Posts

1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10 winning photos

Sweetwater Authority Displays Winning Photos at Board Reception

Ten South Bay area high school students were honored for their winning photos at the March 11 Sweetwater Authority Governing Board meeting.

Nearly 100 students from Sweetwater’s service area entered its annual water photo contest, which challenges students to showcase the importance of water in everyday life through photography. Students submitted photos in two categories.

The following students took the top honors:

Color Photo Category:

1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10 winning photos

1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

2nd Place, “Pouring Out,” Stephanie Mauricio, Sweetwater High School, Grade 12

2nd Place, “Pouring Out,” Stephanie Mauricio, Sweetwater High School, Grade 12 winning photos

2nd Place, “Pouring Out,” Stephanie Mauricio, Sweetwater High School, Grade 12

3rd Place, “Running River Water,” Erick Gallardo II, Sweetwater High School, Grade 11

3rd Place, “Running River Water,” Erick Gallardo II, Sweetwater High School, Grade 11

3rd Place, “Running River Water,” Erick Gallardo II, Sweetwater High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “An Apple a Day,” Jaliyah Journigan, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “An Apple a Day,” Jaliyah Journigan, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “An Apple a Day,” Jaliyah Journigan, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Aqueous Perspective,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Aqueous Perspective,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Aqueous Perspective,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Sun + Splash,” Kaitlyn Vu, Hilltop High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Sun + Splash,” Kaitlyn Vu, Hilltop High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Sun + Splash,” Kaitlyn Vu, Hilltop High School, Grade 11

Black & White Category:

1st Place, “Last Glass,” Tiffany Mayoral, Hilltop High School, Grade 11

1st Place, “Last Glass,” Tiffany Mayoral, Hilltop High School, Grade 11 winning photos

1st Place, “Last Glass,” Tiffany Mayoral, Hilltop High School, Grade 11

2nd Place, “Daily Utilities,” Carlos Guerrero, Sweetwater High School, Grade 9

2nd Place, “Daily Utilities,” Carlos Guerrero, Sweetwater High School, Grade 9 winning photos

2nd Place, “Daily Utilities,” Carlos Guerrero, Sweetwater High School, Grade 9

3rd Place, “Thirsty Tom,” Valeria Cano, Chula Vista High School, Grade 12

3rd Place, “Thirsty Tom,” Valeria Cano, Chula Vista High School, Grade 12

3rd Place, “Thirsty Tom,” Valeria Cano, Chula Vista High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention, “My Memories,” and “Less Developed Countries,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10

“My Memories,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “My Memories,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10

“Less Developed Countries,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10

“Less Developed Countries,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Drying Off,” Katherine Ochoa, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Drying Off,” Katherine Ochoa, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Drying Off,” Katherine Ochoa, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention, “Floating,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Floating,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention, “Floating,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10

All winning photos will be on display at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center beginning in April.

READ MORE: Ten High School Photographers Honored by Helix Water District

 

Ten High School Photographers Honored by Helix Water District

Ten East County high school students were honored for their winning photos in the 2020 Helix Water District High School Photo Contest. The winning photographers were recognized at the February 26 board of directors meeting.

This year’s photo contest challenged high school photographers to highlight the importance and beauty of water in our everyday lives. Entrants were asked to show how water is used in homes and landscapes, in local businesses, for irrigating public spaces and parks, producing the goods we use and foods we eat, street cleaning, and firefighting.

Grossmont High School senior Avery McFedries won first place in the Color category. Photo: Helix Water District

Ten High School Photographers Honored by Helix Water District

Ten East County high school students were honored for their winning photos in the 2020 Helix Water District High School Photo Contest. The winning photographers were recognized at the February 26 board of directors meeting.

This year’s photo contest challenged high school photographers to highlight the importance and beauty of water in our everyday lives. Entrants were asked to show how water is used in homes and landscapes, in local businesses, for irrigating public spaces and parks, producing the goods we use and foods we eat, street cleaning, and firefighting.

Water flows through everything we do. Indoors, we use water for drinking, washing, cooking, and cleaning. Outdoors, we use water to fill our swimming pools, wash our cars and grow plants in our yards.

