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Meet Kira Haley of Lake Jennings in Lakeside

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kira Haley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Before coming to Lake Jennings, I had never thought about working in the public sector. Most of my previous professional experience had been managing sporting facilities in the private country club business. I loved working in that environment but frankly, I was pretty bored. As a San Diego native, I had a deep seeded love for all things recreation-related on a personal level. While in college at San Diego State studying communication I realized that I could turn that love into a career.

I received my degree while working full time as the Athletic Director at The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe. I played a lot of golf and taught swimming on the side but I still didn’t feel like I was utilizing all of my skills to create positive change. While working at The Crosby, I received my certification as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional from the National Recreation and Park Association. I’ve heard many times that good things happen when you aren’t necessarily looking for them. Finding my new role at Lake Jennings was one of those good things. When Helix Water District, who owns and operates Lake Jennings, was looking for a new Lake Recreation Manager for Lake Jennings, they posted the job opening with a request for someone with my certification as a CPRP. When the job position landed in my email, I immediately recognized that Helix Water District was the district that served water to my neighborhood throughout my whole childhood growing up in La Mesa.

I had never been to Lake Jennings, despite growing up in a family who enjoyed all things camping and outdoor related, so I took a drive out to the lake and was pretty astounded that such a beautiful place was just over the hill right off the freeway just twenty minutes from my house.

A few months later, I was starting my new role at the lake. It seemed like a huge change but in reality, I was doing the same thing, managing people, and facilities, which is what I have always done and enjoyed. I took delight in every minute of my transition and came quickly to realize how committed and caring the staff at Lake Jennings is. It has been almost three years since I joined the Lake Jennings team, the campground and lake are thriving and we are proud to offer some of the best fishing and camping in San Diego County. Needless to say, I am one happy camper.

Has it been a smooth road?
The lake and campground have had their challenges over the years and when I came on board, that is what I was looking for, some challenge in my day-to-day. There had been some talk about closing the campground because it was not covering operating costs for some time. I came to realize that the campground was relatively unknown to many San Diegans. Getting the word out to the community that this gorgeous lake and campground were here, just twenty minutes from downtown was what Lake Jennings needed. A social media and marketing revamp made all the difference. The campground occupancy and fishing permit sales are up and the campground and lake are in a much better position to continue to serve the community.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lake Jennings – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Lake Jennings is known for being one of the most scenic parks in all of San Diego County. It is a 344-acre recreation destination located in Lakeside, California offering fishing, camping, hiking, and picnicking activities. The lake is a drinking water reservoir owned and operated by Helix Water District. The scenic views of the lake and the wooded surroundings make it feel as if you are in the middle of the wilderness, right outside of town.

Lake Jennings hosts a 97-space campground that is open seven days a week year-round. It’s located on the north side of Lake Jennings, with a variety of spaces available for RVs, Trailers, Campers, and Tents. There are even rental Tipis that you can camp in! Come on out, take a paddle boat, kayak, rowboat or motorboat for the day, and enjoy the beautiful weather! Our cozy coves make great picnic spots, so don’t forget your picnic basket.

Lake Jennings is also a great escape for a novice or avid fishermen, and is open for shore fishing daily, from the shoreline below the campground. Boat rentals, private boat launching, and fishing from our floating fishing dock are available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

At Lake Jennings, we take price in enhancing the lives of San Diego County residents and visitors of all ages by providing them with a recreation destination that allows them to learn, develop, play and build a sense of community through nature. Our knowledgeable and dedicated staff aim to exceed expectations of service and provide a welcoming environment for all.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
My favorite thing about San Diego is the availability of recreation options that are easily accessible. In one day you can bike along the boardwalk, take a hike in the mountains and even fly on the trapeze. There is no other place I would rather live.
There isn’t much to complain about living in San Diego but I do wish it was a bit more walkable. I live in a very walkable neighborhood but most neighborhoods around San Diego lack the same walkability.


  • Tent Camping $28-$30/per night
  • Partial Hookup Camping $33-$38/per night
  • Full Hookup Camping $40-$42/per night
  • Tipi Camping $65-$75/per night
  • Fishing Permit $4-$8/per person
  • Boat Rentals $10-$60
  • Day Use (Non-Fishing) $2/per person

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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