El Caballo “A Day in the Park” Kickoff Celebration

Everyone is welcome to celebrate “A Day in the Park” at the future El Caballo Park in east Escondido on July 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pony rides, horsemanship demonstrations, entertainment, and food will be part of the family fun, as will booths by organizations focused on equestrians, dogs, and wildlife and habitat preservation. The Friends of Daley Ranch will host a booth.

The site is located at 3410 Valley Center Road. From Escondido proceed east on Valley Parkway, then turn left (west) onto Beven Drive. Just past the Escondido Creek channel, turn right (north) and proceed a quarter mile. It is just south of the Escondido Humane Society.

The all volunteer El Caballo Park Conservancy is sponsoring the event to honor the work of residents who fought for their vision: a natural habitat as a public park with an equestrian and canine theme and opportunities designed to assist wounded warriors and special needs children and adults. It would also protect and maintain the property and provide education about the natural habitat.

The efforts began about three years ago when the City announced plans for multiple water department administrative and maintenance buildings. “The residents fought to stop the City from destroying a very rural mountainous parcel of the city adjacent to a large natural preserve {Daley Ranch}, an established recreational area, and the Eureka Springs neighborhood,” said Steve Berrol, president of the Conservancy.

After many trips to City Council meetings, lobbying the City Council members, the mayor and city staff, the residents were successful in changing the direction of the City. The City then sponsored the contract of a landscape architect firm to create a Master Plan, calling for a multi-phase plan to enhance the area. The master plan is complete; the next step will be an environmental impact report. These are necessary elements to facilitate raising the required significant private donations and grants to build the park – the City of Escondido wishes success

The park will be located off East Valley Pkwy next to Daley Ranch, the Charros arena, Escondido Humane Society, Mayflower Dog Park, Hidden Valley Obedience Club and the nearby Eureka Springs community and Escondido Creek Trail.

Rick Paul was a key activist in creating the park vision. “I met Ben Cueva when he came to my home for a Daley Ranch meeting,” Paul said. “He explained that his equestrian group, after using the property for almost 40 years, was being evicted to make way for an industrial storage facility. When I contrast that with today, almost 4 years later, I am so happy to be able to call this El Caballo Park. A large and diverse group of citizens envisioned this park, and this event is just one way we can celebrate.”