Environmental Ministry

What Is an Environment Ministry?

The Lord commands us to take care of His creation. For Morning Star, this means that we work to preserve the natural gift that is Los Coches Creek.

“You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.”

Nehemiah 9:6

Los Coches Creek

As you drive up to the church, you may not be aware that Morning Star is positioned above historic Los Coches Creek. This is a natural, spring fed waterway – a rare occurrence in dry San Diego County.

Los Coches Creek has a long history. The Kumeyaay tribe used this part of the creek to gather and grind acorns from native California Oaks. The acorns were a staple of the tribe’s diet. There is archaeological evidence that Los Coches Creek was a popular spot as it was a year-round water source with many such oaks. On the south side of the creek there are boulders that contain milling holes showing years of use for grinding acorns!

When the Lakeside Inn was built in 1887, a 150 foot long dam was built across the creek so a consistent water supply would be available to the inn’s guests. The dam site was also a popular picnic spot for guests of the inn. This dam still exists, and with enough rain, it becomes a waterfall!

Los Coches Dam 1900

Los Coches Creek has a long history of dangerous and costly flooding. For this reason, today, most of the waterway through central Lakeside is confined to a concrete Flood Control channel. We are lucky that Morning Star’s section of the creek sits above the flood control channel, so we have access to the natural creek.

Visit the Lakeside Historical Society for more information about the history of our area.

Preserving the Creek and Its History

Morning Star preserves the creek in two ways. First, we work with the Lakeside River Park Conservancy to restore the creek bed by removing non-native species. As a biodiversity hotspot, San Diego County is home to a diverse and unique collections of plants, animals and insect life. Restoring Los Coches Creek helps to preserve our native species by giving them a home. We removed most of the invasive bamboo-like plant called arundo donax from the creek bed. Doing this gave native plants the opportunity to thrive and attracts more local wildlife and insects.

Second, we protect access to the creek and dam, limiting the impact on this rare and unique environment. This will allow the native California Oak trees and delicate riparian plants to flourish and be available for future generations.