23 June 2012

Chino Hills State Park Saturday Night Programs

When taking the little jaunt yesterday in Chino Hills State Park covered last night's post, a handlettered sign was noticed at the entrance about a free program for this evening at the Rolling M Ranch park headquarters.  From the Hills for Everyone Web site, a link was found to a .pdf file (see here) listing all of the Summer programs offered at the park on Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Tonight's concerned efforts to keep the Santa Ana River Watershed, an area encompassing the origins of that river near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, where it empties at the border of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.  Women from the non-profit water stewardship organization, Orange County Coastkeeper (see here), and its branch entity, Inland Empire Coastkeeper (see here) dedicated to improving the water quality of the entire watershed, including creeks, flood control ditches, sewage systems, storm drains and other elements, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the system.

Much of the talk concerned the many efforts and programs these organizations are carrying out to improve water quality and mitigate the many environmental issues that massive urbanization, taking in 6 million people within the watershed, cause to the system.  Creek and beach cleanups, education programs with students, and others were discussed.  Practical and simple tips for what people can do on an everyday level to help protect the watershed were also reviewed.

Unfortunately, as the park ranger pointed out in his opening remarks and in conversation afterward, attendance at these informative and interesting Saturday evening programs has been sparse.  Tonight there were perhaps 20 or so people there, but there is room at the amphitheatre for a few times more than that.

Those who want to learn more about the natural environment and human interactions with it, as well as about the State Park's founding, history and ecology, can access the link to Hills for Everyone above and learn more.  It's a great way to spend a little QT with the family in nature, too, and, as the ranger noted, there are usually plenty of spaces in the very nicely-appointed campground, opened just a couple of years back, within a short walk of the amphitheater.

And, the connection with Carbon Canyon is that Carbon [Canyon] Creek is part of the Santa Ana Watershed, as this body of water goes to Carbon Canyon Dam at Carbon Canyon Regional Park, but also continues southward to the Santa Ana River in Anaheim.  Additionally, the Santa Ana Watershed Authority (SAWA) has been the managing entity for the removal of the invasive plant, arundo donax, which has plagued the creek for years and which is slowly being mitigated.

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