Where: National Avenue, Southcrest, San Diego
When: May 2011
As I was shooting photos of the creekbed, a woman walked over from the apartment buildings to the right and asked, "What're you taking pictures of, all the trash?" No, I said, I just thought this was an interesting view. What I didn't say was that I didn't see much trash.
As it turns out, Chollas Creek, which runs through some of San Diego's poorest neighborhoods, has been a dumping ground for decades. Efforts are being made to clean up the creek, including a 20-year, $42 million plan the city adopted eight years ago. Still, there's a lot of junk in the creekbed, and when it rains, all that junk makes its way toward San Diego Bay.
I didn't know any of this that day, wasn't even sure if this was a streambed or an old road. People do sometimes drive on it, the woman told me. The channeling was done in the 1950s as a flood-control measure, but the head of a group dedicated to rehabilitating the creek says "it destroyed the ecosystem."
It's good to know some folks are trying to undestroy it.
Images and text ©2005-2012 Mark A. Dodge Medlin