Mission Vista High School


Mission Vista High School Open Space Preserve (Preserve) consists of an onsite portion located adjacent to Mission Vista High School and an offsite portion located approximately two miles away. The onsite portion consists of 19.25 acres east of Melrose Drive, north of SR-76, and south of the San Luis Rey River. Located two miles south is the offsite portion which comprises 15.7 acres north of Northerly Street, east of Panorama Ridge Way, west of Ridgemont Court, and south of Taylor Property Preserve.

The onsite portion is bound to the north by the San Luis Rey River corridor and is at the southern point of a possible wildlife corridor that continues north to Guajome Regional Park and the San Luis Rey River Valley. The offsite portion is bound to the north and northeast by open space. San Diego Habitat Conservancy commenced active management of the sites in February 2016 after a 5-year restoration program was completed.

History: This open space preserve was required to be set aside as mitigation for construction of the Vista Unified School District Dual Magnet High Schools Project. This project impacted 15.5 acres of Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub (DCSS), 6.3 acres of native grassland (NG), 21.9 acres of least Bell’s vireo critical habitat, and 0.08 acre of southwestern willow flycatcher critical habitat. Mitigation for impacts to the DCSS vegetation was performed at a 2:1 ratio, i.e. the protection of a minimum of 31.0 acres of DCSS. This level of mitigation was achieved through the protection of 11.0 acres of DCSS at the offsite portion and through the purchase of 20.0 acres of DCSS mitigation credits at the Whelan Ranch Conservation Bank. During construction of the project, an additional 0.32 acres of DCSS was impacted thus requiring mitigation at a 5:1 ratio through creation of 0.21 acres of DCSS and enhancement of 0.70 acres of DCSS at the offsite portion. Impacts to NG were mitigated for at a 0.5:1 ratio requiring preservation of a total of 3.2 acres of NG. This level of mitigation was achieved at the onsite portion through the preservation of 0.6 acres of NG, 0.2 acres of DCSS, and 0.3 acres of southern willow scrub; the creation of 1.5 acres of NG; and the enhancement of 0.6 acres of DCSS. Mitigation for impacts to the least Bell’s vireo habitat was achieved through the preservation and/or restoration of the 19.25-acre onsite portion.

Habitat: The onsite portion consists of 8.56 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub (DCSS), including 0.02 acre of disturbed DCSS; 6.98 acres of riparian scrub; 2.25 acres of native grassland (NG); 0.64 acre of southern willow scrub; 0.26 acre of herbaceous wetlands; 0.22 acre of mulefat scrub; and 0.14 acre of freshwater marsh. The offsite portion consists of 13.3 acres of DCSS, 2.1 acres of NG, and 0.3 acre of southern willow scrub.

Management Duties: San Diego Habitat Conservancy monitors the Preserve on a monthly basis to observe and document substantial changes in the habitat composition and the need for remedial measures. Trash and non-native, invasive plant species are removed as necessary. Every three years at the offsite portion, SDHC conducts protocol-level surveys for the coastal California gnatcatcher.

Species of Special Interest: coastal California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo (onsite portion only), small-flowered morning glory (offsite portion only).

Grassland Habitat
Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat
Riparian Habitat
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