How I got involved at Chollas Creek - Chollas Canyon, (Webster)
One gateway to Chollas Creek lies from Sunshine Bernadine Baseball Field at Federal Blvd. to 54th Street in a little San Diego community called Webster. There is an access point along a stretch of designated open space owned by the city below Fairmount Ave. at 47th Street. As you come down the hill from the Fairmount Bridge on 47th, there’s a lush riparian woodland/wetland that is fed by the drainage coming off the two streets. When I first moved into a nearby mobile home park, there was trash and junk all along the creek – mainly from illegal dumping.
I decided to get involved by leading monthly cleanup events and removal of invasive non-native plants. There are many non-native plants growing along the creek, such as Castor Bean, Mustard and Ice Plant. These non-native plants crowd out the native riparian plants and destroy needed native habitat for wildlife.
The long term goal at Chollas 47th street is to restore the creek with completely native plants, remove trash, and create a natural environment for wildlife and human’s to enjoy. The major problems facing Chollas Creek are illegal dumping (I often check Chollas Creek for any illegal dumping and report it to Environmental Services) and illegal grading (in the past near Euclid Ave) which destroys native plants and allows invasive plants to take over.
While a section of the creek is protected by City Open Space, the one acre site at the intersection of 47th St. and Fairmount Ave. is owned by a developer. There was a threat of building seven homes at that acre site that would have been built on the hillside and would have threatened the wetlands. We fought back with both Sierra Club and manager of the Mobile Home Park and are trying to get the city to either purchase or do land swap at that parcel.