Assessment Recommendation 2.2.7 suggests that outreach to watershed residents is critical. Outreach within the watershed takes place in several ways.
The quarterly newsletter “News from the Rose Creek Watershed Coordinator” is distributed to over 500 stakeholders and provides regular updates on projects throughout the watershed and ways to get involved. Click here to view previous issues and to sign up. The Rose Creek Watershed Facebook page is also regularly updated with watershed news and information.
Rose Creek Watershed Alliance members regularly conduct outreach to the community through presentations and events.
Friends of Rose Canyon has received funding for several years from the San Diego Gas & Electric’s Environmental Champions Grant to fund their Sense of Wonder Program. Thanks to the generosity of San Diego Gas & Electric, Friends of Rose Canyon naturalists are able to bring over 1,000 nearby students into Rose Canyon every year for guided nature walks. Many of these students are from underserved communities and many have never had the opportunity to explore natural spaces within in their neighborhoods.
Friends of Rose Creek holds educational talks and walks in the canyon throughout the year. Additionally, Friends of Rose Creek holds regular community cleanup events along Lower Rose Creek to introduce nearby residents to the beauty of the creek that flows through their backyards.
2013 Rose Creek Fest
San Diego EarthWorks produced the first-ever Rose Creek Fest on February 9 at Campland on the Bay . The event was produced to raise awareness about Rose Creek and its watershed. Activities and performances were designed to inspire participants to care for the creek and to teach them how they can help with its protection.
Several performances took place on the stage throughout the day to raise awareness. Dr. Wilderness performed his “Splashtastic!” environmental magic show and was accompanied by Aristotle, the animatronic talking toucan that resembles a creature from the Enchanted Tiki Room. Educators from The Raptor Institute gave the audience a unique perspective on local birds that can be found in the watershed with a presentation about owl adaptations and a live flight demonstration with a native red-tailed hawk.
Event-goers reported that they learned a lot about the watershed by visiting the exhibits from watershed partners such as Birch Aquarium at Scripps , Think Blue San Diego and Mission Bay High School biology students. Some participants took part in organized events during Rose Creek Fest, including volunteering to pick up trash and remove invasive mangroves in Kendall Frost Marsh as part of the annual Love Your Wetlands Day. Others took part in “CreekWalk”, a guided tour of Rose Creek arranged by Friends of Rose Creek . Participants learned about Rose Creek history, fish, birds and native plants through one-hour walks along the creek bank.
A major highlight of the day was the Rose Creek Duck Derby presented by Think Blue San Diego, which took place at 2:30 along the shores of Mission Bay. City Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner and Councilmember Lorie Zapf were welcomed on the beach, where they read a proclamation declaring February 9, 2013 as “Rose Creek Fest Day”. They both gave the official signal to begin the derby by blowing duck whistles. The first 10 ducks to make it across the finish line won prizes such as vacation packages from Campland on the Bay.
Over 500 people attended the event. Overall, the event accomplished its mission to inform watershed residents about the creek and to inspire them to care for it. We were thrilled to have so many elected officials take part and appreciated the opportunity to showcase all of the important work going on in the watershed by community partners. Event sponsors included Campland on the Bay, Think Blue San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric , Land Conservation Brokerage , Recon Environmental , and CBEC Eco-Engineering . Click here to view photos from the event.
2013 Rose Creek Community Mural Unveiling
The Rose Creek Community Mural in Pacific Beach, painted by volunteers at the 2013 Rose Creek Fest, was officially unveiled on December 3, 2013 at a ceremony at the Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge, which spans the creek near its delta on Mission Bay. The mural, sized 12-by-40 feet, is an illustration depicting the natural environs of Rose Creek. Installed behind the handball courts at Mission Bay High School, the public artwork is best viewed from the bike and pedestrian bridge that links a paved path that encircles Mission Bay.
“At the Rose Creek Fest in February, I saw how community members of all ages had fun and took pride in painting this beautiful public art and I even contributed to the artwork myself,” said San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, who served as the emcee at the unveiling. “This mural celebrates an often over-looked natural resource which provides an abundance of recreational and environmental opportunities for San Diegans. I hope it will help raise awareness for the important role Rose Creek plays in our community.”
The mural was created on 15 wooden panels, each measuring 4-by-8 feet, for a total length of 40 feet and a height of 12 feet. Local artist Thom Guerra designed the mural in a “paint by number” process so that Rose Creek Fest participants could simply paint inside the lines to create the cohesive image.
The artwork showcases the variety of native plants and wildlife that live in Rose Creek. The design includes an osprey, the large bird-of-prey often found fishing in Rose Creek, and the huge leafy native sycamore trees that are abundant in the upper reaches of the watershed in Marian Bear Memorial Park along SR-52.
San Diego EarthWorks sponsored the art materials and talent required for the mural. Campland on the Bay donated the cost of construction materials and the labor to create easels for painting, as well as final design and installation. Friends of Rose Creek provided logistical support.
These community groups say they hope that the mural will inspire the local community to care for the creek’s natural beauty and help prevent pollution and litter.
“I literally grew up playing and discovering nature along Rose Creek,” Campland President Michael Gelfand reminisced. “Many Campland on the Bay campers prefer the tranquil creekside campsites. We are proud to support these dedicated community groups because we have never taken the creek’s vibrancy for granted. We are daily witnesses to how connected it is to Mission Bay and it’s important that the creek remains viable not only for all the habitat it supports but for safeguarding Mission Bay’s water quality as well.”
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