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!

Community Support for the EarthLab

By | Community Support, Uncategorized

We cannot take anything for granted, whether it be our environment, our communities, or even our children’s schools. As the Hilltop/Euclid property comes under threat of being re-purposed to high-density apartment buildings, passionate residents of the Chollas Creek Watershed are the greatest supporters of keeping the land in its best use for future generations.


Elida Chavez says it best…


” I am a resident of 40 years from this community.  I support Groundwork San Diego Chollas Creek in the development and implementation of the plan in motion.  The development of this plan will bring life to our community and prepare our children and youth for a better lifestyle.  Education is the key and Groundwork San Diego Chollas Creek provides the setting for our children to engage in projects with University of California at San Diego and our [local] schools.  The program brings the up-to-date technology, design and creativity of an ecological system that will benefit the entire community.  Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek will be a model for many other cities that want to bring positive change and keeping the dream alive of better living.  The involvement in growing healthy food and working with Mother Earth will bring healing to the Spirit of our community.


My greatest concern is keeping Chollas Creek an open free running creek.  As we all know, we must honor and respect the gifts of this land that continues and will always represent our relatives….the Kumeyaay Nation.  Chollas Creek connects our Native Nations in San Diego with community and our ocean.  I ask our entire community to join Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek in supporting our efforts to keep all developers from filling or closing Chollas Creek. ”


– Elida Chavez, neighborhood resident

August 12, 2015


Do you feel passionately about preserving the Hilltop property for community space and outdoor learning in our schools? Send us an email at or post to our facebook page

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Community Clean-Up

By | Uncategorized

With the help of sponsorship from City Councilor Marti Emerald and dumpsters donated by EDCO, Groundwork holds a Trash Take- Away event in Southcrest. Many trash items such as mattresses and couches are too large for residents to leave curbside. The result is these items contribute to poor water quality in our watershed. This program provides a unique opportunity to speak to members of the community and work together to keep these areas clean and promote community empowerment.

 REDUCE: Decrease, cut, or diminish the utilization of raw or natural resources.

REUSE: Reclaim or reprocess items that have been used so as not to become totally spent beyond use again.

RECYCLE: Reclaim or reprocess items that have expired from their serviceable purpose, so they may once again be made into something useful.

The next Neighbors Helping Neighbors clean up dates are:

March 28 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Southcrest (38th and Z)

April 25 from 9:00am to 12:00 pm
Southcrest (Beta and Birch)

May 30 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Southcrest (40th and Epsilon)


dumpster James


Our native plant propagation center is growing!

By | Farm, Uncategorized

We’ve been busy this past month building our propagation house and preparing our gallon growing area.  There are currently over a dozen species of California native plant seedlings growing in our propagation house.  They are loving the warm, sunny weather!   UCSD volunteers will finish the gallon run in March, just in time move our gallon containers out.  DSC00009