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“Reidy” For A New Year; A Creek Makeover

By   /  January 31, 2020  /  No Comments

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Escondido, CA — Earlier this fall, a long-overdue restoration project began at Reidy Creek! Although the Conservancy is The Escondido Creek Conservancy, its conservation focus is the entire Escondido Creek watershed, which contains additional tributaries (drainages), including Reidy Creek. Escondido residents may know Reidy Creek as the creek that runs behind the Escondido Police Department headquarters, and by the community garden. Enhancing and improving Reidy Creek provides an opportunity to showcase what other creeks in the watershed could become: ribbon parks bisecting the city with beautiful native trees and plants, clean water, and–perhaps in the future–safe walking and biking trails for local residents.

“During the restoration process, we’ve had many residents and neighbors near Reidy Creek—some having lived here over 20 years—expressing gratitude towards the project,” said Juan Troncoso, Conservation Associate for The Escondido Creek Conservancy, “They are grateful for the natural beauty and recreational value we are returning to their backyard.” 

The portion of Reidy Creek behind the Escondido Police Department has become an area of public safety concern over the last decade, due to unauthorized encampments and resultant trash and water pollution. In recent years, the City of Escondido has been working to address these issues. Last year the City and CalFire began a program to reduce non-native plants in Reidy Creek and remove trash and hazardous waste, which has greatly improved the area. “We really appreciate all the work The Escondido Creek Conservancy has organized so far. The removal of overgrowth and non-native plant species has really helped open up this waterway and has had a positive effect on our community,” says Justin Frasor, Community Manager of Reidy Creek Apartments.

In September, the Conservancy began a multi-year program to remove hundreds of non-native trees and plants that are choking the creek and taking up space that might otherwise be used by native plants and wildlife. Reidy Creek is an especially important tributary because it remains relatively natural, unlike Escondido Creek—much of which has been lined with concrete within the urban portion of the city. Thanks to funding from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Watershed Restoration Grant Program, students from the Urban Corps of San Diego county controlled invasive, non-native plants in the understory at Reidy Creek. This involved distinguishing between native and invasive plants, and using multiple methods for control. Corps members will return throughout the spring and in the next two years to continue removing invasive understory plants and emerging palm trees, thereby shifting the plant community back toward a native one.

The Conservancy will also expand its Conservation Fellowship program next summer so high school students living near the creek can participate in the restoration and witness the transformation. Nearby residents will also be able to participate in summer nature walks and bird watching near the creek so that they too can witness the transformation!

If you’re interested in participating in the restoration or learning about the Conservation Fellowship, please email Nathan Serrato, nathan@escondidocreek.org

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