Tag Archives: Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes Celebrate the Holidays

Santa Claus greets a young Santee resident during a previous Santa at the Lakes celebration

Santa Claus greets a young Santee resident during a previous Santa at the Lakes celebration

This weekend, December 8 and 9, will be full of holiday cheer and family fun at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. On Saturday the first annual Lighting at the Lakes will celebrate the season with the illumination of Santee’s tallest Christmas tree. On Sunday the annual Santa at the Lakes returns with the jolly old elf himself, along with games and activities for the whole family.

The Lighting at the Lakes is also an inauguration celebration for the newly-constructed pavilion at Lake One. The fun will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will include carolers, vendors and a parade of decorated carts. Refreshments will be provided by Coffee Corner, Sweet Treats and Two for the Road. Santee Santas will be on hand to collect donations of toys for needy families, and all guests are requested to bring an unwrapped gift.

The lighting is a joint effort of Santee Lakes Foundation, Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, San Diego State University and SDG&E. To help make this a green Christmas, solar panels will provide the energy for the lights on the tree and on the pavilion.

Sledding at the LakesEvery year Santa Claus visits Santee Lakes just before Christmas, bringing good cheer and a supply of snow for Southern California natives to enjoy. The day will be full of sledding, pony rides, hay rides, crafts and carnival rides. The celebration begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 4:00 p.m. Parking for the day is $5 and rides tickets are 50 cents each.

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is located at 9310 Fanita Parkway, just south of Mast Blvd. For more information on either event, call 619-596-3141 or visit the Santee Lakes website.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Entertainment

Vandals Strike Lions Club Sensory Garden

Just five short months ago A.D. “Ike” Enzenauer stood in front of a group of Rancho Santee Lions Club members, local dignitaries, and associated friends to help dedicate the Lions Club’s Sensory Garden at Santee Lakes. Now it seems that unknown individuals have decided that the community does not deserve this treasure. In July someone had removed the braille plaques that provide sight-impaired visitors with information about the plants in the garden and thrown them around the area. Then in August a number of plants were pulled from the garden.

This month Enzenauer sent a letter to Santee Patch (“Vandalism at the Santee Lions Sensory Garden”) about the events, asking for community help in finding the culprits and ending the destruction of this special community treasure. Scouting Santee would like to echo this request and ask that anyone with information contact the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Santee Patch, or this blog. In addition, if you would consider donating to help the Lions Club replace and repair the damage caused, it would go far toward restoring Santee’s reputation as a caring and concerned community. Let’s all work together to keep Santee special.

Santee Patch: Steve Bartholow at Steven.Bartholow@patch.com

San Diego Sheriff’s Department (non-emergency): 858-565-5200 or online at  https://apps.sdsheriff.net/ecrimereport/emailvalidation.aspx

Previous Scouting Santee story: Lions Club Sensory Garden Opens at Santee Lakes












Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Crime Watch

Movies Return to Santee Lakes

It’s time again for Santee Lakes’ Movies by the Lake on Friday nights. Every other week, beginning this Friday, June 24, the folks at Padre Dam’s Santee Lakes will set up a giant screen beside Lake 5 for families to enjoy a recent animated film. The movies are free, although there is an $8 fee per automobile. This year the West Hills Marching Band and Color Guard will host a concession stand at the lake for your dining pleasure. They will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and more and all proceeds will go to help support their activities for the 2011-2012 school year. The gates open at 4:00 and the concession stand opens at 6:00. There will be games and activities starting at 7:00 and the movie begins at 8:00. Get the family together, bring your chairs, blankets, and jackets, and have a great time.

Movie Schedule:

June 24 – Yogi Bear

July 8 – Open Season 3

July 22 – The Ant Bully

August 5 – Tangled

August 19 – Toy Story 3

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Entertainment

Lions Club Sensory Garden Opens at Santee Lakes

It was the culmination of nearly seven years of planning, fundraising, and hard work when Arthur “Ike” Enzenauer, Lions Club Past District Governor, stood in front of friends and fellow Lions to dedicate the new Sensory Garden at Santee Lakes on Saturday, April 16, 2011. On hand for the ceremony were members of the community, and representatives from the Santee Chamber of Commerce and local politicians. Also present were a number of visually-impaired visitors who now could experience the beauty of a garden by touch and scent. All of the plants will have identification plaques giving both common and scientific names in English and Braille. At the east entrance to the garden there are two large plaques, one in English and the other in Braille, which detail Past Lions International Director Bill Moody’s thoughts on “Planting a Lions Garden.”

The Sensory Garden project began in 2004, shortly after the Lions Club dedicated the disabled-access fishing pier on Lake 4, next to the Kiwanis Disabled Access Playground. The new garden is in the same area, on the west side of the playground. Together the Lions and Kiwanis have worked hard to provide opportunities for disabled visitors to enjoy as much of the fun at the Lakes as possible. The Lions also have a number of project ideas in the planning stages, including possibly putting in concrete pads at points along lake shorelines to allow anglers in wheelchairs to fish from the shore as well as on the pier. They also would like to create concrete walkways with raised curbs around the lakes to provide a safe place for both vision-impaired visitors and those in wheelchairs to enjoy strolls. As Enzenauer explained, this is all part of the Lions Club’s efforts, with Santee Lakes and Padre Dam, “to make the lakes accessible to everyone, regardless of handicap.”

