Escondido Creek Conservancy
PO Box 460791
Escondido CA 92046-9202
Contact Information
Address PO Box 460791
Escondido, CA 920469202
Telephone (760) 4719354
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1991
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $227,000.00
Projected Expenses $349,000.00
Projected Annual Revenue $227,000.00 (2014)
This program provides environmental education to disadvantaged elementary school youth attending the Title 1 schools, first in their classrooms, the in the field. Using curriculum based on California State and Common Core standards and activities adapted from the California Coastal Commission Science Activity Guide by the San Diego Zoo and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy; 3rd 4th and 5th graders from Title1 schools in inner-city San Diego County neighborhoods take part in a multi-day and multi-year program that provides environmental educate with a focus on watersheds, first at school, then at the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and later at the lagoon where Escondido Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean. Students participate in discovery based activities requiring critical thinking skills as they learn how water moves through a watershed, how their actions affect the quality of the water, the creeks, lagoon and ocean and the natural environment.
The program also includes an adult lecture series over the summer months. 
Budget 57000
Category Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Adults
Short Term Success
1. Recruit new Title 1 schools
2. Recruit multi-lingual docents and create multi-lingual training materials
3. Serve hundreds more underserved children each year 
Long term Success
1. Build capacity by expanding the program at the Reserve to serve underserved populations in Southern California with a focus on the Escondido area. 
2. Advance education as the program helps students and their families in underserved communities at Title 1 public schools become more environmentally literate.
3. Protect water and the environment by improving water quality in the Escondido Creek Watershed. 
Program Success Monitored By
Program success is monitored by:
1. Student evaluation
2. Docent surveys
3. Teacher feedback 
Examples of Program Success 500 students attended the program from underserved populations in Escondido last year.
Mission Statement The mission of The Escondido Creek Conservancy is to preserve and restore a natural Escondido Creek Watershed.
Background Statement
The Escondido Creek Conservancy (TECC) was formed in 1991 by local residents who were concerned by the loss of natural open space in the Escondido Watershed.  Since then, TECC has gone on to preserve over 2000 acres of open space in the watershed through direct purchase or by working in cooperation with the County of San Diego and local developers.  TECC is a member organization of the national Land Trust Alliance and an active participant in local groups such as the San Diego Conservation Resources Network, the Escondido Watershed Alliance and the Reveal Escondido Creek committee.  These affiliations allow TECC to be an effective advocate for open space protection and water quality improvement efforts along Escondido Creek.  TECC works to increase awareness in the surrounding community of the beauty and value of preserving the Escondido Creek Watershed.  Through a diverse collaboration of volunteer commitment with managerial staff co-ordination, TECC engages in a comprehensive program of education, environmental monitoring, public policy development and land acquisition throughout the 70 square mile watershed.
TECC organizes stream restoration projects in collaboration with business partnerships and local water districts on Conservancy-owned land and along the Escondido Creek.  TECC has been responsible for raising millions of dollars for acquisition of open space within the Escondido Creek Watershed.  TECC has established multiple investment funds, most of them permanent endowments.  These funds cover land management, acquisition and operational expenses.  
TECC's Board of Directors and staff is comprised of concerned and knowledgeable local residents who volunteer their time and professional expertise.  
In June 2009, TECC opened the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve to serve the 60,000 visitors to the park each year.  The building was designed by Drew and James Hubbell and cost approximately $600K of which $535K was fundraised by TECC.  
Through its commitment to educating land owners and planner on the value of the natural open spaces as resources, TECC promotes enlightened and forward thinking land use decisions.  TECC seeks public support and raises funds for the establishment of permanent protection and responsible management of open space. 
Impact Statement

Achievements 2014/15
1. This May TECC closed escrow on the second phase of a 481 acre property known as Cielo Del Norte in Elfin Forest. The acquisition was made possible by a collaboration between TECC and SANDAG, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Wildlife Conservation Board, SDG&E and the Conservation Fund. The land has been preserved for the benefit of our native plants and animals and will help maintain crucial environment for the Gnatcatcher bird, which is a federally listed threatened species.
2. In the aftermath of the Coco’s wildfire that damaged many of the oak trees in Harmony Grove, TECC responded by providing the services of an arborist to visit properties affected and advise local residents about tree care. Coy Johnston, President of the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Association commented “Without this arborist visit, I may not have had the knowledge to stand up for the trees we left to regrow and recover. Too many people view a fire-damaged tree as needing to be cut down. I learned about the process of natural cycles...”
3. In partnership with the Olivenhain Water District and the San Diego Zoo, sent 800 grade school children from urban north San Diego County to the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center for hands-on learning and discovery about local wildlife and natural history.
4. In partnership with the Conservation Fund, purchased 256 acres known as Cielo Estates. The County had previously approved the construction of 79 houses on this property. 
5. Helped reveal the creek through the center of Escondido by winning a grant to construct a small park along the creek by Evans Tire and take residents on creek walks. This is part of a growing commitment by TECC to help Escondido residents revitalize the more urban portion of the concrete channelized Escondido Creek through the heart of the city.
2015 GOALS
*Continue our advocacy for the growing regional open space park now totaling over 2,000 contiguous acres in the Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove area alone.
*Steward over 1750 acres of valuable coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitat in the Escondido Creek watershed and host regular volunteer work days to keep this land pristine.
*Provide educational programs about the watershed to underserved school children in North County San Diego. For every $30 we raise, another grade school child can have a life-changing experience in the outdoors. 

Needs Statement
  • $500K Capital Campaign for Land Acquisition
  • $50K to pay salary of Office Manager
  • $40K to pay salary of Environmental Education Manager
  • Fundraising experience

Service Categories
Land Resources Conservation
Areas of Service
Areas Served
CA - San Diego North County Inland
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2014
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Is your organization a member of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)? No
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr Kevin Barnard
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Nov 2014 to Nov 2016
Board Members
Mr Brent Alspach Community Volunteer
Mr Steve Barker Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Kevin Barnard Community Volunteer
Mr Tim Costanzo Retired
Mr Jon Dummer Surface Optics Corporation
Mr Ron Forster Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs Betsy Keithley Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Greg McBain RetiredVoting
Mr Richard Murphy Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Jeff Swenerton Retired
Mr Leonard Wittwer Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 78%
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Mr Jon Dummer
Company Affiliation Surface Optics
Term Nov 2013 to Nov 2015
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ann Van Leer
Term Start Nov 2013
Compensation 132000
Former CEOs
Mr Kevin Barnard -
Mr Geoffrey Smith -
Senior Staff
Title Managing Director
Experience/Biography 25 years working with a major UK Bank.  Operations Manager in India for 3 years working in a Call Center environment.
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 80
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2014
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2014
Projected Revenue $227,000.00
Projected Expenses $349,000.00
Endowment Value $1,137,032.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter of Determination of Tax Exempt Status
IRS Letter
Form 990s
Detail Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$95,291$153,235$51,460
Administration Expense$112,872$101,825$118,542
Fundraising Expense$1,007$1,978$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.127.651.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses46%60%30%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$20,674,163$20,192,078$6,694,385
Current Assets$850,342$728,509$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$712$0$725
Total Net Assets$20,673,451$20,192,078$6,693,660
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1194.30--0.00
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Dates Jan 2016 to Dec 2018
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Organization Comments                   
Foundation Comments

This organization does not have audited financials available.  Summarized financial data in charts and graphs is based on 990s.

Nonprofit Escondido Creek Conservancy
Address PO Box 460791
Escondido, CA 920469202
Primary Phone 760 4719354
CEO/Executive Director Ann Van Leer
Board Chair Mr Kevin Barnard
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1991


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