20223 Elfin Forest Road
Elfin Forest, CA, 92029
THE NAME "ELFIN FOREST": is one of the terms used by naturalists to describe the vegetation,
which formerly covered much of Southern California.
It is variously known as coastal
scrub, bush-forest, elfin-wood, heath-scrub, and chaparral.
It was designed by nature as the best possible means for conservation of the land and supports many endangered plants and animals, including the gnatcatcher which is a small bird you might hear "meow" and an endangered specie.
This coastal scrub is now endangered and the State is studying ways to protect it. The Elfin Forest valley contains one of the largest areas of virgin coastal scrub in Southern California.A full analysis of the community's biological diversity can be found at : http://consbio.org/escondido-creek-crossroads-of-a-community-lifeline-for-a-lagoon
In the 1940’s a fire burned a portion of Questhaven Retreat. The retreat's founders, Flower and Lawrence Newhouse, invited the director of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens to visit Questhaven to help plan for its replanting.
He described the characteristic growth of the area as "elfin forest", a name describing a number of dwarf trees and shrubs mingled together to form a particular variety of chaparral : toyon berry, white and blue wild lilac, manzanita, sumac, lemonade berry, elderberry, mountain mahogany, scrub oak and many more.
This combination was found in only three locations in southern California, he said, and the specimens at Questhaven were among the finest he'd ever seen. The name delighted Flower.
On the spot, she and Lawrence decided the hills and valley nestling Questhaven would be called Elfin Forest Canyon and they posted signs along the road using that name.
The naming of the area has also been attributed to the children of Dr. Harvey Urban, a prominent San Diego dentist who, along with Jack Donnelley and George Dew, purchased 20 acres for a vacation spot for their families and friends. While Dr. Urban's friends called the place "Tooth Acres", his five children named the spot Elfin Forest from the book Elfin Forest they had just finished reading.
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