It takes a village…
March 30, 2010 § 2 Comments
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).
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.