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Chollas Creek Restoration Project Gets Boost From State

San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez stands next to a map of City Heights, where the Chollas Creek will be restored, Dec. 23, 2019.
Joe Hong
San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez stands next to a map of City Heights, where the Chollas Creek will be restored, Dec. 23, 2019.

After several hours of rain Tuesday morning, water rushed through a section of Chollas Creek in the City Heights neighborhood.

The area is fenced off now. But in the coming years, City Heights residents, who have some of the fewest park access in the county, will be able to enjoy the creek up-close thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency.

Chollas Creek Restoration Project Gets Boost From State
Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez announced the grant Tuesday morning at a gathering of local leaders and advocates. She said the money, which was awarded to the non-profit Groundwork San Diego, will help renovate a long-neglected habitat and better connect residents to nature.

“It’s going to be restoring a creek that’s normally trashed,” she said. “I’m excited to be activating and revitalizing an area that’s been neglected.”

RELATED: City, Nonprofit Unite To Stave Off Flood-Prone Chollas Creek

Water flowed through Chollas Creek after heavy rainfall, Dec. 23, 2019.
Joe Hong
Water flowed through Chollas Creek after heavy rainfall, Dec. 23, 2019.

The money will pay for removing concrete from the creek and adding walkways, bike paths and native plant life alongside a half-mile segment of Chollas Creek that runs beside state Route 94.

Gómez sees the funding as an early step toward a much bigger goal — a network of parks spanning from Lemon Grove to the San Diego Bay.

“This is a big area we’re talking about,” she said. “When we’re successful restoring that area, activating it and revitalizing it, it could be a blueprint that can be taken for other big restoration projects.”

While there’s no time frame for that regional park, the Chollas Creek project is expected to be completed within three years.

Chollas Creek Restoration Project Gets Boost From State