Green Scene

SEVENTH ANNUAL WYLAND NATIONAL MAYOR’S CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION

 

East County News Service

Residents from 4,800 cities expected to participate in nationwide competition for Most Water-Wise Title in April; annual campaign to focus on clean water and watershed health

April 2, 2018 (Plano, Texas) – The annual month-long Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation has officially kicked off as part of an annual effort to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the nation to ensure a steady, reliable supply of clean water for the future. Presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, the campaign encourages U.S residents, led by mayors across the nation, to spread the word about the benefits of managing water resources.

The annual competition, which takes place each year from April 1-30, rewards residents who heed the call with a chance to win $5,000 toward their home utility bills, home irrigation makeovers, environmentally friendly clean products, and hundreds more eco-friendly prizes. Plus, a deserving charity will receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for its organization. Last year, mayors from 36 states encouraged residents to make over 420,000 pledges to promote drought resiliency, protect watersheds, and ultimately reduce stress on aging water infrastructure.

SDSU RESEARCHERS TEAM UP TO PROTECT HEALTH OF SAN DIEGO RIVER AND MITIGATE FLOODING

 

Funded by the San Diego River Conservancy and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, SDSU researchers are working on several projects.

Source: SDSU News Center

April 2, 2018 (San Diego) – The San Diego River is a capricious and temperamental thing. The first Spanish explorers who worked the land discovered this the hard way: Upon encountering the dribbling stream in 1769 that emptied into False Bay (today Mission Bay), they concluded it was nothing more than a tame trickle. A month later, they planted grains along its banks. Then the year’s first rains swelled the river and took out the crops. The next year, they planted farther back—only to experience a drought year that left their fields dry and withered.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP PLANT TREES IN COUNTY PARKS THIS EARTH DAY

 

East County News Service

April 2, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - The County of San Diego seeks volunteers to help plant thousands of trees in celebration of Earth Day during April, helping to replenish the tree canopy at parks across our region. Additional activities are also planned to restore the health and natural beauty of our parks.

In East County, the following events are planned:

SHADY SPACES COMING SOON THANKS TO TREES PLANTED ON ARBOR DAY AT KENNEDY PARK

 

Source: Monica Zech, City of El Cajon Public Information Officer

Photos by Michele Miller, City of El Cajon Public Works Dept.

March 26, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon celebrated the 29th annual Arbor Day at Kennedy Park on Saturday, March 24th at 8 a.m.  During the ceremony, the City received its 21st Tree City USA award presented by CAL FIRE.  There was a large turnout by members of the community, including the Lions Club from Granite Hills High School and Key Club from Grossmont High to plant trees at Kennedy Park.

LAKESIDE RIVER PARK FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SPRING AND SUMMER CLASSES, ACTIVITIES

 

 

 

East County News Service

March 25, 2018 (Lakeside) -- Spring is here! The flowers are blooming, the trees are beginning to sprout new leaves, and the birds have begun to sing. TheLakeside River Park is offering a series of educational classes and workshops, most of which are free. Here are some upcoming opportunities, and you can find even more at the River Park’s website.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS STRONG CLIMATE ACTION PLAN—SD350 VOLUNTEERS LEARN WHAT GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING CAN ACCOMPLISH

 

By Angela Deegan, SanDiego350

Photo:  SanDiego350 volunteers with Sophie Wolfram of CAC in celebratory mood March 13th after adoption of La Mesa CAP.  Photo courtesy of Cody Klatt

March 21, 2018 (La Mesa) -- On March 13th, the City Council of La Mesa unanimously adopted a strong Climate Action Plan (CAP), with a goal of 100% clean energy. This victory came after three years of persistent advocacy and organizing efforts by SanDiego350 La Mesa volunteers and allied organizations.

TRUMP’S WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COUNCIL PROMOTES TROPHY HUNTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump is drawing fire from wildlife protection groups for launching a “wildlife conservation council” with a mission to promote big-game trophy hunting, not preserve wildlife, Mother Jones magazine reports.

