Harbaugh Seaside Trails Groundbreaking Begins March 1, 2019


San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy Breaks Ground on Habitat Enhancement, Trail Amenities

It may be a small piece of land, but its presence is huge. The three-acre overlook at the gateway of Solana Beach and Cardiff-by-the-Sea has always provided views of the Pacific Ocean. Sunsets are cherished here. 

Designated as permanent open space, work is underway to enhance this Conservancy land for nature, and for community. New trails, a donor monument and coastal overlook will also grace this cherished space.

 The upcoming restoration of native plant habitats and public trails celebrates decades of work to preserve the views, the community connections, and the enduring vision to save what is left of undeveloped Southern California coastline.

Open space improvements will include:

  • The removal of invasive plant species for native plantings that will attract pollinators and link the habitat to San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve;
  • A donor monument, designed by Coastal Rail Trail artist, Betsy Schulz, will be erected at its southern end with commemorative tiles that donors secured to show their support;
  • A viewing deck on the north end, and interpretive signs, will be installed;
  • A railroad undercrossing—located at Harbaugh Seaside Trails—will provide visitors with safer coastal access into San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and beyond.
  • The Conservancy team will announce when community volunteers can join in the planting of native species this fall.

Conservancy & Community Heroes Saved This Land
For more than 20 years, San Diego's north coastal communities fought to protect Harbaugh Seaside Trails (formerly The Gateway Property). 
In December 2011, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy purchased the property for $3.75 million. More than a dozen champions stepped forward to loan the Conservancy the funds to acquire the property. Support from more than 1,200 supporters donated to the fundraising campaign – a testament to community resolve and generosity. In January 2015 the land was saved and renamed Harbaugh Seaside Trails. 

Its name honors The Harbaugh Foundation’s $1.15 million gift and the late George and Betty Harbaugh. The Harbaughs were longtime San Diego residents with a passion for life. Their generosity and thoughtfulness impacted the lives of many and continues to live on with the philanthropic works of The Harbaugh Foundation.

Get Involved!

Make a Donation
Help Protect Land, Water and Wildlife

Register for Fall 2019 Habitat Restoration Opportunities at the Harbuagh Seaside Trails property.
(Ages 13+ or youth accompanied by guardian)


Harbaugh Seaside Trails Conceptual Landscape Plan


San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID # 33-0358660

Jennifer Bright, Director of Brand Communication

(760) 436-3944 x 705
jennifer [at] sanelijo [dot] org (subject: Groundbreaking%20Harbaugh%20Seaside%20Trails)