vacant lot, squeezed between two high-rise apartment buildings? Or a pocket park in a city with a bench and a tree? Or a large park with grass and playing fields? Or a tree-lined creek meandering along a country road? Or a pasture or a grove of avocados? Or is it acres of privately owned undeveloped land? Or vast expanses of government land? Or beautiful landscapes already protected for generations to come? Or mountains? Or deserts? Or rivers? Or forests? Or seashores? Or oceans?
Open space is this and more.
Open space rests our eye, quickens our pulse and piques our senses. It connects us to our planet. It is the space we ran through and the earth we fell upon as children. It is where we picnic with friends. Stroll with lovers. Test our athletic skills. The food that sustains us is grown here. It allows us to study and observe our fellow life forms. It provides a record of our past and hints of our future. It is inspiration and knowledge and home.
Open space also threatens us. It is a place to idle away time and improvise schemes. A bed for the indigent. A dump for the lazy. It attracts strangers and noise and unusual vehicles and animals. It is something other than ourselves. It is uncontrolled and unknown.
Open space is a challenge. Change can take place here. Money can be made. Houses built. Shopping centers constructed. Cities developed. Minerals can be mined. Sand, dirt and gravel sold. Trees turned into lumber. It can be cleared and restructured according to our whims. It can be brought under our control . . . It can also be protected. It allows us to express our intelligence and sensitivity. Or to demonstrate our power and greed. It is opportunity and potential.
Open space is this and more.
Open space is an integral part of nature. The atom, nature’s building block, is made up of a nucleus, electrons, and space. A rock may appear solid to us, but its atoms make up only ten percent of what we see and feel. The rest is open space.
Our planet Earth is separated from the nearest star, the Sun, by 93 million miles of mostly open space. This space is very important for our health and well-being. If we were as little as 5 million miles closer or 5 million miles further away from the Sun, life as we know it would probably not be possible. Outside our solar system open space becomes so vast it is measured in light years instead of miles. Space and time – the distance light can travel in one year – now join together. Light from distant galaxies reaches us across billions of light years of open space.
Space can be crushed infinitesimally in a collapsed star called a black hole. Or increased immensely as the universe expands. It is not fixed, nor is it empty. The space we move in and look through is teeming with particles and energy. Even the great voids in deep space are filled with virtual particles – the potential energy source from which galaxies, stars, planets, oceans, rocks, people, birds and atoms came.
Open space is this and more
Karen in 1989; Published in “Back Country
A Letter to Karen from Megan Gamble
My dear, dear friend Karen,
At sunrise this morning I found myself out on the Santa Rosa Plateau taking a loop trail that I had never been on before. As soon as my feet hit the dusty, rocky path, visions of you leapt before my eyes – I could literally see you walking before me with your wonderful, light bouncing sure footed step, and hear your voice and laugh as you were telling me a story. I realized that, if not for you and Wallace and your passion for hiking in nature (and getting lost as part of the experience!), I would never have known the wonders of this place and so many, many others. My heart filled with gratitude and a smile crept upon my lips.
Dew was still upon the leaves and there was the wonderful hush and promise of a new day as the sun rose to reveal that unbelievable hazy blue –pink-orange sky that is the wonder and the treasure of the Temecula area. Across a meadow and in the distance I could see your beloved Palomar range, but spotted no observatory. Early birds chirped and chattered; a red tail hawk circled above; all manner of little creatures rustled in the brush. The scent and the scene reminded me of so many meadows the four of us have traversed and picnicked in. The air was crisp this morning, giving rise to the hope of an end of the Santa Anas.
As I continued my solitary walk upon this trail I had never explored before, I felt as though you were leading me on this path, that you knew the way even if I did not. I felt the easy trust and closeness of our decades old friendship. Memories flooded me of the “predicaments” the four of us, in our second childhood, could get ourselves into on our hikes, and I laughed out loud:
Idyllwild and the ranger jumping out at us when we had hiked two-thirds of the way up Tahquitz Peak, sending us down with our tails between our legs because we didn’t have permits; The Palomar meadow picnic and the woman coming and rudely throwing us off her land – and you, Karen, deciding to stand up for us, yelling to her backside “You’re welcome to hike and picnic on our land in Fallbrook ANYTIME!” It was as you were doing this that Wallace, Wicker and I noticed she was toting a revolver in a holster and we nearly fainted!!
