It takes a village…

March 30, 2010 § 2 Comments

Stone Canyon Creek at UCLA

And the persistence of one or two passionate people, to bring the funding & permitting together to restore our local creeks.  To find the dozens if not hundreds of volunteers and build the good will to expand the restoration, planting over a thousand plants.  In this case, the spotlight shines on Mark Abramson and Heather Burdick, of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and Santa Monica Baykeeper, respectively, who with the University’s Institute of the Environment, have done just that at Stone Canyon Creek as it flows through the UCLA campus (behind the Business school for the curious).

Volunteers restoring habitat along Stone Canyon Creek at a recent planting event.

Mark started working on this perennial creek while he was at Heal the Bay, approached by Rafe Sagarin, then a professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment*.  Rafe was looking to restore the creek as a way of getting students to connect with ecological issues in their midst – check out Birds of Westwood to see how wonderfully one student gravitated to the issue. Mark was a natural partner for the project, and has been spearheading efforts to remove invasives, monitor water quality**, and restore habitat at the creek since.  He and Heather have also built a relationship with the University Elementary School, which sits (literally) over the creek, and are now involving the kids in creekfreakism.

Which just goes to show that kids and natural creeks can coexist.  And if we have our druthers, they will in neighborhoods everywhere.

*Rafe and I dug up some cool historical info on the creek, I promise a post on that in the something-like near future. In the meantime, if you’ve got some history, please share in the comments and I’ll try to weave it in (with credit) when I put together a historical post.

**And on the water quality front, the bad news is: there’s almost no life in the water.  Someone’s dumping something like chlorine – Mark and Heather are still investigating.


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§ 2 Responses to It takes a village…

  • Thanks Jessica this is inspiring. It is great to see examples of community/university restoration.

    Our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan is focused on engaging the Griffith University School of Environment as well as the broader community including schools.

    Mimosa Creek is part of the Bulimba Creek catchment so our work on the mountain feeds into the broader catchment outcomes.

    I might have to pinch your headline “It takes a village … ” for a future post as we progress our vision “Mt Gravatt is the heart of a special community.”

    Michael Fox
    President Mt Gravatt Environment Group

    • Jessica Hall says:

      Welcome to L.A. Creek Freak! Thanks for checking out our blog – and including links to your organization and activities in Australia! I’ve heard from a couple of your countrymen about watershed issues and hope that we can exchange ideas on practices and policies that are working in our varied locales. Cheers, Jessica

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