High school students living or attending school within Helix’s service area were eligible to enter, which includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Spring Valley, and areas of Lakeside. Sixty-nine students from three schools entered the annual competition.

First-place winners received a $150 cash prize; second place received $100; honorable mention received  $50.

The 2020 Helix Water District High School Photo Contest winners are:

Black & White Category

First Place – Rylee Koval, Santana High School, Grade 10

First Place – Rylee Koval, Santana High School, Grade 10

First Place – Rylee Koval, Santana High School, Grade 10

Second Place – Faith Farrell, Santana High School, Grade 12

Second Place – Faith Farrell, Santana High School, Grade 12

Second Place – Faith Farrell, Santana High School, Grade 12

Third Place – Bri Massaro, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Third Place – Bri Massaro, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Third Place – Bri Massaro, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Faith Rowe, Santana High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Faith Rowe, Santana High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Faith Rowe, Santana High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Mirna Dawood, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Mirna Dawood, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Mirna Dawood, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Color Category

First Place – Avery McFedries, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

First Place – Avery McFedries, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

First Place – Avery McFedries, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Second Place – Emily McCann, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Second Place – Emily McCann, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Second Place – Emily McCann, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Third Place – Fernando Lara, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Third Place – Fernando Lara, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Third Place – Fernando Lara, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Jaqueline Aguilar, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Jaqueline Aguilar, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Jaqueline Aguilar, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Daneca Perez Opinion, Grossmont High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention – Daneca Perez Opinion, Grossmont High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mention – Daneca Perez Opinion, Grossmont High School, Grade 11

The winning photos will be on display through May at the district’s administration office at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. The photos are also posted on the district’s Facebook page.

READ MORE: Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve 2019 Photo Contest Winners Inspired By Nature

 

Otay Water District Instagram Contest Winners Get Social About Water

The Otay Water District named eight winners of its first Instagram photo contests, asking customers to depict two distinct themes.

In the first contest, four Otay Water District customers were selected winners of the agency’s first Instagram photo contest, “Thankful for Water.” During the 2019 holiday season, Instagrammers were invited to submit photos reflecting their appreciation for water.

After a vote by Facebook followers the "People's Choice Award“ goes to "Red Jumping Spiderman” by Sabine Kurz-Sherman. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve 2019 Photo Contest Winners Inspired by Nature

At its November 13 meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors recognized amateur photographers for their winning images captured in the 14th annual Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve photo contest.

“I am impressed with the quality of images and talent of Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve visitors,” said Bob Kephart, OMWD board secretary. “This year’s winning images put together a strong case for just how important it is to preserve open space for native habitat.”

Contest entries help to promote Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and educate the public on the importance of wildlife and habitat protection. There were 84 entries in five categories: Scenic View, Water Scenery, Plants, Animals, and Youth (under 15 years of age).

The public also selected a People’s Choice Award winner by voting for their favorite photo from among 10 entries posted on the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s Facebook page.

Small details inspire 2019 Best In Show photographer

Best-in-Show winner Francesca Hummler explained to the board, “I fell in love with photography in high school as a darkroom assistant. I particularly enjoy macro photography, a style which I found suited the color and repetition of the plant in my photograph well.”

See all seven winners:

“Paint Brushes” by Francesca Hummler – Best in Show

“Paint Brushes” by Francesca Hummler received this year's "Best in Show" award. Courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

“Paint Brushes” by Francesca Hummler received this year’s Best in Show award. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Misty Morning Over Lake” by Jeff Brock – Scenic View

“Misty Morning Over Lake” by Jeff Brock won in the Scenic View category. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

“Misty Morning Over Lake” by Jeff Brock won in the Scenic View category. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Behind the Grass” by Daniel Humphrey – Water Scenery

“Behind the Grass” by Daniel Humphrey won in the Water Scenery category. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

“Behind the Grass” by Daniel Humphrey won in the Water Scenery category. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Shine Bright” by Maria Ana Karina Lara – Plants

“Shine Bright” by Maria Ana Karina Lara is the winner in the "Plants" category. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

