The Environmental Committee works to protect the watershed and to educate the public on forestry issues, erosion control, hazardous waste, recycling, and other issues. We also monitor government policies and procedures.
PG&E is a high priority for the Environmental Committee due to its massive and destructive felling of trees to prevent wildfires when unsafe, unreliable, antiquated equipment is the fundamental cause of the fires. From working on legislation and a new Franchise Agreement for PG&E in the County to in-depth research and analysis to support work with agencies affecting PG&E and helping folks protect their trees from PG&E’s contractors, this keeps the group busy. We work with a State-wide Utility Wildfire Prevention Taskforce on these issues.
Your help is needed.
Visit https://endpowerlinefires.com for more information.
River & Road Clean Up
with Save Our Shores
Annual Environmental Town Hall
Felton Community Hall
First Saturday of the month
Second Saturday if the first Saturday is a holiday weekend.
10:30 am at VWC Office at Highlands Park Senior Center
On Zoom and in-person. Email for Zoom info.
Meetings are open to the public.
Call 338-6578 or email for information.
This month a year ago, I received the notice that all the City of Santa Cruz’s volunteer events had been placed under immediate COVID-19 lockdown. This meant calling off two Estuary Project events scheduled for the following two days: the CCC Watershed Stewards Program with 60 volunteers and the Retreat day for the Waldorf School with 30 staff members. Both groups were eager to plant the approximately 430 native plants, generously donated by the Elkhorn Nursery and spread two huge piles of wood chips, kindly donated by Lewis Tree Service. The groups had been looking forward to their events after spending a lot of time preparing for them, so the cancellations were understandably met with their great disappointment.
These unfortunate circumstances left me in charge of approximately 430 pots of native plants and two huge piles of wood chips.
This triggered the 2020 adjustments for the Estuary Project: I tackled planting and spreading chips by myself since outside activities were allowed and the monthly volunteer group was off the shovels. Realizing that I was no match for these Herculean tasks, I got permission to solicit 2–4 friends to help me with safety precautions in place. With a big sigh of relief, we bedded the last plant and spread the last chip at the end of May.
During the summer and early fall, the Estuary Project kept me connected with my friends while we watered, bedded plants in straw nests, weeded, pruned bushes, and pulled vegetation back from paths. In those months, I also attended to additional maintenance tasks for a few hours several times a week.
On December 19th, 2020, we returned to our regular schedule of every 3rd Saturday of the month with a reduced group of 4–6 volunteers, applying the City’s safety protocols. Also, we added extra volunteer days due to the small group size. Since 12/19/20, we completed six workdays in which the Downtown Street Team members participated four times.
It has been wonderful and heartwarming that my friends were willing to help out with the 2020 Estuary Project adjustments for months. Being able to welcome back Community and Downtown Street Team members had me dancing on the levee and made me realize how much I had missed them all.
Sending you flourishing Estuary Project greetings,
San Lorenzo River Estuary Re-Vegetation Project
SLV Native Habitat Restoration Program of the Valley Women’s Club