Speaking at the dedication, Bill Pommerling, President of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District Board of Directors, thanked the Lions for their efforts. As he pointed out, “Projects like this don’t happen just because of money; projects like this happen because of heart.” Pommerling specifically mentioned Enzenauer as one of those whose “heart” helped to make the garden possible. Santee Lakes Director of Parks and Recreation Allen Carlisle, who was also instrumental in the creation of the garden, thanked the Lions for their dedication to the project and to making it possible for more people to experience the Lakes. He even pointed out that, as the ceremony was taking place, a man in a wheelchair was fishing from the nearby disabled-access pier – something that would not have been possible without the Lions Club.

Of course, even with plenty of “heart,” a project of this magnitude does not happen without money, and the Lions worked hard through a difficult recession to bring in the $78,000 needed to get the garden to near-completion.

This included $25,000 from Santee Lakes– money that comes from user fees, not the Padre Dam MWD which created the Lakes – as well as from a number of local businesses. Perhaps one of the greatest single monetary gifts, however, was $10,000 donated by Lions Club member John Errickson, who is not only member locally but also in Florida where he spends part of the year. Errickson and a friend drove cross-country from Florida, leaving on the previous Tuesday, in order to be at the ceremony. That is the kind of dedication to a cause that is the hallmark of the Lions Clubs. However, as Enzenauer explained, the Lions Club still needs about $4000 to cover the final expenses of the garden. Anyone interested in helping can contact the Rancho Santee Lions Association.

One other person who deserves special recognition is landscape architect George Mercer, who designed and planned the garden pro bono. Mercer, who has an office in La Mesa and has worked on several Santee schools, put in countless hours on the project to help it become a reality. He explained after the ceremony that the feeling of satisfaction at making the garden possible was all the reward he needed.

The Rancho Santee Lions Association Sensory Garden is open to all who want to enjoy the beauty of nature. It is located between Lakes 3 and 4, immediately to the west of the Kiwanis Disabled-Access Playground. Padre Dam’s Santee Lakes recreation area can be reached from Fanita Parkway between Mast Blvd. and Carlton Hills Blvd. and is open daily. Vehicle parking fees for day use are $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends and holidays. For more information, visit the Santee Lakes website. For more pictures of the day, check out my stories on Demotix and Santee Examiner.


Filed under Community, Nature

Catfish Season Opens at Santee Lakes

Over 200 anglers, young and old, headed out to Santee Lakes on Saturday, April 17, for the opening of catfish season, making this the biggest catfish opening day ever.  Padre Dam had 2,000 pounds of catfish planted in Lakes 3 and 4, with more to come.  In fact, a total of 25,000 pounds of catfish is scheduled to be planted between mid-April and season’s end in October.  A number of those catfish are specially tagged and good for prizes, including cash, fishing tackle, and free fishing passes.  This year the Catfish Roundup is sponsored by Barona Resort and Casino.  Below are a few pictures from opening day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community

Catfish Roundup at Santee Lakes

Watch out, pardners, there’s a heap o’ catfish fixin’ to stampede at Santee Lakes this Saturday, April 17.  Padre Dam is stocking 2,000 pounds of the critters in Lakes 3 & 4 for the opening of Catfish Season, and a whole mess of anglers is expected to take advantage of the opportunity.  Barona Resort and Casino is sponsoring the Catfish Roundup, which features tagged fish good for cash, fishing poles, tackle boxes, and more.  The season lasts until Halloween, and there will be a total of 23,000 pounds of catfish stocked.

Word is that the best spot for rounding up these varmints is the north end of Lake 4, along the shore.  In the northeast corner of the lake there is a small cove area which could be a good spot to stake out.  There are two fishing piers in Lake 4, the Lions Club’s disabled access pier on the south shore near the playground and a regular pier near the north shore cove.  Lake 4 also has two small islands you can reach from bridges; Lake 3 has one pier located around the middle of the east side.  The best bait seems to be mackerel, followed by mealworms, but I’m sure good ol’ stinkbait could work, too.  Check out the fun, starting at 6:00 am.  Who knows, you might just catch a real “prize-winning” catfish, or even a monster that could top the lake record of 39 pounds 4 ounces.

Remember, Santee Lakes does not require a state fishing license, just a day fishing permit available at the General Store on Lake 6.  Permits are $9 for adults and $6 for kids 15 and under.  For more information about Catfish Season, click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community

Spring Eggstravaganza Returns

The annual Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes returns on Saturday, April 3.  The day includes food, games, rides, and, of course, egg hunts for kids age 8 and younger.  There is no cost for the event, but parking is $5 at Santee Lakes.  The fun starts at 9:00 am and lasts until 3:00 pm.  For more information check out the event flyer, or see my story on last year’s Eggstravaganza for pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Entertainment

2009, A Santee Review – Part 3

Well, 2009 is now over, but the year in review is only halfway finished. In Part 1 I managed to get from January through April, but Part 2 was only able to cover May and June. This was partly due to the number of stories and partly due to the time I had to work on Part 2. And now, without further ado, we move to July and the start of Part 3.

