Valley Center Trails Association is made possible by a dedicated group of volunteers who have come together with a passion for trails and a desire to enhance our community.
I am Fred Wollman. I grew up in South Dakota and received my BS at the University of South Dakota. I met my wife Kathy on a blind date while working in Nashville, Tn. We moved to California in 1980 and settled into Valley Center in 1993 so our young children could see the stars at night.
We started backpacking shortly after getting married and our kids, JC and Andrew, have both been packing since before their first birthdays. We all love being outside watching the hawks, lizards and coyotes during the day and star gazing at night. I am passionate about trails and preserving wild open spaces as a way for Valley Center to become of community of friends rather than merely a place to sleep before driving back to work the next day.
Now that my children have left home (and no longer in soccer, karate and other sports) my best opportunity to meet people is to go for a walk. Valley Center is a beautiful place. The view from the ground on two feet while walking is very different from the view at 55 mph. With the number of home being built, decline in agriculture and increased traffic, Valley Center is at risk of losing the attributes that drew many of us here. Our sleepy country roads are no longer safe to walk or bicycle along. The dirt road or large parcel that was available to ride my horse now is paved, covered with homes and surrounded by fences and gates. If I am to go for a walk or ride a bicycle or horse safely, I must get into a car and drive to Hell Hole Canyon (in Valley Center), Wilderness Gardens (in Pala), Daley Ranch (in Escondido) or Palomar Mountain.
We need to follow the lead of other communities like Poway and Ramona, to develop our neighborhoods into friendly places where people leave the house to walk the dog, ride their horses and maybe even allow their kids to ride bikes to school and even talk to each other.
Join us in making Valley Center a great place to live and not merely a pretty place to drive through.
Anita Noone, Trail Master
Anita Noone has been a resident of San Diego County since 1979, and moved to Valley Center in late 2014. She is a Feldenkrais Method(R) teacher who enjoys helping people with mobility and pain issues learn to move better and more more comfortably. Her hobbies include hiking, running, biking, and gardening.
Lori Jacobs, Treasurer
I am a SoCal girl from the San Fernando Valley, and have been enjoying life in Paradise Valley Center since 1990. I have a BA in Political Science from UCLA and my career has included politics, government, banking and accounting. I have worked at a north county CPA firm for twelve years, serving as firm administrator and managing various client accounts.
The rural character and agricultural heritage of the Valley Center area attracted me here, and I especially appreciate the sense of place and community the residents share. I enjoy my hilltop Peaceful Hill Ranch with my horse, dogs, cats and ducks. I have paths and trails all around my five acres: through Manzanita, alongside boulders, winding under trees – they give character to the property, draw me out to experience it with my animals and they help to tell its story. I feel the same way about trails for our community – they help define our rural lifestyle and sensibility, and invite us to get out, share a walk and enjoy the neighborhood.
As a weekend life-cycle Celebrant, I create ritual and ceremony that speaks to our common life passages and that serves to build bridges among participants; and as a yoga and meditation teacher, I work with ways to live mindfully and in spirit. Personal sustenance rituals of walking, hiking, biking and riding are healthy whole body-mind activities too: good for us inside and out.
I love riding the southern California trails with my horse Cheeftan, and we would be thrilled to ride safely out along our own road and around our neighborhood. The Trails Association has worked diligently to lay out a wonderful network of trails throughout the Valley Center area. I joined up to help implement this visionary pathway system because I see trails as an asset for everyone to utilize and enjoy, and as a way to enrich and unify the community as it grows. What better symbol for community could there be than pathways that serve to connect us all! I look forward to having more local options for safely exercising and enjoying the beauty and diversity of our area while hiking, biking and riding out with Cheefie. Please contact one of the VCTA Board members if you would like to help out, too.
Pam Wiedenkeller, Membership Chair
I moved to Valley Center in 2012 with my husband Bruce and we both love the ‘country’ feel of our new home town. I’ve lived in a number of east coast states, and have always enjoyed the outdoors. My hobbies include gardening, hiking, biking, exploring the desert and stargazing.
With the development pressures that face San Diego county, I think it is more important than ever to do something to help preserve our beautiful countryside and to make Valley Center a safe place for all types of non-motorized travel. I love the VCTA vision of connecting all communities with trails and I am happy to do what I can to help achieve that goal. When I’m not working as a distributor of surgical instruments, I volunteer my time at the San Diego Humane Society in Escondido, at the Friends of the Library Bookstore, and of course as membership chair for VCTA. Please contact me directly if you have any questions about membership. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minette Ozaki, Bicycle Representative
I am a fourth generation San Diegan. I grew up riding bikes and horses in my local canyons. I majored in Biology at UCSD and worked at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla for 10 years. I have been a youth trip leader for OutdoorOutreach and a tour guide for an adventure travel company. I am a past president of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, a non-profit advocacy organization representing the interests of non-motorized trail users.
