Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stewards Log 9 July 2015

Happy July!  And happy developments, incremental as they are.  (Who said this was going to happen overnight anyway!)  For nearly two years I have been sharing information and updates about the Parkway with Marty Coleman-Hunt, Executive Director of the Bear Yuba Land Trust.  As you might expect she is very busy with all the pots she stirs already.  Nevertheless, as she learned more about the potential for a trail and pocket parks along Wolf Creek, she took it upon herself to bring some of her board and staff on board, and meet with GV City Councilman Howard Levine and City Manager Bob Richardson.

The city folks have responded in a positive manner and now seem poised to move forward - albeit in slow and deliberate baby steps.  Jane, Jonathan, and I met with Marty, Bill Haire, and two board members in May.  In June I led Marty, staffer Laura Peterson, and board member Michael Smiley on a walking and driving tour of several key sections of the Conceptual Plan, and possible alternate routes.  They in turn showed me the area thru which portions of the Larimer Trail (downstream of the Mining Museum) is poised to be built by Newmont.

The Land Trust people are enthusiastic to help move this project forward - touting it to the city as the beginning stages of a comprehensive trail system with links key areas of town, and additional trails and/or links upstream, down, and in-between.  Going forward Marty will be the point person in this effort.  At present she is working to get Howard and Bob out on a similar tour of the potential trails.  I will continue to work with Marty and her people in whatever capacity I can, as well as continue my efforts to show the film to groups around town.  I have a couple of feelers out in that regard.

It is also my pleasure to represent WCCA (and advocate for Wolf Creek) as one of many stakeholders in the Bear Watershed Group.  The BWG is charged with coming up with a Restoration Plan for the entirety of the Bear River Watershed. There have been two meetings thus far, with funding funneled through SSI for four more bimonthly gatherings.  To date the group has identified key components to a comprehensive disturbance inventory.  These will be prioritized at the September meeting, which will result in a monitoring and data collection program, that would in turn drive and provide additional data to help form the restoration plan itself.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

I close with a notion recently put forward by Benjamin Hale, Associate Professor of Environmental Philosophy at the University of Colorado.  We all understand what trespassing is.  As the Parkway comes to light the Land Trust, the WCCA, and the City of Grass Valley agree that no trespass, taking, or disturbance of any parcels of private property will take place without legal agreement from the owners in the form of a trail or conservation easement.  That’s a given.

But can it also be construed that roads, fences, parking lots, homes, and businesses that are allowed to exist along the creek without proper setback and bank protection; along with any toxic or illegal discharge or pumping is in effect “trespassing?”  Trespassing against all of us and the integrity and possibly legal standing of the creek that is as yet unrecognized as such but is in essence part of the Grass Valley Commons?



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Second Annual Chalk Art Mural Project

Please join us on Earth Day, Wednesday April 22 from 9-2, at the Holiday Inn Express, for the second annual chalk art mural.  With the blessings of Gold Miner's Inn General Manager Sean Gilleran, Wolf Creek will once again come into the light of day!  Unfortunately, the downtown stretch of the creek runs underground for over a quarter mile.  The mural is intended to spread awareness of that fact and help build public support for the Wolf Creek Parkway.

Fourth grade students from Grass Valley Charter School, and high school students from Bitney College Prep High School will be rolling up their sleeves to "paint" the asphalt canvas.  Many of you will remember the first installment of this mural, last year on May 1, the very day the Wolf Creek Community Alliance officially had our ribbon cutting to join the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Following suit with last year,  the mural is based on an original design by artist and GV Charter parent Tatiana Makovkin.  This year the grid and outline for the mural will be overseen by Bitney Art Teacher Chad Wood.  Besides running the Art and Social Science Programs at Bitney, Chad is a working artist.  His original paintings have been shown and sold locally for several years, as well as   in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Southern California.

Two fourth grade classes taught by Merry Biles-Daly and Lori Anderson will be participating in this highly energetic, creative, and meaningful project.  Some of last year's student "artists," now in the fifth grade, may also stop by.  The 2014 mural, and interviews with participants, was featured in our documentary film, "A Creek Runs Through It."

Spread the Word.  Invite people.  Again - this is a drop-by installation art project on Wednesday, April 22 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Holiday Inn Express (lower parking lot)!

see you there, bruce

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stewards Log

8 March 2015

In preparation for putting "A Creek Runs Through It" on the WCCA web site, it has magically been seen lately on YouTube.  The direct link is

Other Parkway news:  Our friend and ally Marty Coleman-Hunt has engaged in discussion about it with key city officials and City Council Members.  We will be following up with that soon.

Also - On Wednesday, April 22, EARTH DAY, look for the second annual Chalk Art Mural Project taking shape once again in the lower lot at the Holiday Inn Express in Downtown GV.  Students, teachers, and parents from Grass Valley Charter School and Bitney College Prep High School will be creating a representation of the creek of all places....above ground!