Did you know that the City of Santa Cruz for the third year in a row has proclaimed June as San Lorenzo River month?
June is the time of year when we kick-off summer, students break from school and we start thinking about vacation and spend more time outdoors with family and friends. That’s why we can’t think of a better month to remind ourselves about the San Lorenzo River.
The Coastal Watershed Council and partners kicked off San Lorenzo River month with the third Ebb & Flow River Arts Celebration on First Friday, June 2nd and on Saturday, June 3. Thousands of Santa Cruzans and visitors were drawn to music and dance performances along Cooper Street downtown before a procession led this community of river lovers into the the night and to the Santa Cruz Riverwalk for a performance of aerial dance, an artist talk, lighting celebration and naturalist talk from Brendan Bane.
Saturday, June 3 brought the return of the ever-vibrant Ebb & Flow Kinetic Sculpture Parade, with entries like that from Mayor Cynthia Chase of “A Mayor Called Wanda” to a mallard duck stroller and old favorites like the silver fish bike. We ebbed and flowed our way all the way to the Tannery Arts Center for an entire day of performances of music, dance and the unveiling of Santa Cruz’s newest permanent public art pieces “We’re All Downsteam” installed by a team of artists led by Kathleen Crocetti.
At Ebb & Flow, we surveyed attendees and asked how they want to engage with the Santa Cruz Riverwalk in the future. Here’s how they responded:
- 88% said they wanted to come back to the Riverwalk
- 70% will take steps to improve water quality or habitat
- 65% will reduce their water consumption
- 51% will bring someone to the Riverwalk who hasn’t been there before
San Lorenzo River month continued with the first-ever WaterSHRED along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, which brought kids and adults to demo ride bikes and boards along the newly striped Riverwalk pathway. As described in this article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, one father said he mostly visited the San Lorenzo River up in the San Lorenzo Valley because he had heard the downtown portion was “not as nice”. Through WaterSHRED, his perspective changed and he shared, “It’s great. It’s safe. With the kids, we don’t want to be near the roads.” See photos from WaterSHRED on CWC’s Facebook page today.
Foodies united on the banks of the San Lorenzo River for the third annual Meander dinner, a benefit for the Coastal Watershed Council. They moved from site to site along the river’s banks enjoying cocktails, stories of the history of the river, dinner and building community in the name of a cleaner, healthier river we can all be proud of. Before leaving dinner, attendees wrote pledges of what they would do for the San Lorenzo River.
Fun along the San Lorenzo River continues all month long with more events for you to enjoy like Paws in the Park, a monthly dog walk series on the 3rd Sunday of the month, leaving from Gateway Plaza along the Riverwalk behind PetSmart and more. Check out the San Lorenzo River events calendar for a full list of what’s coming to the Riverwalk this summer.