Good Morning Dear River Friends,
Spring is decorating the river flora with a wide variety of green hues. Nature has this magic touch of making sure that the perfect green appears to emphasize the plant’s blossom color. In the last 10 days my river visits have been sparse, because various San Lorenzo River topics were Zoom flowing through my life. Although I miss my physical river big time I take heart that I was still engaged with the river. You probably you have heard about the proposed Ordinance Amendment for regulating temporary Outdoor Living. It is on to-day’s City Council agenda. As you know I strongly care for the houseless Downtown Street Team(DST) members and the river ecosystems. And since I interact with both I have a different perspective than the people, who are barely familiar with either houseless individuals or the river vegetation.
The one thing I learned is that the houseless population is as diverse as any other human group. Unfortunately the bad apples catch our attention and become the yard stick for the rest. It’s a fact that I have confrontations with houseless campers, who have destroyed newly housed native plants and/or cut tree branches. The other fact is that I also have had those interactions with neighbors over illegally removing mature trees during nesting season. I have worked with DST members, who knew more about the river habitats than some of my dear friends. I do know that a safe setting takes a lot of anxiety out of a houseless person’s life and that the bad apples do irreparable environment damage. So my wish is that the City and County can find a solution for a safe location that prevents environment damages.
And then there was the levee lights topic with its potential night light pollution impact. It was very informative to share a meeting with the Santa Cruz Group of International Dark-sky Association(IDA). My main concern was to get the best wildlife friendly lighting, because artificial night light impacts the hunting of the nocturnal owls and bats, including the raptors, who are twilight hunters. There is this additional topic of interest: The CA Coastal Commission received an Appeal for the proposed 81 feet high Front Street/Riverfront project. You can e-mail your comments with the subject line A-3-STC-21-0013 Riverfront Mixed-Use Building to the CA Coastal Commission by March 5th 2021 at CentralCoast@coastal.ca.gov
It was especially wonderful to work with DST crew and my friend at the Mike Fox Park. It was a welcome highlight during my river visit drought. The City’s COVID guidelines require that our volunteer groups remain small. That group size reduction didn’t hold us back from having a good time planting 16 native plants in less than 2 hours. If you would watch us work together then you would notice the easy flow of our camaraderie. Who knows maybe one day you join us~
Previously I have mentioned that the river water level is so low. Nothing has changed. Now you can watch the waterfowl walk across the river to reach the swimming depths. There are a few stretches that allow the Mallards to swim and dive for their food goodies. I see the OSPREY circling over the river and refraining from diving, knowing full well that the shallow water would break her neck. The KINGFISHER’s hunting perches are now reduced to a small set of willows that hang over a deeper water section. Mary, a DST member, was telling me that she kept her eyes open for the KILLDEERS, who favor wide shoreline areas. Actually I have been expecting to see more shoreline birds along the low water line. Maybe they will arrive when I return to my usual river walking…In the meantime my eyes are feasting on the great number of picturesque SNOWY EGRETS, who are adorning the banks. Sending you happy spring chirps~ jane
7 thoughts on “San Lorenzo River has me zooming…”
Haters do what they can to vilify all of the houseless. They are not concerned with helping with the problem. They thrive on making the problem worse. I can understand why the people of Santa Cruz do not want to see all the houseless living in squalor around town, but even those who want them gone from their property to not despise them or want to cause them problems. They want them to be taken care of. Only the haters enjoy abusing them. This is not just a matter of the few who create a bad reputation for all houseless. This is also about the few haters pretending to represent everyone in town. The majority of people of Santa Cruz want the houseless to be taken care of properly.
Hi Tony, I agree w/your take & support any effort that addresses the houseless situation successfully. It’s important to realize that many houseless people work hard to leave their unfortunate circumstances behind & most of us don’t realize how difficult that turns out to be. All too often the government yanks out the hoped for help, creating a vacuum & void for the houseless population~ resulting in further confusion & insecurity.
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Have you seen my other blog at Felton League? I have not been able to write for it for a very long time, so have been recycling old articles.
No, I haven’t & plan to check it out.
Thanks for the tip~ jane
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You are welcome. I would like to write on that blog more. I have been deficient on time for quite a while; but also, there has not been as much to write about, which is a good thing. The situation with the homeless here has improved so much since 2013.
What do you think has improved the houseless situation in your area? Interestingly that’s a rare report~ other places have the opposite experience. Take care~ jane
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That is an interesting question that no one seems to have an answer for. The trend did not coincide with trends elsewhere. But of course, the unhoused Community here involves only a few people, so the ‘trends’ that we observe are much more variable than they are in more significant Communities. I mean, if two people happen to procure a domestic situation, regardless or actual trends everywhere else, that is 10% of the entire unhoused Community locally. Several years ago, several of the unhoused passed away within only a few years. It was all just coincidental that it happened that way. More recently, some relocated for employment, or for available domestic situations. The housed Community here is very generous with helping the unhoused improve their situations. Not only has the situation here improved, but the fake news about it has not been proliferated as rampantly as it had been. A few years ago, the unhoused were blamed by a few haters for ‘everything’ bad that happened here. Society simply does not subscribe to that anymore. We recognize the few haters for who they are. That is happening also in Santa Cruz, as Take Back Santa Cruz is almost unheard of nowadays.