The San Lorenzo River connects trees to the seas, embracing towering redwoods, beautiful Monterey Bay, the vibrant Santa Cruz downtown, diverse neighborhoods and so much more. But it has also faced the rising crime endemic to so many public spaces as a porous criminal justice system, drug abuse, mental illness and homelessness weigh heavily – if not tragically – on individuals and communities alike.

Last Saturday the old Santa Cruz Dads Group, active for several years before our kids got older, held a reunion to visit the San Lorenzo Riverwalk. More than 20 of us, half kids and half dads, met up for hot chocolate and coffee, and then rode the Riverwalk on our bikes.

We played at the exercise stations, rode under bridges and over the train trestle, by Downtown and the Warriors Arena, next to the Boardwalk and  skate park, and then through San Lorenzo Park stopping at the new pump track built by the Sunrise Rotary.

We wanted to demonstrate to ourselves, to our families, to our neighborhoods and to our community that we can have a Riverwalk in Santa Cruz that we can all use and be proud of, a thriving central park for all nestled between a vibrant downtown and diverse neighborhoods. By embracing the river as it has embraced our place for eons, we preserve it for everyone today and forever.

Please join me in visiting the Riverwalk at least monthly, if not weekly or daily.  It is great for walking, biking and even working out, whether by yourself or with friends and family.

Here are a few photos from our Dads Group outing:



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