Quarry Creek

Quarry Creek Open Space Preserve (Preserve) consists of 96.41 acres in the Cities of Carlsbad and Oceanside along Buena Vista Creek, south of State Route 78. San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) commenced active management of the majority of the Preserve in June 2015. Three separate restoration efforts are being conducted on portions of the site and are expected to be completed in 2017 and 2021 at which time SDHC will begin managing these additional areas.

History: The site was an active rock quarry from 1961 to 1995 that provided rock and gravel for construction and roads. This open space preserve and restoration was required as part of reclamation for the former South Coast Materials Quarry Creek Reclamation Plan area, as conservation by the Quarry Creek Master Plan, and as mitigation for widening of College Boulevard. The San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Mission Indians considers El Salto Falls at the upstream end of the Preserve a sacred site and the conservation easement allows for limited access by the tribe.

Habitat: After successful completion of all restoration, the Preserve will consist of the following vegetation communities: 38.20 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub, 14.68 acres of non-native grassland, 11.35 acres of riparian forest, 5.89 acres of baccharis scrub, 4.94 acres of southern mixed chaparral, 4.15 acres of riparian woodland, 1.76 acres of southern willow scrub, 1.38 acres of non-vegetated channel/streambed, 0.46 acre of freshwater marsh, 0.40 acre of mule fat scrub, 0.38 acre of open water, 0.15 acre of coastal sage chaparral scrub, 0.14 acre of native grassland, and 0.01 acre of wetland (disturbed).

Management Duties: San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) monitors the Preserve on a monthly basis to observe and document substantial changes in the habitat composition and the need for remedial measures. SDHC also performs protocol surveys for the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the federally endangered least Bell’s vireo every three years. Trash and non-native, invasive plant species are removed as necessary.

Species of Special Interest: least Bell’s vireo, coastal California gnatcatcher, white-tailed kite, yellow warbler, yellow-breasted chat, Palmer’s grapplinghook.