L-R Joan Brosnan, Tina Rysedorph & Trent Robertson at the Tecolote Nature Center

By Linda Stafford

“The canyon is calling and I must go” is a twist on a famous John Muir quote and could be the motto of the Tecolote Canyon Interpretive Group (TCIG). The members of TGIC are avid naturalists, docents, and trail guides who each share the vision of connecting the local community, on a personal level, with the plants, animals, and natural history of Tecolote Canyon.  They come from varied backgrounds, but share similar reasons for inviting people of all ages to come and fall in love with the park.

Marla Gilmore, the nature center director, grew up in the area. She enjoys connecting with the community, sharing stories, and creating new memories.  Joan Brosnan, loves sharing her enthusiasm, by making nature meaningful, through creative interpretation, enabling children to experience and see nature in new ways.  A quote by James Thurber, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers” inspires Tina Rysedorph to continue looking for new and interesting ways to connect people with nature as she takes them on the trails of Tecolote.  Trent Robertson, Susan Breisch, and Linda Stafford, are avid birders and trail guides who enjoy passing on their knowledge, appreciation, and concern for  the canyon which is often described as “an island of nature in a sea of development.”

Eloise Battle, a local hero associated with saving Tecolote Canyon from development, explains “Tecolote Canyon is an environmental treasure, one of the last remaining accessible coastal canyons in our county. There are several endangered and listed species to be found here.” She also sums up the mission of TCIG best, “Our goal is to share the secrets of the native environment with the public so there will be caring citizens and future stewards who understand the need to preserve this fragment of days past.”



TCIG meets once per month and members lead hikes based on availability.  Beginning naturalists and those with decades of experience are welcome to join.  Simply call or stop by the Tecolote Nature Center, 5180 Tecolote Road, San Diego, 92110 or call (858) 581-9944

If the canyon is also “calling you”, you can find a list of the scheduled hikes, events and activities at:


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