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION THIS SATURDAY AT KENNEDY PARK

 

Source:  City of El Cajon

March 20, 2018 (El Cajon) - Join the City of El Cajon to celebrate the 29th annual Arbor Day at Kennedy Park on Saturday, March 24th at 8 a.m.  During the ceremony, the City will receive its 21st Tree City USA award presented by CAL FIRE. If you want to get your hands dirty, join members of the community, including the Lions Club and Key Club to plant trees at Kennedy Park and Granite Hills High School.

WALKER PRESERVE TRAIL TO RECEIVE THOUSANDS OF NEW TREES AND OTHER PLANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: City of Santee

March 12, 2018 (Santee) -- The Walker Preserve Trail in Santee will soon have 4,000 new plants and trees – all native to our region.

Cottonwoods, alders, sage brush, buckwheat and San Diego sunflowers are among the drought-tolerant species that will soon line the walking trail, providing habitat for birds and other native wildlife, NBC 7 reports.  Native plants will also help improve water quality in the San Diego River and prevent erosion.

ENERGY PROJECTS AND SEXUAL PREDATOR RELEASE ON BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP’S MARCH 1 AGENDA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday, March 1st at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 33919 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard.  The board is expected to take action on proposed release of a sexually violent predator on McCain Valley Road.

The board will also receive updates and hold discussions on issues including Supervisors’ climate action plan, Tule Wind noise complaints, Protect Our Communities’ appeal challenging federal approval of Tule Wind phase II, and revival of two solar projects formerly proposed by Soitec. Rugged Solar has been taken over by Clean Focus and Tierra Del sol Solar has been taken over by Invenergy and renamed Boulevard Solar.

ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION NAMES LA MESA TREE CITY USA FOR 38TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

 

Source:  City of La Mesa

Photo via Tree City USA

February 22, 2018 (La Mesa) - The Arbor Day Foundation, in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management, has named La Mesa a 2017 Tree City USA for the 38th consecutive year.

La Mesa achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

LILAC RANCH PROJECT REVIVED WITH NEW EIR NOW OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

 

East County News Service

February 22, 2018 (Valley Center) – Like the mythical hydra monster that grows new heads and refuses to die, a revived Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the proposed and highly controversial Lilac Hills mixed use project in Valley Center has been submitted to the County and is now available for public review starting today. You can view it here:  https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/ceqa/LHR_Recirculation_2.html

TOP COUNTY PARKS TO GET MARRIED IN

 

Take a fresh approach to your wedding ceremony and say “I do” in a park. From romantic country meadows to bayfront ocean views or rustic ranchos, San Diego County Parks and Recreation has a wide array of outdoor spaces for wedding ceremonies and receptions in every part of the county.

With venue fees starting at $105, County parks are not only a beautiful option, but a budget-friendly one, too! To tour event spaces or make reservations, contact Parks at (858) 565-3600.

Here are just a few of the scenic spaces to exchange vows. Find the complete list of venues online.

CALIFORNIA TO BAN TRANSPORTING OIL FROM OFFSHORE RIGS IN STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard image of Deepwater Horizon 2010 explosion and fire in Gulf of Mexico

February 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – The Trump administration last month announced its intent to open virtually all U.S. offshore oil and gas reserves to drilling, including off San Diego’s coast.  But now California officials say the state will prohibit transporting crude oil pumped from offshore rigs through California.

CALIFORNIA’S RAINFALL AND SNOWPACK LEVELS ARE FAR BELOW AVERAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – California could be heading into a new drought.  Electronic measurements taken February 1st by the state’s Department of Water Resources reveal that rainfall and snowpack water levels remain below average, four months into the rainy season.

10 TERRIFIC TRAILS TO BLAZE IN 2018

 

Whether you are new to nature or have many miles on your hiking boots, here are 10 terrific trails at San Diego County Parks to try this year.

Admission to the parks is free unless otherwise noted. Additional information and park phone numbers can be found on individual park pages. Just click on their links.

Several of these parks offer camping as well. Book a camping reservation online, or call 877-565-3600 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It can get very hot on the park trails, and many don’t have shade. Always hike with appropriate footwear, dress in layers, wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring plenty of water.