“Shine Bright” by Maria Ana Karina Lara is the Plants category winner. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Western Fence Lizard” by Karen Wood – Animals

The "Animals" category winner is taken by “Western Fence Lizard” by Karen Wood. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The Animals category winner is “Western Fence Lizard” by Karen Wood. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“New World” by Stella Klins – Youth

This year's Youth category winner is Stella Klins for "New World." Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

This year’s Youth category winner is Stella Klins for “New World.” Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Red Jumping Spiderman” by Sabine Kurz-Sherman – People’s Choice

After a vote by Facebook followers the "People's Choice Award“ goes to "Red Jumping Spiderman” by Sabine Kurz-Sherman. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain Municipal Water District Elfin Forest 2019 Photo Contest

After a vote by Olivenhain’s Facebook followers the “People’s Choice Award“ was “Red Jumping Spiderman” by Sabine Kurz-Sherman. Photo courtesy: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Prizes included tickets donated by San Diego Zoo, a 24” x 36” canvas print donated by PC Photo & Imaging, outdoor equipment donated by REI, and a $100 cash prize donated by contest partner Escondido Creek Conservancy.

All of this year’s winning photographs will be on display from January 1 to April 30, 2020, at the Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty located in the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s staging area.

READ MORE: San Diego Grown Photo Contest Highlights Agriculture

Lake Jennings staff including Recreation Manager Kira Haley (front row, fifth from left) rely on their dedicated volunteers including Lori Stangel (front row, sixth from left). Photo: Helix Water District

Volunteer Opportunities at Water Agency Reservoirs in San Diego County

People around the world know the San Diego region for its beautiful setting along the Pacific Ocean. But visitors, and even many local residents, aren’t aware of the recreational activities available year-round at area reservoirs.

There are 24 reservoirs in San Diego County. Of these, there are 18 fishable lakes and some offer overnight camping. Popular activities also include boating, kayaking, hiking, and picnicking.

Lake Jennings Reservoir, east of El Cajon, is called a “hidden jewel.” Lake Jennings Recreation Manager Kira Haley admits she didn’t know much about the lake even though she grew up in nearby La Mesa.

“It’s a beautiful resource, and it’s so close to home,” said Haley.

Volunteers help maintain the Lake Jennings campsites, which include five tipis. Photo: Helix Water DIstrict

Volunteers help maintain the Lake Jennings campsites, which include five tipis. Photo: Helix Water District

Volunteers help Lake Jennings operations become self-sustaining

Haley arrived in December 2014 with the goal of making the Lake Jennings self-sustaining. Recent park upgrades and an aggressive outreach program have attracted new visitors. The Helix Water District considered closing the park due to financial losses. But in 2018, Lake Jennings Park made a profit for the first time.

Onsite volunteers make a significant contribution to park operations. Onsite volunteers live full-time at Lake Jennings in campers and trailers in exchange for campsite space and electricity. They perform key roles by staffing the information and registration kiosk, monitoring and maintaining the 97 campsites, answering questions, and responding on-call 24 hours. All volunteers receive training in first aid and evacuation procedures.

“We find the volunteers through word of mouth or regular campers who retire,” said Haley. “Some work other jobs and still volunteer 24 hours each week. Their backgrounds are varied. Some have been with us for many years.”

Visitors can enjoy hiking year-round at Lake Jennings. Trail maps are available from volunteers at the campground kiosk. Photo: Helix Water District

Visitors can enjoy hiking year-round at Lake Jennings. Trail maps are available from volunteers at the campground kiosk. Photo: Helix Water District

Eight campsites are home to the volunteers, whether individuals or couples. Haley is currently recruiting new volunteers. The Helix Water District oversees the hiring process. Applications are now available on the Helix Water District website jobs page.

“It’s wonderful to live in a place like this in a natural open space situation,” said Haley. “There is a grocery store a mile away, but when you’re here, you feel like you’re in the wilderness. Everyone who comes out here is looking to have a great time. It makes for a wonderful work environment.”

