San Jacinto Mountains Will Leaf You Stunned

Standing tall between the picturesque town of Idyllwild and the vast Coachella Valley, with thirteen peaks over 10,000 feet high, are the breathtaking San Jacinto Mountains. This mountain range spans two watersheds in Riverside County – the Santa Ana River watershed and the Whitewater River watershed. The lush Fall foliage and awe-inspiring views create a beautiful backdrop for an autumn hike.

For the best up close views of the season’s colors, check out Deer Springs Trail off Highway 243 near Idyllwild. The Black Oak trees that line the trail have leaves that turn golden at this time of year.

For a panoramic view, take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a scenic tram ride to Mountain Station in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. From here, there are access points to more than 50 miles of trails that vary in difficulty.

The Long Valley Discovery Trail is a great beginner-level trail. Easy enough for kids, the trail offers views of the changing fall colors plus nature trail posts with information on the area.

For the most strenuous workout, start early and tackle the San Jacinto Peak on an 11-mile round trip hike. The forest is filled with many species of pine tree including Sugar, Jeffrey, Lodgepole and Ponderosa with its distinctive vanilla/butterscotch smell.

Any of these hikes will provide a seasonal experience that will not only you get in the Fall Spirit, but will help burn off the calories from all those Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Less Food Waste Makes A Big Impact

Thanksgiving brings out the belief that everyone is going to gobble til’ they wobble, causing family cooks to prepare unparalleled portions of traditional holiday foods. While we all enjoy a great Thanksgiving feast, an unfortunate side effect is waste, with more than 200 million pounds of turkey alone thrown away instead of consumed. That number doesn’t include uneaten green bean casserole, candied yams, Jello salad, Brussels Sprouts, pumpkin pie….wait…there’s no such thing as uneaten pumpkin pie! With these 3 tips to reduce food waste, you can protect the watersheds from holiday food waste.

  1. Stick To A Plan:
    • Before grocery shopping, take inventory of what you already have in your kitchen.
    • A few days past a label’s expiration date doesn’t mean the food isn’t safe to use.
    • Plan for recipes that use the same ingredients to share the groceries among the side dishes.
    • Consider skipping traditional recipes if only a few family members actually eat them.
    • Confirm your guest list and calculate number of portions needed to maximize your menu.
  2. Cook Just Enough:
    • Cut recipes in half for those “gotta have” traditional sides that end up as week-long leftovers.
    • Many ovenware manufacturers make mini casserole dishes that will let you have a taste of Aunt Sally’s famous corn casserole without the waste.
    • For small family gatherings, consider making a stuffed turkey breast or small roast chicken.
  3. Use Everything:
    • Don’t peel or trim vegetables that will end up smashed, mashed or in a casserole.
    • Avoid recipes that call for small amounts of an ingredient that you can only buy in large amounts. Spices, specialty cheeses and buttermilk are all examples of special occasion ingredients that can easily go to waste.
    • Combine vegetable tops and peels with water and herbs to make a tasty homemade stock that can be frozen for later use.
    • Find creatives recipes on the Internet to truly repurpose leftovers instead of merely reheating. Toast stuffing for tasty croutons, whip up savory pancakes with mashed potatoes, and spread cranberry sauce on bagels.

Sending Watershed Warriors Back 2 School

Don’t be blue about the new school year, be green! Here’s a few helpful tips to send your kids back to school as Watershed Warriors.

Get off to a green start:

The start of school means school supply shopping. Here are ways to go greener and spend less green.

  • Pick up a pack of refillable mechanical pencils instead of the typical wooden pencil. They last longer and can be more cost efficient.
  • Buy notebooks made with recycled paper or take notes electronically.
  • If you’re in need of a new ruler, search for one made of materials like bamboo instead of plastic.

Ditch the Brown Paper Bag:

Did you know that the average student who brings a packed lunch creates 67 pounds of waste a year? Instead of “brown bagging” it, invest in a re-useable lunch bag. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If your child has a favorite character, chances are it’s on a lunch bag. Letting kids pick out their own lunch bag will help ensure that they’ll want to use it.

Sip in style:

Instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles throughout the year, save some cash and our watershed by purchasing a reusable water bottle. You might even find one to match your child’s lunch bag. Some schools have water fountains made especially for re-filling water bottles. Check to see if your school does.

Ride with friends:

Riding the school bus is not only one of the safest ways for a child to get to school, but also one of the greenest. It helps reduce air pollution, causes less traffic, and helps kids make new friends. You can also look into carpooling or if your kids live close enough to walk or bike to school, that’s also a great option!

Calling DIY’ers – FREE Products

DROP off your hazardous waste and SHOP for free products! Stop by our Drop & Shop reuse stores to pick up FREE products for your next home or vehicle maintenance task. All products are inspected and made available to other customers for FREE. Most products are in good condition and sometimes even unopened! Availability of free products varies, but may include: paint, cleaners, pool, spa, lawn care and automotive products. Accepted household hazardous waste varies per location, see below for details.


See the Household Hazardous Waste flyer for addresses and hours.

Mosquito Warning! Daytime Biters

Mosquito Report2
“Mosquito Report”

Riverside County Environmental Health is asking for help! Day-biting mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases. If you see them, please report them to Riverside County at 951.766.9454. Early detection of their presence will help keep them under control. 

For more information please visit You can also check out their video on YouTube for related video announcements.




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