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SIGNS $873 MILLION SAN ONOFRE SHUTDOWN SETTLEMENT WITH SCE, SDG&E AND OTHER PARTIES

 

Substantial relief to ratepayers: $873 million will not be paid to utilities over the next 5 years, resulting in $775 million reduction

East County News Service

January 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Citizens Oversight, also operating as the “Coalition to Decommission San Onofre,” today signed a settlement agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and other ratepayer advocates to bring to a close the dispute over the amount ratepayers are obligated to pay for the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).  The nuclear plant was subject to an emergency shutdown on January 31, 2012, and permanently shuttered on June 6, 2013.

LOCAL LEVELS OF OZONE PEAK IN MOUNTAIN AND DESERT AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – You might be surprised to learn where the highest levels of ozone pollution are in San Diego County. Hint: it’s not urban areas in local cities, but rather, communities in East County’s mountains and desert areas.

PASTUREBIRD FIRST SOUTHERN CALFORNIA FARM TO ACHIEVE CERTIFIED WILDLIFE FRIENDLY® STATUS

 

Warner Springs and Murrieta farm raises pastured chickens, rebuilds healthy soils and grasslands, and coexists with wildlife

Story and photos @Pasturebird and Primal Pastures.

January 27, 2018 (Warner Springs) -- Most people don’t set up a wholesale pastured poultry operation in an area known for its mountain lion activity as much as for its orchards.  Yet for farmer Paul Grieve of Pasturebird, flourishing habitat is an integral part of farming. “The important thing to us is that we build an ecosystem.  Our role is to steward the land and grow a great environment for Mother Nature.”

BEARS BURNED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES HEALED WITH FISH SKINS, RELEASED TO WILD

 

Unique treatment could translate to companion Animals, humans

By Amy Quinton, UC Davis

January 25, 2018 (Davis) - Two adult female black bears that were burned during the Thomas Fire in Southern California have recuperated and are now back in the wild thanks to the help of University of California, Davis, veterinarians and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CONTROL DEVELOPMENT

 

Initiative would require public vote on significant changes to General Plan, to protect backcountry from sprawl-style development and traffic gridlock

East County News Service

Update: Hear our interview with former Supervisor Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson from Save Our San Diego Countryside by clicking the audio link.  Learn more at https://saveoursdcountryside.org/.

January 24, 201 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Registrar of Voters approved the title and summary for the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” Initiative, clearing the way for proponents to gather signatures to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.

Audio: 

Interview with Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WHITE PELICANS AND OSPREY AT LAKE JENNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2018 (Lake Jennings) – I went to Lake Jennings today hoping to see bald eagles recently spotted there. Instead, I found an osprey perched atop a eucalyptus tree. Nearby, a migratory white pelican in the lake was quickly joined by another pelican swooping in for a landing; I later saw several more.

HEARING ON LAKE JENNINGS MARKETPLACE BEFORE SUPERVISORS ON WEDNESDAY

 

 

Update January 24, 2018:  Supervisors voted 4-0 yesterday to approve this, with Supervisor Horn absent due to leaving early.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Joe Brunetto, owner of Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant and Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, speak out against retail project proposed for land visible in background

January 22, 2018 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing Wednesday on Lake Jennings Marketplace, a proposed retail strip shopping center on Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside.  The project by South Coast Development requires approval of an environmental impact report,  a General Plan amendment and rezoning  of residential land  to commercial.

But opponents say the developer earlier promised to build multi-family housing on the site, not a shopping center.  Cleveland National Forest Association (CNFF) and a local restaurant owner are heading up opposition to the project, saying what the community needs is housing, not more retail. 

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.

PARK SERVICE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS RESIGN OVER DEPT. OF INTERIOR NEGLECT

 

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo:  National Park Service Advisory Board members are concerned Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is not focused on the protection of national parks. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

January 18, 2018 (Helena, Mont.) - After nine of the twelve members of the National Park Service Advisory Board resigned this week, public lands supporters are noticing what they say is a pattern of indifference from Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department.

COUNTY BOARD APPROVES $2 MILLION TREE PLANTING PROGRAM

 

The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a $2 million expansion of a program to remove and replace weakened trees in County parks. The action authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to advertise and award the contract for its Comprehensive Tree Program.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REMOVES FLORIDA FROM OFFSHORE DRILLING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf Coast

January 10, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Just days after Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced plans to open up 98% of our nation’s coastlines to offshore oil drilling and fracking, Zinke said he is removing Florida off that list, stating, “I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”

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