Currently, I am a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist in Del Mar. I have an interest in Wildlife Conservation and am learning animal tracking with the Western Tracking Institute.
One of my favorite quotes is “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Some of the changes I wish to see are more Sustainable Communities in which we can safely ride or walk more and drive less. I would also like to see more opportunities for individuals to enjoy and experience the wilderness of the outdoors closer to home. We also need to preserve and protect our remaining open spaces. I think these things can be accomplished by integrating responsibly planned trails into our communities.
John Vick, Parks & Recreation District Liaison
During the day Jon works from his home as a medical consultant and at other times busies himself supporting community efforts that benefit Valley Center and our residents, such as Hellhole Canyon and the Valley Center Trails Association. A VC resident since 1998, he serves on the VC Planning Group and on several PG subcommittees (North Village, South Village, Trails and Mobility). He believes that a comprehensive trails system throughout VC will be a great asset for our community as well as making our roads more attractive and safer, and an enhancement to property values.
Hannah Engholm, Secretary
Bio to come soon!
Ted Schwarzbach, Equestrian Liaison
Ted Schwarzbach is a retired resident of Valley Center California and is a lifelong horseman, author and trainer of horse leadership. Ted’s interest in horses is a natural extension to support improving the trails in Valley Center with an eye towards equestrian usability for the horse community.
Laury Flora, Board Member
I grew up on a farm in San Dimas, CA. about 100 miles north of Valley Center, and spent time working on the farm. I still love the outdoors, farming, and now fruit trees. I went to Cal Poly, Pomona, the local college, where earned a BS in Electronics Engineering. After working a couple years as an engineer, I went to MIT and earned an MS in Solid State Physics.
After that I worked as an engineer for 40+ years designing those little chips (integrated circuits) that power computers, cell phones, and just about everything else these days. While working for Unisys, I also ran a horse boarding stable with my wife and another couple, planted just about every fruit tree I could get my hands on, and pursued music in several ways. In fact, when I had to decide on a career, it was a toss-up between music and engineering. Then I discovered that engineering made more money, so I decided that music would be a hobby.
I have been hiking since I was a little kid, exploring the dunes at campsites along the beach, hiking over Mt. Whitney as a teenager, around the back side of Kauai, etc.
The area where I grew up is now developed. When I had the opportunity to move to San Diego in 1989, I chose Valley Center because it is still rural. I was delighted to discover that I seemed to have moved back in time into an area just like the one I grew up in. I enjoy walking around Valley Center, for exercise, to see what is here, and to possibly meet interesting people. Now I am interested in making sure trails are available to everyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors in Valley Center, which is why I support the Valley Center Trails Association.
Michael Hearst, Board Member
Michael Hearst graduated with a BS in Zoology from California State University at Long Beach in 1968. Immediately after graduation, he went to work for the Smithsonian Institution in Morocco. He lived in a tent for a year, working as a mammalogist and parasitologist. Shortly after his return to grad school, he was sidetracked for several years by a career in sales and marketing. After running his own marketing firm for 25 years he returned to biology. Michael started with Orange County Vector Control District in May of 1999 doing field surveillance work on vector-born diseases. He moved over to the Orange County Fire Ant Authority initially as a Zone Coordinator and then as Communications Director. He received M.S. in Environmental Science; Education and Communicationsfrom Cal State Fullerton in June 2004
When the state cut funding for Fire Ant control, He moved back to Vector Control as the Public Information Officer, then as the Director of Communications. His responsibilities include political and media relations, video production, web page development, education, and public relations, as well as government relations. Michael is an adjunct faculty member at Fullerton College, teaching Botany, Horticulture and Natural History. Michael developed two courses, one was called Volunteer Naturalist Training, This course was required of anyone who wanted to become a docent, and lead public tours for The Nature Conservancy, and The Irvine Ranch Conservancy wild lands. Michael has led countless interpretive tours into the wild lands of Orange County in 4 wheel drive vehicle caravans, on horseback, mountain bike, and on foot. The second course was called “Landscaping for Wildlife”.
In July of 2017 Michael retired to “Offhand Manor”, a 2.7 acre property overlooking Woods Valley in Valley Center He has a strong interest increating wildlife friendly landscapes and is propagating and planting a variety of native plants. Not surprisingly “Offhand Manor” is a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Garden
Victoria Bausone, Webmaster
I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C. and spent some time in Davis, CA before settling in Valley Center almost 17 years ago. My husband and I enjoy sharing the trails and hiking with our sons. We are naturalists at heart and love to camp, hike, bike and horseback ride.
While growing up, and especially in Davis, Ca, we had an abundance of trails and pathways available to hike, bike, horseback ride and stroll. The amazing amount of both backcountry and in town trails united the communities and made for independence and exploration, all with limited driving necessity.
This is my wish for Valley Center, to unite the community with trails for recreation and safe passage into town, the schools, the library and parks, so that we can all enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.