Retired teacher puts her experience to work at Lake Jennings

Volunteer Lori Stangel arrived at Lake Jennings five years ago intending to stay six months, but is still a dedicated onsite volunteer host. Photo: Helix Water District

Intending to stay six months, Lori Stangel has worked as an onsite volunteer host for five years. Photo: Helix Water District

Retired kindergarten teacher Lori Stangel returned to her native San Diego after working in Arizona. She and her husband Chuck found a notice online about Lake Jennings volunteer opportunities and thought the six-month assignment would provide an ideal transition. Five years later, the Stangels are still living and working at Lake Jennings.

“I love nature, and I love being outdoors,” said Lori Stangel. “I love working with the public, and I work for the best staff and administration at Helix you can imagine. They make me feel welcome; it means a lot to me.”

Stangel puts her 30 years of experience as an educator into her volunteer role.

“I get to educate people and families about nature through the outdoors,” said Stangel. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for retired people, but also for young people. They can still go to school or work part-time. It’s a win-win. I’m here because I love it.”

As a Ms. California Senior America pageant competitor, Stangel also spreads the word about Lake Jennings as a valued environmental resource in her personal advocacy platform.

Additional San Diego County Water Authority member agency recreational facilities with volunteer opportunities include Santee Lakes, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Olivenhain Municipal Water District.

Lake Jennings Photo Contest, Youth Category, 1st Place: Ryan Cobain, "Rainbow"

Helix Water District Selects 2019 Lake Jennings Photo Contest Winners

Helix Water District recently selected the winners of its 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest. This year’s first place award in the adult category went to photographer Randy Siegel of Santee for his image titled “Sunrise Over Lake Jennings.”

Now in its eighth year, the contest drew 60 entries from throughout San Diego County. This year’s theme was “Life at the Lake,” and each of the entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings.

Contestants were required to submit photos taken between March 1 and May 31, 2019, at the reservoir in Lakeside. The following photographers took top honors:

Helix Photo Contest, Adult Category 1st Place (Adult): Randy Siegel, "Sunrise Over Lake Jennings"

Lake Jennings Photo Contest, Adult Category First Place: Randy Siegel, “Sunrise Over Lake Jennings”

Adult Category:

1st Place – Randy Siegel, ‘Sunrise Over Lake Jennings’
2nd Place – Kurt Scherbaum, ‘Great Horned Owl’
3rd Place – Frances Schnall, ‘Patience’
Honorable Mention – Fred Kropveld, ‘Jennings Scenic 3’
Honorable Mention – Wes Van Fleet, ‘Awe and Creation’

Lake Jennings Photo Contest, Youth Category, 1st Place: Ryan Cobain, "Rainbow"

Lake Jennings Photo Contest, Youth Category, First Place: Ryan Cobain, “Rainbow”

Youth Category:
1st Place – Ryan Cobain, ‘Rainbow’
2nd Place – Cricht Ruediger, ‘Lake Jennings View Scape’
3rd Place – Aure Ruediger, ‘Lake Jennings Ducks and Anglers’
Honorable Mention – Luke Macy, ‘Silver Linings’
Honorable Mention – Jaden Cobain, ‘Rocks’

See all the winning photos in the gallery below.

The Helix Water District Board of Directors honored the winning photographers at an awards ceremony during its June 26 board meeting.

First place winner (Adult Category) Randy Siegel, receives congratulations from Dan McMillan, Helix Water District Board President. Photo: Helix Water District

First place winner (Adult Category) Randy Siegel, receives congratulations from Dan McMillan, Helix Water District Board President. Photo: Helix Water District

Lake Jennings is among the most scenic inland parks in San Diego County. Located in Lakeside, the recreation destination offers fishing, camping, hiking, and picnicking activities. The lake is a drinking water reservoir owned and operated by Helix Water District. The scenic views of the lake and the wooded surroundings put visitors in the middle of the wilderness, right outside of town.

The entire lake is open to the general public for fishing three days a week on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The 97-space Lake Jennings Campground is open year-round for campers. The campground, located on the north side of Lake Jennings, has spaces for RVs, trailers, campers and tents. There is a day use fee for sight-seeing, hiking or picnicking per person.

Visit the Lake Jennings website for more information and to make reservations.