Many adventures in the Anza Borrego Desert, like the time when I was the appointed leader and nearly hiked us to the Salton Sea, completely lost and pretending I wasn’t. Warner Springs where we entered the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and Wicker asked how the name was pronounced! (You and Wallace fell over one another in the back seat, giggling your brains out!) The famous loop hike in Mammoth with our kids where we lost the trail in the snow and were out there until dark! These are just a FEW!!
In the coolness of the early morning I came upon a beautiful grotto. I sat upon a large boulder surrounded by two of the biggest, oldest branch filled oak trees I had ever seen. The shade and shape of them provided a nest of comfort as I gazed east toward the rising sun. “Here,” I thought, “is where Karen needs to be – right in this spot experiencing the healing powers of this place.” But you were not, so I simply imagined you, no, transported you, there so that you could feel all of it too.
And that’s why I am writing you, to ask you to transport your mind, heart and spirit to this place, knowing that here in nature you will feel at peace and whole again. I am holding in my heart all the beauty, love, laughter and sorrows that we have shared. I will wait for you in the grotto, my dearest friend, and we will walk together again.
Always with love - Megan
"At their peak!" Trailmates Wicker, Wallace, Karen
by Connie Freese
My husband Brett and I had just come down from the hard climb to the top of Hellers Bend when we ran into some fellow Fallbrook Land Conservancy volunteers. They had shocking news – Karen Tucker was gravely ill. The news touched off a myriad of emotions, which made me contemplate community service, my involvement with the land conservancy, and the effect that each of us can have on others’ lives.
I first met Wallace and Karen Tucker when I determined that dog walkers at Los Jilgueros Preserve needed to be in touch with the owners and caretakers of that wonderful land which gave us such joy every day. I had never contributed to FLC, nor had I thought much about who owned it, who managed it, who paid for it, or what they thought of those of us who used the land. I never even looked at the signs. Then I met a wonderful volunteer - Jim Freda, who was installing a bench. He encouraged me to pick up dog poop to help take care of the preserve. Suddenly, a person - a face - was associated with this land that I enjoyed every day.
That little conversation led to a profound and rewarding change in my life. I met with Wallace and Karen, and they were excited about the formation of a committee to advocate for Los Jilgueros Preserve. Karen suggested a name for the group, Friends of Los Jilgueros (FLJP), and invited me to attend a forthcoming board meeting.
I had never involved myself in any community activity or volunteer work. It was so easy to remain ignorant of what it takes to get things done, and it was easy to rely on those already involved. Don’t worry – they’ll take care of it.
The land is there, and I get to walk my dog there, and I don’t need to do anything because someone else is taking care of it.
That first board meeting was a transformational experience for me. The FLC’s board is comprised of a dozen or so people – some retired – some still working full time – who revealed to me just what it takes to run an organization like the FLC. Sitting in that meeting, I realized what tremendous accomplishments can be made by a group of people willing to share responsibilities and ideas and passion – to benefit their community, to improve something, to create something of value and of lasting and beneficial effect. It was a profound realization for someone like me, who had been so contentedly ignorant.
Karen’s passion for preserving open space – for protecting the natural world - was contagious. She knew so much about land use issues, preservation methods, local wildlife and habitats, and she seemed to have an insatiable appetite for learning more about the world around her. She was curious, and interested, and sometimes she laughed with such innocence and joy that she had the purity of spirit of a child. I had “Googled” Karen and Wallace when I first met them – and couldn’t believe my fortune to have fallen into the sphere of such fascinating and accomplished people.
I have always held Karen up as an example that one person can accomplish tremendous good for a community, and for the world. And while I view Karen as a truly exceptional person who achieved far more in her life than I will likely achieve in my own, I’ve learned that even a little effort can make a significant difference. And I learned that it’s worth making that little effort!
I will hold dear Karen’s example for the rest of my life: work with what you love – with what makes you happy. Identify what is important to you, and make a contribution to benefit whatever that is.
With Karen’s passing, I feel a stronger urge to encourage others who love Los Jilgueros Preserve to join me and other “Friends” in caring for this wonderful preserve which gives each of us so much joy.
To those who walk at Los Jilgueros: just think of what your life would be like without the preserve. Where would you walk every day? Would you have met those people who are now your closest friends? Would you still have experienced the beauty of morning dew on a field of tunnel-spider webs? The sight of ducks gliding silently across the pond? The sound of a flock of bush-tits squeaking through the trees? The sight of a sunset or sunrise from a wonderful 40-acre paradise? The sound of your friend calling your name from the lower path?
