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Ceremony Honors Walker Family, Land Preserved for San Diego River Trail

The 107-acres will be part of a continuous trail planned to go from the El Capitan Reservoir to the Pacific Ocean.

Go here for maps, photos and other details of the property.

The Walker family was honored at a ceremony Wednesday for dedicating a 107-acre portion of the family’s former estate along the San Diego River as the Walker Preserve, which will allow more public access to the river and be part of the San Diego River Trail planned to go from the El Capitan Reservoir to the Pacific Ocean.

This stretch of riverfront land and ponds along the San Diego River stretches from Magnolia Avenue to Santee's eastern boundary, would join the recently developed Mast Park West Trail as part of the “San Diego River Park Conceptual Plan.” The land was purchased by the City of Santee for $2,140,000 with grants from conservancy organizations.

The City of Santee is in the process of "designing a trail on the Walker Property along the San Diego River... for the purpose of protecting, restoring and enhancing habitat and open space, and providing compatible public access," according to the staff recommendation given to the California Coastal Convservancy board in the spring.

"Plans for the property include habitat restoration and a trail similar to the Mast Park West trail," said Santee's Director of Community Services, Bill Maertz, in May.

The city of Santee and the San Diego River Conservancy held the dedication ceremony that marked the transition from private to public land. This additional public access to the river has been a part of Santee's master plan for the last 30 years.

The Santee Review posted a bit about the history of the land and the family:

"The property was part of a 350-acre dairy farm the Walker family established on the south side of the river when the family arrived in Santee in 1926. The family played a prominent role in Santee’s early history, and the dairy remained in operation until 1971."

Read more at the Santee Review

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