Last Week, we participated in a Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board field day and had the pleasure of introducing Board members to the Rose Foundation and our New Voices Are Rising program. We offered the Board a tour of Coliseum College Preparatory Academy (CCPA) to explain our Clean Streams Green Teens project. The Clean Streams project will work with CCPA students to draft a stormwater plan to deal with the polluted runoff flowing into nearby Lion Creek.
Board members saw for themselves the polluted conditions at CCPA. CCPA borders International Boulevard, a truck route and one of Oakland’s busiest streets. CCPA students would help design a more natural setting to replace the more than 4,000 square feet of concrete at the site. Planting native plants and trees would help filter runoff from the nearby streets and also catch carbon dioxide and other air pollutants from nearby traffi
Urban environments and healthy streams can coexist. We led Board members downstream to where Lion Creek has been restored to feature a walking path and wetland plants. When water levels are low, a rubber dam diverts water to a natural channel lined with riparian plants. When water levels rise with heavy rains, water instead flows into the stormwater system. We believe that this greener, more beautiful setting is what students at CCPA deserve.
CCPA students also spoke up for themselves. Our interns Katherine Carcano and Marlen Escobedo both attend CCPA and gave a presentation about the importance of the project. They took the reigns of the discussion, leading Board members in a creative activity for drawing the ideal community the would want to live in. We were proud of our students for leading the discussion and for recognizing their connection to the creek that flows under their school.
Restoring CCPA will go a long way in providing a healthy and beautiful environment for CCPA students. We are excited to start drafting a storm water plan with them to help build a greener community.