Years ago, San Diego Magazine was a stellar journalistic and investigative resource for San Diegans. Then for the last few decades, it succumbed to being a repository of house and garden type and variety of writings and photos and direction.
Yet the current issue has perhaps broken through that restraint and has issued a call for changes in San Diego for 2014 with its “10 Big Ideas for San Diego” by Erin Chambers Smith and Dave Good. Smith and Good say “Let’s start 2014 with some vision, shall we?”
We’re excited by Number 10 of their “big ideas” entitled “Let’s canoe down the San Diego River from the Cuyamacas to Mission Bay.” This is a great idea and would be wonderful news for OBceans and other beach denizens. It deserves some play here (although some of the other big ideas fall flat we think).
Here is what Smith and Good wrote:
Imagine one long path meandering down the banks of the San Diego River from the mountains down to the ocean.
According to the San Diego River Park Foundation, the $200 million project is on the verge of becoming a reality.
From the top of the Cuyamacas northwest of Julian, the river courses down through 52 miles of public and privately held land parcels before it empties into the sea near Mission Bay.
The Foundation has been quietly buying up disjointed sections of that land, with a long-range goal of placing the waterway under a single jurisdiction.
In the next five years, the Foundation expects to expand the 1,000 acres of river land they now own into a recreational area that would include parks, pathways, and interactive nature guides. And who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to drift a few miles in a lazy canoe or catch a water taxi from one inlet to the next.
It’s not without challenges (for one thing, nearly 20 percent of San Diego’s homeless currently camp out along the banks of the river).
Plus, there’s an image problem. “The San Diego River either was seen as a bad thing whenever it flooded Mission Valley, or people didn’t even know it existed,” says Rob Hutsel, director of the SDRPF. “[But] all the pieces are now in place. It’s a question of community leadership. And money.”
We applaud SDMag for this endeavor.