Over the last few weeks, we’ve all experienced a tremendous amount of rapid change as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter in place and protect the most vulnerable in our community. As of midnight on April 8, the Santa Cruz Riverwalk park and all Santa Cruz County parks, beaches, trails and open spaces have been closed to the public to protect public health and safety. The closures are effective until April 15 and may be extended. Please abide by these rules and refrain from biking, walking and all of your favorite San Lorenzo River activities until further notice.

Throughout all of the change you and your loved ones have experienced, the San Lorenzo River continues to flow. It continues to provide our community with clean drinking water and habitat for threatened and endangered species. And the river will continue to provide for us all when times get tough, but only if we care for it too. That is what CWC is here for: to protect the San Lorenzo River, the parks that surround it and the hundreds of thousands of people, animals and plants that rely on it. In these changing times, here is how we’re continuing to care for the river and the Santa Cruz community every day:

  • While CWC is postponing all upcoming events until further notice including River Health Days, Snapshot Day and Meander, we are providing you with resources you can use to enjoy the San Lorenzo River at home, while honoring the shelter in place order.
  • CWC’s Watershed Rangers program, which provides experiential learning to over 2,500 K-8th students each year at 25 schools, is moving as much of its curriculum online as possible. CWC is supporting:
    • teachers with science curriculum to meet Next Generation Science Standards in distance learning,
    • parents with easy-to-implement activities for kids, and
    • you with information about your watershed as you learn to virtually explore your watershed in new ways.
  • The unprecedented scale of these changes to CWC programs and events have financial implications. We are so grateful for the rapid response of supporters like you, and foundation, government and business partners who have donated to CWC during this time. Thank you.
  • As our CWC family continues to care for one another and the river that sustains us, staff are working from home and can easily be reached by email, or our same phone lines that now forward calls to our team remotely. Please tell us how we can best support you and the entire community.
We are compiling a growing list of ways that you can continue to engage with and support your river during this time:
  • Visit CWC’s new activities page to discover ways you can explore and learn about the San Lorenzo River wherever you are. As activities are posted, you’ll discover how to volunteer individually during this time including how to improve water quality, grow native plants, and lead your own environmental action project all from your own home.
  • Explore the river from home through resources like iNaturalisteBirdMobile Ranger and more. Share your favorite river resource in a reply to this email so we can all benefit.
  • Donate today to your favorite nonprofit meeting direct needs of those most impacted by COVID-19. If you’re able, also donate to CWC to protect parks like the Santa Cruz Riverwalk so that all families have a safe, welcoming space to enjoy the outdoors close to home.
We’re all focused on health right now. I encourage you to consider how nature fits into your life as you reflect on what health means to us individually, as families and as a community. Please follow CWC on Facebook and Instagram to hear the latest updates and stories, as we continue to protect the health of our river and our community together. Stay tuned!
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