Autumn Fest & Plant Sale — Saturday, Nov 4

Autumn Fest & Plant Sale — Saturday, Nov 4

Join Helix and everyone else at The Water Conservation Garden this Saturday, November 4, for the Autumn Fest & Plant Sale.

This is the event that used to be called Fall Plantstravaganza. It runs 10:00am to 3:00pm and features:

Live Entertainment
Beer Garden
Food Trucks
Plant Sales
Landscape Designer consultations
Craft Vendors (just in time for holiday gifts!)
Kids Activities
Petting Zoo

If you want to meet with a landscape designer, The Garden recommends making a reservation by calling 619-660-0614, ext. 10.


$5 for adults and kids ages 12 and over
$3 for kids ages 3-11
Free for ages 2-under and Garden members


The Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
Just off of Jamacha Road in Rancho San Diego

Helix Helps With MacArthur Park Restoration

Helix Helps With MacArthur Park Restoration

Helix Helps — Helix employees, friends and  family members volunteering for community service – worked side by side with other community members at the 12th Annual Park Appreciation Day on October 7 to restore MacArthur Park into a more community-friendly, open space park.

The La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation and the City of La Mesa hosted the event on a warm Saturday on the lands formerly occupied by the Sun Valley Golf Course.

With plenty of sunshine, gloves, and sweat, volunteers removed dead and overgrown brush, filled in old sand traps, mulched hillsides and repainted buildings to restore the park to its former glory.

The La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation was established in 1999 to lead the fundraising effort for what became the Junior Seau Sports Complex and now focuses on the city’s parks, creating recreational experiences for all ages. Learn more or donate at

Enjoy MacArthur Park and the open space for yourself at 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. For more information on the park including hours of operation please visit:

Helix receives transparent governance award

Helix receives transparent governance award

The Special District Leadership Foundation has awarded Helix a District Transparency Certificate of Excellence in recognition of our efforts to provide transparent and accessible government.

To receive the award, a special district must provide public access, financial transparency and public outreach to the communities it serves.

“This award is a testament to our day to day commitment to open government,” said General Manager Carlos Lugo. “The entire district staff contributes, and they empower our customers with information.”

The Special District Leadership Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation, and other recognition programs. Special districts are local public agencies established by local voters to deliver core services, such as water, sanitation, fire protection, parks and recreation and more.

What follows are the steps we take, and the information we provide, to assure that Helix is providing open government.

Public Access

We provide our customers and the public with access to meetings, the decision-making process, elected board members and key staff.


Board of Directors

  • Board meetings are open to the public
  • Meetings schedule is on district website
  • Meeting agenda packages are posted on website
  • Board members must speak openly in meetings
  • Archive of meeting minutes on website
  • Board members receive ethics training
  • Conflict of interest policy on website
  • Board elections procedure on website
  • Board member names, terms and contact information on website


Other Information on Website

  • Mission statement
  • Authorizing statute
  • Description of services
  • Public Records Act Policy
  • Public records request form
  • General manager and key staff names and contact information


Financial Transparency

We post on our website the information needed to track the district’s finances month to month and year to year.



Financial Documents on Website

  • Current and past budgets
  • Annual financial audits
  • Financial reports in board agenda packages
  • Financial transactions filing with State Controller
  • Compensation filing with State Controller
  • Financial reserves policy
  • Disclosure of reimbursements to board members and employees


Public Outreach

We keep our customers, the public and our elected officials up to date on district activities.


Communications Channels

  • Website
  • Blog posts and email subscriptions
  • Social media — Nextdoor, Facebook and Twitter
  • Newsletter
  • Water bill envelope and message area
  • Classes for customers
  • Events for customers




Lake Jennings closed to recreation October 30-November 16

Lake Jennings closed to recreation October 30-November 16

Lake Jennings – the lake, not the campground — will be closed to all activities, including fishing and boating, from October 30 to November 16 so Helix can study the lake’s hydraulics.

Helix is working with Scripps Institution of Oceanography to conduct the testing. The goal is to gather data to support development of a computer model that can be used to predict the lake’s hydraulic mixing actions. The data and computer model will assist Helix in future studies.

Scripps will use a dye approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the testing process, and it may be possible during testing to see a slight color in the lake water that can range from pink to red. The dye is not harmful and will dissipate over the course of the testing period.

Activities not allowed during testing include use of the lake for Helix’s drinking water supply, as taking water from the lake for treatment could influence its hydraulics.

How do we stop wildfires?

How do we stop wildfires?

It’s too soon to know what caused multiple conflagrations spreading across Northern California’s wine country, but elsewhere in the state dead and dying trees have been the subject of much concern. The five-year drought in California killed more than 102 million trees on national forest lands. That is a gigantic problem in itself that will lead to huge wildfire risks in the future. new report by the Public Policy Institute of California recommends changes in state law and new contracting practices, and changes in public attitudes.

Read Water Deeply’s interview of the Report’s Author

Read the Report

Photo: California State Association of Counties

Oct 12-Dec 8: Administration Office Parking Lot Closed

Oct 12-Dec 8: Administration Office Parking Lot Closed

We are replacing the protective coating on the parking lot at Helix’s Administration Office in La Mesa. Work began on October 12, and due to unforeseen issues with the underlying deck surface, will continue through December 8. During construction, the lot is closed to all vehicular and foot traffic.  We apologize for the inconvenience, but ask that customers and and visitors please use the University Avenue entrance to our lobby, and the street parking available on Lee Avenue and University Avenue.

Street parking is available on University Avenue, Lee Avenue and Quince Street

Please use the University Avenue entrance to the Administration Office lobby

If you need help with the stairs, call 619-466-0585 and a Helix employee will assist you

The payment drop box will be available at the entrance to our parking lot on Quince Street

If you have questions about the construction, please call 619-905-9613

Water conservation and fire safety go hand in hand

Water conservation and fire safety go hand in hand

National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-15

In recognition of this week and California’s current wildfires, we wanted to share some information that you can do today protect yourself and your property against wildfires.

The University of California Cooperative Extension for Sustainable and Fire-Safe Landscapes has published information on fall-appropriate measures for wildfire protection. These resources contain some surprising recommendations that also create water savings including; installing low water use plants, incorporating hardscapes and dry stream beds to act as natural fire breaks and maintaining plant health through efficient irrigation practices and pruning.

Learn, take action and be prepared today! 


Saturday, October 7th is a Big Day!

Saturday, October 7th is a Big Day!

We have five events going on Saturday, October 7th and you’re invited to all of them!

Join Helix Helps @ La Mesa Park Appreciation Day
The City of La Mesa Needs You!

Helix has a booth at Heartland Fire & Rescue’s Fire Prevention Week Open House
Bring the Kids

Sit in on the Hillside Gardening class at The Water Conservation Garden
Learn From a Pro

Take a free, docent-led tour of The Water Conservation Garden
Get Inspired to Garden

After the other events, head to Lake Jennings for Full Moon Fishing or a Saturday night around the campfire
Go Fishing and Camping!