Rain is a blessing in Southern California. Sometimes not enough, other times too much all at once.
Recall the hurricane that brought us a sudden downpour a few months back ? It created a problem at the Pico Promenade near Ash Street.
A little about the pathway that we call the Pico Promenade. It is a four block tree-lined walkway along the side of an open waterway. It connects North and South Fallbrook. It is essentially a county easement on the map, once intended to be a road in the late 1800's.
In 1997, Save Our Forest/Fallbrook Land Conservancy worked through the county to plant more that 100 trees along the west and east sides of the waterway which created a more pleasant dirt path on the west side. Trees were donated by a developer who overbought for his project and Roger Boddaert was able to negotiate the donation.
Later, the Fallbrook Village Association sought and received a County Neighborhood Reinvestment grant that provided a stabilized decomposed granite walkway for all four blocks to improve the well used pathway in the year 2000.
The Fallbrook Beautification Alliance, formed in 2007, joined in what became a three-way partnership. They provided amenities such as trash cans, cigarette disposal units, and support for graffiti removal. San Diego County became part of the team as the importance of maintaining the annual growth of compacted cattails became apparent when they started clogging the underpasses and endangering the area to flooding which had occurred in 1993.
As a result, the open waterway in the early years was no longer visited regularly by white egret and mallard ducks who used to stop to forage and visit daily. Staff issues prevented the annual county clearing that had been routine. COVID brought about these side effects that one doesn't realize happened.
When the hurricane passed through, the heavily packed cattails did not allow the water to travel its usual route, deviating, washing out a long length of bank soil. That washout eroded the soil so badly, causing the loss of trees and plants that had stabilized the bank.
Save Our Forest restored and built up the bank to protect the integrity of the waterway, the path, and the surrounding buildings. The county came and partially cleared the cattails and will complete the entire waterway later this year.
Save Our Forest's January Work Party planted the last three trees that had been donated to the community by Parker Mahnke and Margie Beebe. Boddaert had germinated the seed and passed the seedlings to Mahnke and Beebe who housed them, growing them to maturity.
These last three of that gift of 40 jacarandas which are planted in Fallbrook are now at the site near Ash Street. All these years later, Boddaert joined the effort again helping the SOF crew to transport the trees, prepare the sites, and cover the entire bank with straw to help hold the newly rebuilt bank from heavy rain. That is dedication to his trees.
This kind of community participation is what makes Fallbrook so special. We work together to enhance our community. Since 1995, Save Our Forest has continued the care of our community forest assuring compliance with County Road standards, creating a more healthful environment.