Think of these things, and know that all of the beauty and joy that you’ve experienced at Los Jilgueros Preserve is in good measure due to the passion and efforts of a woman named Karen Tucker. Without Karen having walked the earth, we would not have Los Jilgueros, or any of the other FLC preserves. I would not have met my dearest friends. I would not have adopted a beautiful black lab from an ailing WWII vet. I would never have seen a Western Bluebird.
Think of these things again, and resolve to get involved – to show your appreciation – and to make a difference on this earth. Karen’s example has shown that one person – a part of a small team – can make a huge and lasting contribution to the world.
Contribute to FLC – every year. Volunteer – help us with Tails & Trails, and encourage dog walkers and other preserve users to respect and honor the place that gives them so much joy. Karen made a huge difference in each of our lives. We can thank and honor Karen by caring for her legacy.
I want to hear from you. To volunteer or inquire about FLJP, call me! Connie Freese (760) 519-2302
“Tails and Trails ”
Saturday, March 14, 2009
To benefit Friends
of Los Jilgueros and Critter Crossings Dog Rescue
by Mike Peters "Our Man in the Field"
What do you say about someone who leaves us too soon and unexpectedly? We all have our own experiences and memories of a special lady that we will not forget.
I will miss our adventures as part of the acquisitions committee, traipsing around North County looking at properties that developers want the Fallbrook Land Conservancy to manage, or exploring vast tracts of land to be protected in partnership with Camp Pendleton.
I will miss Karen in the back seat of my four-wheel drive telling me that it’s too rough a road and we need to walk the rest of the way and telling me the story of how she and Wallace went out with someone else to look at property and got stuck in the middle of a mud hole and had to wade out on foot.
I will miss her comments and voice as I told her of my latest experiences with snakes and mountain lions on the preserves.
We all have these stories and we will all have our own personal memories to cherish when we think of Karen Tucker. We will always remember what she has taught us about how we treat the land and our fellow man.
I believe we will all feel Karen’s presence whenever we’re in the Board of Directors Meeting or on the preserves or out looking at new habitat to protect, and she will always be there to make sure we do it the right way.We must all continue with her dream to protect open space for native plants and wildlife and future generation by making the Fallbrook Land Conservancy a leader in conservation and open space protection …we can’t let her down.
A dedicated leader of the land acquisition committee,
Karen trekked many miles with Wallace and Mike
Peters searching for open space land worthy of
protection in San Diego County
by Jackie Heyneman
Save Our Forest’s Party-Party annually offers volunteers and donors the opportunity to join together in mutual respect for their contribution to Fallbrook’s community Forest. This year’s event was an opportunity to remember all the community events and volunteer hours that have brought so many wonderful new trees to our town. And, to acknowledge donors who provided the funds to maintain them.
Special awards are always a major part of the day. The 2008 Volunteer of the Year plaque was awarded to Howard Sansom. Howard’s tremendous contribution, the development of growing grounds for community trees and native plants, has been the bedrock of forestation and restoration of the FLC preserves.
Additional recognition was given to Gary Beeler, a tremendous asset with great native plant knowledge and a valuable nursery worker; Greg MacDonald, whose public relations work with pictures and press releases has kept the community aware of our efforts; Beverly Jones, faithful Tree Steward and Work Party supporter; Sherry Lamont, long-term Tree Steward and Work Party helper; Gerry Davidson, honored after ending her 12-year commitment as a Tree Steward; and finally Marie Kinnaman, who contributes to SOF annually from the sale of special tree related items at her business, At Home On Main Street. This year’s pewter leaves with seed pod ornaments were quickly sold out.
Maintaining the trees that are growing in boxes at the community parking lot behind the Art Center has been a major project for SOF for the past few years. To make the tree boxes more attractive to the community, the boxes were given individualized color paint drawings by students from Fallbrook High. It has benefited in two ways, fun to look at, and more obvious, which seems to have minimized damage. We are grateful to Care-Rite Vocational Services for their help with watering.
2008 Volunteer of the Year Howard Sansom with
Entrance to Fallbrook
We are still working on the project to beautify the entrance to Fallbrook via East Mission. It has been a slow process but, with permit in hand, we are almost there. Watch for this change that will take some time to make an impact, but will definitely change the existing bleak look. As far as the 1.1 mile South Mission Road portal, work is being accomplished toward repair of over 1700 watering sources that carry reclaimed water as needed to the plants and trees. So far 84 trees and shrubs that had failed have been replaced. It is slow going, but happening. In addition another 15 trees will be planted in town.
