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Request To Designate Part Of Rose Creek As Parkland Rejected

Rose Creek in Pacific Beach is pictured, August 1, 2019.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: Rose Creek in Pacific Beach is pictured, August 1, 2019.

A group dedicated to preserving a stretch of Rose Creek asked the San Diego City Council to designate it as parkland as part of the Balboa Avenue Station Area Plan. But, in a Thursday meeting, the council rejected the request.

The water flowing through Rose Creek starts its journey in Scripps Ranch and exits the creek into Mission Bay.

It is part of what’s left of critical coastal wetlands.

Snowy egrets and blue herons are among the birds that make their home in and along the creek.

This approximately half-mile stretch of the creek between Mission Bay Drive and the beginning of Mission Bay Park is called a living oasis in the city.

Reported by Roland Lizarondo

"The city provides no services, no maintenance, no operations for any of it," said Karin Zirk, the executive director of the Friends of Rose Creek.

That means all that it takes to keep this stretch of the creek in good shape falls to a handful of volunteers.

"For this one section, we average four tons of trash a year," Zirk said.

Lately, that’s included items like a motorized scooter volunteers pulled out of the water.

"It’s like expecting the people who live in Mission Beach to be solely responsible for maintaining the beach," according to Zirk.

Right now, only about 1,000 people live in this area between the creek and Interstate 5.

But that number is anticipated to rise to about 7,500 over the coming years, and that's why Zirk said it’s critical the city get involved in the upkeep, and she said that will only happen when and if the area is designated as parkland.

"We’re asking for a part-time park ranger so that we can collaborate with the city and the city can take some of the heavy lifting and we can provide volunteers to help out," Zirk said.

There is already money budgeted for habitat restoration, trash removal and for repairing the bike path, Zirk said. But she said spending money on those projects will be a waste if there’s not the financing to maintain them.

The Pacific Beach Community Plan adopted by the City Council in 1995 calls for Rose Creek to be designated as an open space park.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

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