Welk Mountain Villas Biological Open Space Preserve (Preserve) is located adjacent to Lawrence Welk Resort along the I-15 corridor, north of Escondido.  The Preserve consists of 29.29 acres of uplands and 1.6 acres of wetlands habitat along a segment of South Fork Moosa Creek, totaling 30.89 acres over 4 parcels. San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) commenced active management of the Welk Preserve viewuplands in January 2008 and expects to start management of the wetlands in the later part of 2013 after the 5-year restoration program has been completed.

History: This open space preserve was required to be set aside as mitigation for the Lawrence Welk Mountain Villas project totaling 49.2 acres which contains 148 residential condominium units with private recreational facilities. This project directly and indirectly impacted 26.2 acres, including 24.3 acres of San Diego County sensitive vegetation. 

Habitat: The Preserve consists of 24.19 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub, 2.89 acres of southern mixed chaparral, 1.23 acres of chamise chaparral, 0.71 acre of California buckwheat scrub (disturbed), and 0.25 acre of coast live oak woodland. After restoration is completed, it is expected that the Preserve will contain an additional 0.52 acre of mule fat scrub, 0.50 acre of non-native grassland, 0.27 acre of southern willow scrub, 0.20 acre of non-vegetated channel, and 0.11 acre of enhanced wetland.

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. Annual outreach with the Vacation Owners’ Association is performed.  Surveys for the federally-threatened coastal California gnatcatcher are conducted every five years.

Species of Special Interest: Cooper’s hawk, Costa’s hummingbird, rufous-crowned sparrow, coast horned lizard, orange-throated whiptail.

Chaparral Habitat
Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat
Riparian Habitat
  Oak Woodland Habitat
  Grassland Habitat
To learn more about a habitat, click on the name.

Map of Welk Preserve