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Re-Imagine Our Creeks In Discussion Tonight

Advocacy groups hold meeting to consider design plans for the area's creeks tonight (Monday) at downtown Walnut Creek library.

Visions for Central Contra Costa's creeks will flow in "Re-imagining our creeks in our cities & neighborhoods" at 7 p.m. tonight (Monday) in the Oak View Room on the second floor of the downtown Walnut Creek Library, 1644 North Broadway.

The workshop is sponsored by the Walnut Creek Watershed Council, Friends of the Creeks and the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District.

UC Berkeley grad students in landscape design and urban planning will discuss their study of the riparian corridor of Walnut Creek and adjacent communities. The flier (attached) communicates the vision: "Imagine your city or neighborhood with expanded access to the leafy, dappled shade of a natural looking creek, but with all the flood protection we have today. Imagine pathways and bike trails following the creek to flourishing retail businesses, where customers dine, sip coffee, or chat, enjoying the soothing riparian environment."

Steve J April 01, 2013 at 09:48 PM
I would like to imagine the creeks being restored so they have healthy populations of native trout and seasonal spawning salmon again. I don't really care about yuppies being able to ride their bikes and sip coffee alongside a destroyed creek environment.
Julie Jepsen-Grant April 01, 2013 at 10:35 PM
"Imagine flourishing retail businesses." Is this April Fools? Was this meeting announcement sent in the mail? I didn't get one. Maybe WC website could have advertised this meeting. We are Walnut Creek. I would love to imagine a creek with no shopping carts, mattresses, plastic bags or apparel. I have many years of Cleaning the Creek behind me. It was a great way to show my son he could go in the creek, safely. And he loved his knee high rubber boots. How would making the creeks accessible to humans help keep them clean? Except for the dedicated creek cleaners once a year our creeks would be worse for wear.
One more time with feeling April 01, 2013 at 10:48 PM
The US Army Corps of Engineers is absent from the list. The installed canals were designed to quickly remove water because Walnut Creek flooded - a lot - before their work completed. They do a great job. If USACE is not included expect the flooding to return. I've never met a "designer" who cared about, or planned for, the ongoing maintenance after their "vision" is installed. That responsibility remains with those who live and work at the site of the vision. This is a *very* optional expense. I'd much rather fund fixing the streets that have been ignored for many years. Once we do this "riparian environment", we'll need to maintain it. Where is that funding? Has no one paid attention to the news of the last few years? We're in a crummy economy. The City of Walnut Creek is in a deficit budget position for the next several years. The flaw in the stated design is making this more inviting to people. With that we can expect more trash. And likely more folks wanting to ride the rapids. I wish I did not have to, but today, all I can imagine is no trash getting stuck in trees, no trash being washed downstream and into the Bay and my tax dollars being used in a prudent, fiscally responsible, manner. The correct design makes this *less* inviting for people and to keep people far away. With any luck, the salmon and trout return.
Steven Mehlman April 03, 2013 at 04:49 AM
Many, many years ago, when the City ran budget surpluses, the City funded and adopted a Creeks Master Plan for the creeks throughout the downtown area. Except for small sections of pathways and some butterfly habitat near the playing field across the bridge from Civic Park, almost nothing has ever been done to implement that plan. Contrary to what "One More Time With Feeling" states, where similar creek amenities have been adopted, like in San Luis Obispo and many cities outside of California, the creek trails and re-establishment of riparian habitat in a manner consistent with flood protection, have benefited the business environment and the creek environment for fish, while also providing recreation opportunities. However, given that continued fiscal restraint is needed due to City deficits, and there are many other higher priority projects that are currently not being funded, it is unlikely that any significant progress in implementation of the adopted plan will occur at this time. What the City should do, is encourage businesses to consider the adopted plan when contemplating improvements, and the City should not take actions which will create further impediments to completing other sections of the creeks master plan as opportunities arise in conjunction with private development.
One more time with feeling April 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM
The Creeks Master Plan plan already exists, this meeting is irrelevant. If funding is not available, this meeting is unnecessary. The "butterfly habitat" and "Creek Walk" renovation was substantially funded by grants. Not the City. From my observation/participation in various Creek clean-up efforts ("Creek Clean-up", not "Community Service" day), the section north & south of the Contra Costa County Library downtown Walnut Creek branch that is "natural" has a good amount of trash. The source of the trash is not always known, but as the creek gets easier to access, more trash will enter the riparian habitat. Your sound bite of returning to a riparian habitat benefiting the business environment is generally propagated by the entities funding and designing the project to justify the expense. This is similar to claims made in Walnut Creek that certain amenities are a draw for local business when common sense (and direct observation) show they are not (i.e., downtown Library, Lesher Center). I think it would be awesome to return to riparian habitat the stretches of creeks that currently run under the Broadway Plaza parking garage on Main St all the way through and beyond Liberty Bell Plaza along with the stretch South of Macy's heading north through and beyond Liberty Bell Plaza. However, doing so would basically wipe out Broadway Plaza and be a detriment to downtown business.

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