The SOF Environmental Education Program that began four years ago was enthusiastically supported by Karen Tucker. In those years students have planted approximately 2000 native plants in the community. Our next planting with La Paloma students will restore a large area at Hellers Bend to Coastal Sage Scrub. The Biological Preserve on Reche Road, Engel Family Preserve, Hellers Bend, Dinwiddie Preserve, Los Jilgueros, and the Pico Promenade have all been planted through this program. Karen will be remembered for her major contributions to the community at large and her support of our educational restoration program.
Remembrance of Karen
A Coastal Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) will soon be planted at the Palomares Park. This long enduring monarch of Southern California's native forest is a fitting remembrance of Karen's role in the preservation of land in perpetuity for generations to come.
In addition, a dedicated bench will be placed in the downtown area. Although she avoided the limelight, our entire community has benefitted from Karen’s quiet determination to preserve the rural qualities of Fallbrook.
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy and Save Our Forest thank the many donors to the Karen Memorial fund. All contributors will be acknowledged in the next issue of the Conservation Chronicle.
by Donna Gebhart
The unexpected and saddening loss of Karen Tucker in December has created a personality vacuum in the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, depriving it of one-half of the driving force of its existence.
Karen and Wallace Tucker generously welcomed the Trails Council into the domain of the Land Conservancy and consistently supported our efforts to expand pathways and maintain trails throughout greater Fallbrook when few could see the will or means for such a project. Just as they both provided the energy and direction to launch the Land Conservancy 20 years ago, they supported the Trails Council group and were strong advocates for the work that has been accomplished since.
Although our Trails Council feels this loss, our year has been a productive one on several fronts with ongoing community support. First, the Santa Margarita Park founded jointly by the S.D. County Parks and the FLC Trails Council has been a resounding success. Its multiple uses include picnic areas and hiking trails as well as a staging area for equestrian trail rides. Our appreciation goes to the County for its active support and, specifically, to Ranger Tom Contreras for his work in planning and maintaining the park.
Second, Carolyn Major, another founding Trails Council member, has served in an outstanding capacity as an elected member of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group for the last eight years. During this time she has also spearheaded the trails and pathways mapping effort, a critical Fallbrook feature of the County’s 2020/2030 Plan. Her numerous presentations to community groups since 2000 have had a tremendous effect on maintaining communication among the County, the Planning Group, and the Fallbrook public; the FLC Trails Council sincerely appreciates her relentless efforts.
Third, I look forward to continuing the momentum for trails and pathways in my new capacity as a member of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group. As Chair of the Trails Council and Vice Chair of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s Parks and Recreation Committee, I am knowledgeable about the needs and resources concerning public trails, parks and pathways. I am also committed to supporting the expansion of Fallbrook’s rural character through trails, pathways and open spaces, goals of both the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and the FLC Trails Council.
Finally, increasing use of the trails has also led to abuse of the trails. Extensive tagging and graffiti now mar some of the granite boulders along the Santa Margarita watershed. We are cooperating with the Sheriff’s Department and the Fallbrook Public Utility District in efforts to remove existing graffiti and to prevent future occurrences. You can help in a number of ways: (1) Report this activity to the Sheriff’s Department (Detective Montione); (2) Join us for our next work day focusing on graffiti removal and trail repair, or (3) Contribute what you can to assist us in our volunteer efforts on behalf of the community and its natural surroundings.
With fond remembrance of Karen Tucker, we thank you so much!
The Native Plant & Wildflower Team (NP&WT) has been around almost as long as the Fallbrook Land Conservancy itself.
Our specialty has always been what we call the under plantings - the shrubs, flowers and grasses that have slowly, over time, spread across Los Jilgueros Preserve, helping to transform it from an empty, fallow landscape to what you see today. Our work is low-key, neither immediately eye-catching nor flamboyant, yet, from the very beginning Karen Tucker showed a true appreciation and interest in what we do. On Stage Coach Sunday she would always find our booth, visit with us to chat, and show her support by purchasing the native plants and seeds we had to offer for sale.
