Chapter 3: Santa Rosa Creek
Chapter 3 of “Our Watershed Stories,” explores Santa Rosa, California: the wine country’s largest city!
As Craig Anderson, Executive Director of Land Partners Through Stewardship (Landpaths) points out, “the great civilizations in the world had been founded not in wild places or in great rocky vista strewn places, but actually on top of wonderful water. And Santa Rosa’s certainly no exception.”
He recalls one of his favorite walks, “hands down, through urban Santa Rosa, that has these ancient white alder roots clinging to boulders, the water rushing by, where you feel like you’re in a small river canyon miles from the city.”
Near downtown, people co-exist with Santa Rosa Creek in places like Prince Memorial Greenway. “It’s now a large-scale project on Santa Rosa Creek.,” says Kara Heckert, Executive Director of the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District.
“It’s a green corridor,” adds Anderson, though it hasn’t always been that way. For decades, streets dumped rainwater into the nearest creek, and like most places, the city paved them with concrete to handle all that water.
“Now, there’s a lot more work being done to balance the needs of flood control and the natural habitat,” explains Heckert.
Everywhere you go is part of a watershed, and just like in your neighborhood, these creeks connect you to the mountains above, and to the ocean beyond!