The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) has been awarded $380,873 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement the Reidy Creek Restoration and Beautification Project.
“Reidy Creek is an important natural waterway in the Escondido Creek watershed,” said Richard Murphy, president of the Conservancy, “but it has suffered from infestations of non-native plants that have diminished the ecological values of the creek.”
The project is a partnership of the Conservancy, the City of Escondido, and the private property owners along the creek. The grant provides funding to remove invasive exotic trees and plants from the creek, as well as clean up and prevent trash and pollution on a large scale. Private property owners have expressed concerns over homeless encampments in Reidy Creek, and the resultant trash and pollution.
“The City is happy to be a part of this important creek project,” said Escondido City Manager Jeffrey Epp. “It should improve public safety by removing non-native trees and plants, making it easier for Police officers and Public Works staff to patrol the area for unauthorized encampments and litter.”
Resulting from this project will be the restoration of riparian and floodplain habitat for threatened and endangered species, restoring ecological condition and function, improving habitat for fish and wildlife, enhancing flood protection, and community outreach.
Reidy Creek, a primary tributary of Escondido Creek, is an important riparian and floodplain habitat within the Escondido Creek watershed. The watershed supports conservation of special status species including the least Bell’s vireo, which is known to recolonize river banks after restoration. The project treatment area stretches 21.15 acres from where the creek intersects El Norte Parkway to Lincoln. Large-scale invasive species removal will occur along .81 miles of the creek and be implemented by the Urban Corps, which provides work experience to underserved youth. Due to environmental rules about when work can occur in natural areas, plant and tree removal work will begin in the fall of 2019.
As part of this project, the Conservancy will invite neighboring residents to guided nature walks and bird watching along Reidy Creek. Residents in the surrounding communities include low-income seniors, families, retirees, veterans and those with disabilities who will be able to enjoy the improved creek area and participate in the outreach events. The project also provides opportunities for youth Conservation Fellows to be mentored as part of the project. Conservation Fellows is an existing program of The Escondido Creek Conservancy whereby high school and college students from disadvantaged communities in Escondido are mentored and given real-world work experience on a conservation project.
The Reidy Creek Restoration and Beautification Project is one of 24 projects to receive funding from its Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Prop. 1) Restoration Grant Programs.