Your Input

The San Lorenzo River is your river.

The San Lorenzo River Alliance was formed in December 2013 to bring together all of the key players working for a better river. What does a “better river” mean? Over 575 people from the City of Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo Valley, ages 8 to 80 shared possible answers to this question during a series of five community river forums. We asked you to identify what changes you would like to see and where, and this is what you shared about your dreams for the largest watershed in Santa Cruz County and for the parks surrounding the San Lorenzo River:

Urban Watershed Priorities

fork and spoon illustration

Riverside Food & Drink

Cafes, Restaurants, Food Trucks & Carts

fork and spoon illustration

Art, Music & Events

Movies, Festivals, Fairs

kayak and paddle illustration

Paddling Access

Policy Change, Boat Ramp

park bench and lamp post illustration


Seating, Lighting, Water Fountains, Restrooms, Parking

park bench and lamp post illustration

Educational Resources

Tours, Visitor Center, Youth Involvement

fish illustration

Better Habitat

Fish & Bird Habitat, Native Plants, Wetlands Restoration

water and trees illustration

Improved Water Quality

Scientific Monitoring

Sherrif badge illustration

Improved Safety

Increased Ranger Patrols, Less Illegal Activity

Bicycle illustration

River Recreation

Playgrounds, Bike Rentals, Swimming, Yoga

Hiker illustration

Improved Pathways

Nature Paths, Bike Paths, Hiking Trails

People just like you are reconnecting to the San Lorenzo River every day.

Read these San Lorenzo River stories. What’s your river story? Submit it today by emailing or share it on the San Lorenzo River Alliance’s Facebook Group today.

“A river is a gift and a blessing, carrying and nurturing life from her headlands to the ocean. For some time now the San Lorenzo has needed champions and visionaries to remind us of her value to the health of our community. Each of us has a gift we can share. Community building through art is my gift. I hope that when you pause to admire the mosaics we have adorned her bridges with that you also pause and marvel at the beauty and vitality of the mighty San Lorenzo, and consider contributing to her health with your own gift.”

— Kathleen Crocetti

Artist & Educator

“As a native Santa Cruzan, I saw us turn our backs to the San Lorenzo River for too long. In recent years, I watched a small group of people revitalize, re-imagine and reinvest in this amazing resource. I’m excited by their vision and results. I work next to the river and take my kids to San Lorenzo Park, so that they can connect and we can be part of a new era in Santa Cruz. As a local leader, I also recognize how important the river is for our drinking water supply, as a place for families to enjoy nature and as habitat for fish and wildlife. I encourage every Santa Cruzan to share their time, resources and energy reconnecting this vital resource with our community.”

— Ryan Coonerty

3rd District Supervisor, Santa Cruz County

“My mom and I never realized that volunteering and monitoring water quality with the Coastal Watershed Council would open up a whole new world for us. We really enjoyed those summer mornings of hands-on science, working in the field with other volunteers, college students and scientists. Thank you CWC for teaching us all about water quality and inspiring me to do an awesome science fair project on the topic. I will never forget it!”

— Noah Clarkson

Cool Kid

“My relationship with the San Lorenzo River changed dramatically several years ago during an Adopt-a-Levee clean up with my Rotary Club. As we walked along the river picking up trash, I watched my daughter collect shells and sea glass as she talked about how the water sparkled in the sunlight. Since that day I have been committed to seeing the river as an opportunity for this community. As a member of the Santa Cruz City Council I worked to enhance the river’s potential impact on our economic vitality by activating the Riverwalk and improving public safety. Now as a CWC board member, I am striving to make the Riverwalk a place where we feel connected to nature, as it has been for my daughter since that morning many years ago.”

— Hilary Bryant

Chief Marketing Officer, Calliope Waterworks

“I fell in love with the San Lorenzo River the first time I walked the levee path one sunny afternoon. I wondered, ‘How do we get everyone to visit and appreciate this gift we’ve been given?’ We start by cleaning it up. Thus beginneth the formation of the Leveelies. We clean up trash and at the river weekly, count what we find, share findings with leaders and advocate for change. We support the Coastal Watershed Council, another group of passionate people who love our river and care deeply about making it a healthy and vital center in our city. Join us, come see what this wonderful river is all about!”

— Janet Fardette

Founder, The Leveelies

“My unshakeable love for our waterways started at a very young age. As a Santa Cruz native in Junior Guards I developed a passion for swimming and a sense of ownership and advocacy for preserving our environment. Water is what connects us and weaves this community together. I envision the San Lorenzo River being a connecting source of vibrancy, restoration, engagement, vitality and pride for our community. All of this is possible through the important work that the Coastal Watershed Council is achieving with the support of you and me and our community.”

— Mariah Tanner

Founder, We.Swim.Capitola and Marketing Manager, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Tell Us Your San Lorenzo River Story