Carlsbad Raceway

The Carlsbad Raceway Open Space Preserve (Preserve) is located north of Palomar Airport Road and west of Business Park Drive in the City of Carlsbad. The Preserve consists of approximately 46.25 acres of restored uplands and riparian habitat. San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) commenced active management of the site in March 2014 after a 5- year restoration program was completed. The Preserve is within the City of Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan area as well as the County’s Multiple Habitat Conservation Program (MHCP) and is neighbored to the north by open space land in the City of Vista and to the northwest by the Carlsbad Oaks Habitat Conservation Area.

History: This open space preserve was required to be set aside as mitigation for construction of the Carlsbad Raceway Business Park project adjacent to the Preserve. The site is the former home of Carlsbad Raceway which was used for automobile and off-road motorcycle racing events from 1964 through 2004. Some of the southwestern portion of the site was previously used for agriculture. The site underwent five years of restoration which included removal of the racetrack, application of a native seed mixture, and installation of container stock on manufactured slopes.

Habitat: The Preserve consists of approximately 20.64 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub, 7.53 acres of disturbed habitat, 5.27 acres of non-native grassland, 5.22 acres of southern mixed chaparral, 5.03 acres of southern willow scrub, 1.07 acres of freshwater marsh, 1.03 acres of streambed, and 0.42 acres of mule fat scrub.

Management Duties: SDHC monitors the Preserve on a quarterly basis to observe and document substantial changes in the habitat composition and the need for remedial measures. Non-native, invasive plant species are removed as necessary. Surveys for the federally- threatened coastal California gnatcatcher are conducted every three years.

Species of Special Interest: Ashy spike-moss, California adolphia, Del Mar Manzanita, Nuttall’s scrub oak, Nuttall’s woodpecker, Palmer grappling hook,  San Diego marsh-elder, small-flowered morning glory, southwestern spiny rush, coastal California gnatcatcher, Cooper’s hawk, Nuttall’s woodpecker, yellow warbler, yellow-breasted chat, orange-throated whiptail, western spadefoot.


Chaparral Habitat
Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat
Riparian Habitat
  Oak Woodland Habitat
  Grassland Habitat
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