By Brian Taylor
A community effort amongst Friends of Rose Creek, the City of San Diego’s Department of Environmental Services, San Diego Urban Corps, Sempra Energy, and San Diego Earthworks brought eleven new trees to the west side of Rose Creek between Grand and Garnet avenues. A dedication was held February 7 to welcome the Coast Live Oak, Torrey Pines and Mexican Elderberry trees. Representatives from the various agencies, local business owners, residents, and community activists came to support the dedication.
Funding for the 24 inch box trees was provided by Sempra Energy, San Diego Earthworks and the Friends of Rose Creek. Coordinating with Lisa Wood and Darin Neufeld of the City’s Department of Environmental Services and San Diego Forester Drew Potocki, Karin Zirk of Friends of Rose Creek led the project. Zirk worked with Usha Little of the San Diego Urban Corps who provided a team of young adults that planted the trees, removed trashed and trimmed weeds.
The trees will take years to reach their full sizes and the Friends of Rose Creek will take responsibility for watering the young trees for the next three years with water donated by the Rose Creek Cottage.
Planting replacement trees for the aging Eucalyptus by the creek is a first step in Friends of Rose Creek’s strategy to revitalize the arboretum originally planted in the 1950’s by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“These trees will serve as reminders that citizens, non-profits and government agencies can work together to create a more positive future,” Zirk said. “I’m thrilled that we were all able to support a grass roots effort to beautify our community.”
The Friends of Rose Creek formed in 2004 to tackle the complex problems facing lower Rose Creek – the only section of the creek from Highway 52 to Mission Bay Park that is not managed by San Diego’s Park and Recreation Department and the most degraded.
Friends of Rose Creek envision the area as an open space park providing
recreational and learning opportunities in a clean, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing environment for residents, visitors, businesses, and native plants and animals, while serving as an accessible link for bicyclists and pedestrians to move between Rose Canyon Park, Marian Bear Park, Mission Bay Park, and surrounding communities. The organization meets the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8PM at the Pacific Beach Recreation Center on Diamond Street.