During the long hot summer we concentrated on watering and weeding. In the fall, we began to add Deergrass (Muhlengergia rigens) to the parking lot area. It’s a beautiful native grass that is often used in ornamental gardens. The recent rains have enabled us to continue with our small revegetation projects.
We hope that the next time you take a walk through Los Jilgueros Preserve you will take the time to stop and observe the “under plantings”, just as Karen always did.
Toni Inman , NP&WT
Report by Jim Hall
On October 30, the FLC sponsored a highly informative presentation on San Diego County's water future by Dr. Philip Pryde, Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University, and long-time specialist concerning water resources, land use planning, and environmental impact analysis.
covered the background of the current water crisis, the nature of
the present problem, and options
Future community presentations by FLC’s Education Committee will be announced in the local papers.
Gleam and Rodger Engel, honored guests at FLC's
Annual Emerald Grove dinner
The community of Fallbrook was saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Rodger Engel on November 10, but for the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and all who enjoy open space, his legacy lives on.
A celebration of the life of this well-known Fallbrook physician and FLC land donor is planned at the Grand Tradition on February 7. The family request that in lieu of flowers donations should be made to the FLC and earmarked for the Engel Family Preserve.
A lifelong Californian, he was born June 17, 1920 in Orange, and grew up in Santa Ana. The Engel family moved to Fallbrook in 1965 when Rodger began his OB/GYN practice here. Previously he had practiced medicine in Long Beach, Calif. He had attended Graceland University and graduated from USC Medical School.
In addition to being a long-time member of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, Rodger was a member of the Fallbrook Rotary Club, Fallbrook Tennis Club, Music Society, and Fallbrook Hospital Foundation.
He was a past director of the Fallbrook Hospital, Fallbrook Citrus Association and Fallbrook Airpark.
The Engel Family Preserve
In 1997, Dr. Engel donated a 10-acre parcel on Sumac Road to create the Engel Family Preserve.
Originally, the Engel family land was an avocado grove. It has a prominent rock outcropping and panoramic views of the I-15 corridor and Palomar Mountain beyond.
Today, it is a very pleasant escape for a quiet hike or bird watching trip with east facing views of the Palomar Mountain Range.
According to Mike Peters, the Engel Preserve restoration project, funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a great success. The old avocado trees have been removed or saved as raptor perches. “We’ve created a coastal sage habitat that is filling in nicely,” Mike reports, “and the wildlife is using it more frequently.”
Dedication Programs to Honor Loved Ones
Purchasing a tree at the Palomares Park or a tile on the new brick-lined walkway there is a great way of honoring and memorializing loved ones and friends, while supporting the goals of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy.
A dedicated tile costs $300 For more information, contact the FLC office at (760) 728-0889 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Fantastically successful,” was the FLC Board’s assessment of Stage Coach Sunday, held on September 28.
It raised double the amount of money than previous years, thanks primarily to the advance sale of 42 commemorative tiles to be placed on a special “20th Anniversary” walkway in the Palomares Park.*
San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn and First National Bank of Southern California were sponsors of this year’s event. The BBQ dinner was sponsored by Renee Ingold; the Beer Garden by Markstein Beverage Company, Vince Ross and friends; the wagon rides by Wee Little Sprouts; and the Pacific Animal Show by Jamie Phillips.
All afternoon., attendees enjoyed a BBQ buffet, shopped for Silent Auction items, while enjoying live music by Gordon Stone’s Stonehouse band.
“Animals Who Help the Planet,” including a monkey, parrot, pygmy hedgehog, alligator, African fox, and even roaches fascinated the Halloween attired children, and families queued for rides in a covered wagon along Stage Coach Lane.
The Land Conservancy is extremely grateful to the many silent auction and raffle donors, hard-working members of the board who helped make the 18th Stage Coach Sunday such a success.
Save Our Forest
Friends of Los Jilgueros
A work in progress for Mike Peters!
Donations keep flooding in for commemorative
tiles on the Palomares Park Walkway.
THANK YOU ALL!
The following donors made contributions in the names of loved ones during the last six months of 2008.
Since the end of the year, the FLC has received many generous contributions in memory of Karen Tucker, Rodger Engel, and other loved ones. They will all be acknowledged in the next newsletter.
In Memory of
Maja Eddy & In Memory of Henry D.
In Memory of
In Memory of Bonnie May - Our
In Memory of
In Memory of Elizabeth Yamaguchi
In Memory of
Memory of Bert & Mary Clark
Fallbrook Land Conservancy