FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 1, 2019
San Diego, Calif. – In a unanimous 9-0 vote at City Hall, San Diego City Council approved the Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan, but declined to include a park designation for neighboring Rose Creek, even though the Rose Creek Bicycle Path is an integral component of the plan to move pedestrians and bicyclists in and out of the new transit center.
Councilmember Chris Ward (D-3), however, was able to add language to “support the conservation of Rose Creek’s ecological health” through capital projects funded via the Balboa Ave. plan.
Andrew Meyer, conservation director with San Diego Audubon and ReWild Mission Bay program manager, applauded Ward’s amendment, but said, overall, it was another missed opportunity to begin a process of rehabilitation in and around Mission Bay.
“The city should embrace Rose Creek as a park that improves the water flowing into Mission Bay, and improves the quality of life for the area’s current, and future, residents,” said Meyer. “Instead, it’s been left as an unfunded storm water conveyance. We want Rose Creek to be a destination that compliments the Balboa Ave. station as a place where San Diegans can walk, relax, and reconnect with one of the great creeks that feed our bay. We’re not done pushing for a Rose Creek Park.”
Council President Georgette Gόmez (D-9), Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry (D-1), Councilmember Monica Montgomery (D-4), and Councilmember Ward repeatedly asked city staff why Rose Creek was excluded from the overall plan. Demonstrating her frustration, Council President Gómez noted her struggle in trying to move the city forward on park designation for Chollas Creek in her district.
Friends of Rose Creek executive director Karin Zirk said she and one of her volunteers were the only individuals who actively manage Rose Creek and pick up litter on a regular basis. She said she’s tired of doing the city’s job, and that there is popular support for a city park.
“Rose Creek dominated today’s hearing, and that’s a testimony to the 600 San Diegans who signed a petition in support of a park, the multitudes who e-mailed or called councilmembers, and those who ventured to City Hall to testify,” said Zirk. “I look forward to the day when we have a mayor and city staff that works for us instead of development interests, and who will partner with us to create quality projects that enhance our communities.”
ReWild Mission Bay campaign coordinator Tommy Hough said the area needs accessible parkland to preserve and enhance a neglected site already beset by decades of urban stress. “For being such ‘low-hanging fruit,’ we’re disappointed some at the city simply can’t envision a park that makes Rose Creek into the asset it should be. In a few years there will be thousands of additional residents in this neighborhood, looking out their windows wondering why Rose Creek is sealed off, in some cases with barbed wire, and left blighted instead of embraced.”
The ReWild Coalition supporting Rose Creek parkland includes Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3), Climate Action Campaign, Environmental Center of San Diego, Friends of Famosa Slough, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, Friends of Rose Creek, Rose Creek Watershed Alliance, San Diego Audubon Society, Sierra Club San Diego, Stay Cool for Grandkids, San Diego County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, Unite Here! Local 30, and WildCoast.
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ReWild Mission Bay is a project of the San Diego Audubon Society and our coalition partners to enhance and restore wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay, thereby creating new opportunities for wildlife to thrive, and for San Diegans to enjoy nature in our collective backyard.