I started off July with a short update on the off-leash dog parks, and previews of the Santee Salutes July 4th celebration, the first Santee Summer Concert of the month, and the Movies by the Lakes schedule. I also wrote about a VIP party held at the end of June at Café 67 – which is a member of the Santee Chamber of Commerce, even though it is located in Lakeside. Café 67 is a great place with great food and deserves a try for breakfast or lunch.

Of course, the big event every July is the Santee Salutes July 4th celebration. This year the event, which always takes place at the Town Center sports fields beside Rio Seco School, featured games and rides for kids, a large food area, music by the 80z All Stars (and their alter-ego, Bootylicious), and a huge fireworks display. The keynote speaker, guest of honor, and honorary mayor for the day was Lt. Colonel Ronnie Carson, commanding officer of USMC helicopter squadron HMH 462, Santee’s adopted Marine unit at Miramar MCAS.

Not quite as big as the July 4th celebration, but still a lot of fun, was the All-American Burger Challenge put on by the Pathways Community Church for the high school youth group. This little escapade pitted Sonic against In-N-Out to see who had the best burgers around. The group hit Sonic first, each person sharing a regular Sonic Burger and tater-tots with a partner. Then everyone headed over to In-N-Out for shared orders of a burger and fries. Of course at both locations each person got his/her own drink. The final results? In-N-Out for hamburgers, Sonic for drinks, and In-N-Out as the overall winner.

Also during July I started previewing The Week Ahead, covered the July Chamber Mixer, promoted the Fashion Rocks the East fundraiser for the Miss Santee Pageant, and reviewed concerts by Southbound Jonny, Spectrum, and Cash’d Out.

August started out with an interview with Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, and the announcement that Santee Lakes had, indeed, been named San Diego’s Best Campground. Other posts included Summer Concert reviews of the Screamin’ Primas, Emerald River, and Bayou Brothers, the grand opening of Santee Family Optometry, and federal stimulus projects on Magnolia Ave. and Mission Gorge Rd.

One important event was the annual National Night Out hosted by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and held at Woodglen Vista Park. The event is a nation-wide anti-crime activity that has a goal of getting communities involved. The Santee Night Out included music, food, games, and fun for all ages. But there was a serious side as well, with information booths on safety, members of the Search and Rescue team with their dogs, a demonstration by the Sheriff’s K-9 unit, and a Domestic Violence Victims Display.

A second important event in August was the Fashion Rocks the East fundraiser for the Miss Santee and Miss La Mesa Pageants. The fashion show was held in the Arbor Room at the La Mesa Community Services complex, and included current and former Miss Santees and Miss La Mesas and recent runners-up. The event was spearheaded by Santee’s own Sierra Billock, who felt that the women who benefitted from the pageants should do their part to help support future participants.

Because of some personal issues, I didn’t get back to blogging until late in September. The only posts for the month were on the work on Mission Gorge Rd., a message on Fire Preparedness from Supervisor Greg Cox, and plans for a fundraiser to support the Mother Goose Parade.

The last review post will cover October through December.

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Chamber Activities, Community, Entertainment

Santee City Council Approves Cable Ski Project

According to news reports, the Santee City Council approved the proposed building of a Cable Ski course on Lake 1 of the Santee Lakes during their Wednesday, October 28, meeting. There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding this project, but as of now it is a go. However, the Council will revisit the project question in the future, so the last word has probably not been heard. 

San Diego Union Tribune: Cable ski park gets the go-ahead from city

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Entertainment, Politics

The Week Ahead – August 10-16


Santee Summer Concert Series: This week the Bayou Brothers blow into Santee Trolley Square on Thursday, August 13, with the next-to-last concert in the series.  The music kicks off at 6:30 pm and lasts until 8:00 pm.

Santee Lakes: Night Fishing returns on Thursday, August 13, as Santee Lakes opens up for fishing from 5:00-11:30 pm.  Remember, you need a lantern and a night permit to fish – $8 for adults, $6 for juniors, and $3 for a second pole stamp.

Mission Trails Regional Park: This is another busy week at Mission Trails.  There will be several Guided Nature Walks, as always, but Friday you will have the choice between Stars at Mission Trails, hosted by the San Diego Astronomy Association (7:00-10:00 pm) and an Owl Prowl led by bird expert Mike Wellik (7:30-10:00 pm).  Meet at the Kumeyaay Campground for the Stars and at the Visitor Center for the Owls.  Then on Saturday there will be a Twilight Walk starting at the Kumeyaay Campground entrance.  Since this is a popular activity, be sure to call ahead to reserve a spot (619-668-2748).

If you have any other events, let me know and I will get them up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Community, Entertainment