Monthly Archives

September 2015

Groundwork Moves Chollas Creek Regional Park Ahead with Strong Support

By | Uncategorized


The momentum for designating a regional park in the Chollas Creek Watershed is building quickly. Supporters of the proposed plan believe that it would give the Chollas Creek area a long-overdue and well-deserved regional identity, while bringing diverse neighborhoods together through a watershed-wide system of trails and parks and visitor destinations.  “This watershed is an important regional asset, characterized by a rich history and unparalleled historic, biological, and cultural resources,” says  Vicki Estrada, President of Estrada Land Planning and member of the Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek Board of Directors. Groundwork is the manager of the Chollas Creek Watershed and is leading the Regional Park effort.

In order to create the masterplan for creating and connecting trails and parks; restoring habitats; and interpreting the area’s vast resources, an estimated $700,000 in city funding will be needed. Groundwork has just completed a Feasibility Study draft to be reviewed by City Planning Department staff and presented to the City of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Board in November to obtain support for the masterplan.

Supporters believe that the Chollas Creek Watershed, like the San Diego and San Dieguito River Parks, has significant recreational amenities will that will be of interest to visitors throughout San Diego and beyond. Chollas Creek runs north and south of SR 94 from Lemon Grove and La Mesa to San Diego Bay.

Our regional park effort has generated unparalleled support from elected officials, community planning groups, residents, and others,” says Leslie Reynolds, executive director of Groundwork. “It is an amazing idea whose time has come.”

Groundwork San Diego successfully generated $1.5 million, in partnership with the City and the County, for trail connection between Southcrest and the Bayshore Bikeway. Reynolds believes that the regional park master plan aligns perfectly with Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s focus on bolstering San Diego neighborhoods and on his Climate Actiion Plan for San Diego.

However, the community awareness of the creek is relatively low, said that he didn’t even know about the creek until he became a community leader. One of the major reasons is the poverty within the community made the creek a popular dumping ground and camping field for the homeless.

In a recent Union Tribune article, Ken Marlborough, chairman of the Encanto Community Planning Group had this to say: “I think it would make a big difference in community pride. It   could help us turn the creek back to what it originally was. It’s the right thing to do.”

Read the plan here: Chollas Creek Regional Park PP

Link to the original article: Supporters Build Up Regional Park Plan

Getting Rid of the Reed

By | Community Support, Public Service, Uncategorized

Amidst the whirring  of brushcutters, tinkling of glass bottles and the bellow of tuba music from passing cars, volunteers at Southcrest Community Center yesterday tackled a creek full of giant reed in celebration of the international Coastal Cleanup Day. It was a feat of teamwork, strength and good spirit and we finished the day with a cleaner creek!

Volunteers from NASSCO and Las Hermanitas joined the fun to remove giant reed (Arundo donax) for Coastal Cleanup Day. Thanks everyone!

NASSCO and Las Hermanas volunteers teamed to remove giant reed (Arundo donax) for Coastal Cleanup Day. Thanks everyone!

It’s amazing how one tiny speck can turn into a weedy wall of impenetrable giant reed (Arundo donax). With each passing storm, Giant Reed sends little bits of its roots into the passing flow to establish dense new stands downstream. The new growth soon becomes so thick that one can’t even walk through the mess, and it later clogs storm drains and litters creekbeds.

It’s also spectacular what one tiny spark can turn into a warm glow of inspiration. More than 50 volunteers came out early on a Saturday morning to haul away Arundo and make room for lush trees like willows, oaks and sycamores. The success of the event was largely due to the amazing organizational capabilities, dedication and generosity of the employees and their families at General Dynamics – NASSCO. Also lending a hand were Las Hermanitas and various community members from the neighborhood. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez joined the team to yank out castor bean (Ricinus communis) before it even had a chance to set seed! And just up the road at Emerald Hills Park, over 300 volunteers gathered together to remove trash from our precious Chollas Creek.

To all of the volunteers who helped for Coastal Cleanup Day, any day and every day to keep our creeks and oceans clean…thank you! We’re proud to be part of a community that cares.

Happy Coastal Cleanup Day!

Farmer Adam’s Farewell

By | Staff Blog

After almost a year with Groundwork San Diego, it’s time for me to say goodbye and move to my next big challenge. When I was originally tasked with building a farm on the east end of the property, I was overwhelmed by the opportunity and the support that the Groundwork staff afforded me. I will never forget the openness and kindness with which I was received, and how unstoppable the Groundwork team is in their mission to improve southeast San Diego.

As I move on to a new position as a browse horticulturalist at the San Diego Zoo, I appreciate that Groundwork took a chance on me, and became the springboard from which I could launch into my chosen career. I’ll miss working at the farm site (and will be checking on it regularly) and I have the utmost faith that the project we started will continue on, and ultimately serve the Chollas Creek area with education, nutrition and urban agriculture.

A final big “Thank You” to everyone I’ve met during my time here, and a piece of advice:

When you start getting discouraged and question whether or not you’re making a difference, take a moment to step back and look at all you’ve accomplished. Chances are you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come.

‘Bye Everyone!


– Farmer Adam Graves