Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Friends of Comanche Creek Greenway

 This is the Goddess of the Chico Parks, Susan Mason. Her volunteer group is Friends of Bidwell Park and she has worked for years to remove invasive plants and coordinate with the city of Chico, which is badly underfunded. The City of Chico bought the Comanche Creek Greenway, surrounded on either side by industrial businesses in 2006 and then proceeded to neglect the land, letting ailanthus, blackberry, thistle, johnson grass and iris intertwine with the equally neglected homeless population. The little group of Barber Neighborhood volunteers led on by Susan's expertise and connections has written grants, done work days and stayed on task for a passive park and bike way which will come to fruition soon.
 I got spun out of the Barber Neighborhood organizing years ago but my love for Comanche Creek has lived through more than 30 years and despite recent surgery I was happy to pick up a light but bulging bag of plastic and styrofoam this morning. My dear Michael dug out Johnson grass roots, like fat white jointed fingers reaching far into the earth.
 Chico State students Tina and Kelsi shoveled and hauled and smiled for the camera. Lovely to have the enthusiasm of youth join with the doggedness of older ages.
 One of our neighbors, Liz Stewart, has been doing this work for years. She is credited with clearing the blackberries from around the base of this ancient cottonwood. Today she and a small team spent the morning cutting back and then digging roots of about a quarter acre of blackberries... quite a task!
Comanche Creek is worth the effort. There are beautiful mature oaks and sycamores along the water-course and in such a dry climate the riparian corridor supports and provides safe passage to all the other species of the valley. A great blue heron soared over this morning while I was wandering around appreciating everyone. Despite everything, the garbage that floats down the creek, the homeless who don't maintain their camps, the city which has no budget or political will to protect the is the local people themselves who are slowly transforming neglect out of the natural beauty of a major ecological corridor.


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