A quiet revolution comes to Calabasas

July 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

I’ve been told it couldn’t be done.  To take a concreted stream and return it to a (semi) natural condition couldn’t be done in Southern California.

You just don’t understand.  It’s the “uniqueness” of our Southern California flashy arid streams.  Our urbanization.  Our rainfall patterns.  We’re different, not like all those hippy crunchy places that love their salmon and enact stream protection ordinances and clean up their water in concert with endangered species recovery.  We can’t do that here. Oh, and why would we want to?

Tell that to Calabasas.  Last January the City of Calabasas unveiled their restoration of Las Virgenes Creek.  They indeed took a concrete channel, removed the concrete, and re-established a natural channel, right next to a shopping center.  Not without some sacrifice, or some debate over the design.  The sacrifice:  Calabasas had to take on “ownership” (read:  liability) of the channel.  Now that takes some serious cojones, or shall we just call it political will?  And as to the debate – well, some of us wanted a rock-free design, and loss of a few parking spaces could have granted that.  The design has the rocks, buried beneath the toes of the slopes, and some small check dams.  It’s a compromise that today seems reasonable to me.  More important is the test of time, watching the creek as it evolves and responds to big rains.  

Congratulations, Calabasas.  I hope you’ve started a quiet revolution.

Check it out:

Or go see it yourself:

101 Fwy to Las Virgenes Road, right at Agoura.  Look for the Starbucks and you’ve found it.  I’ll insert a map as soon as I learn how…





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