Our tribute to a more beautiful Escondido has fallen victim to litter and vandalism in recent weeks. Plaza Del Arroyo is located in downtown Escondido, just across the way from Grape Day Park. This pocket park has been recognized by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce with the “The Jack Raymond Civic Engagement Leadership Award” and was recently transformed to include an urban butterfly garden thanks to a grant from Escondido Shines and assistance from students at Cal State San Marcos. A mural of Escondido Creek, painted by Escondido’s very own Zane Kingcade, provides the perfect backdrop for the park and has helped residents rethink our relationship to nature.
Unfortunately, not all are inspired by The Escondido Creek Conservancy’s vision. In recent weeks, trash has continued to build up throughout the garden and along the creek trail which borders the south end of the park. Even more disheartening, the mural was tagged earlier this month.
“While it is discouraging to see this kind of activity in the park, the Conservancy has ramped up its efforts to keep this area crime and litter free.”
With help from our friends at Evans Tires and The Escondido Police Department, the tag was quickly reported and removed. By removing it quickly, we are confident that future taggers will be deterred from striking this area again.
While trash is harder to deter, the Conservancy has been making weekly visits to the site to remove any trash around the park. The Conservancy’s Education Manager, Simon Breen, has also reached out to local schools for more support. Conway Elementary and R. Roger Rowe Elementary students have created signs to advocate for the respect of our park. We hope that installing these signs in the next few weeks will help convey the importance of this site to the future of a cleaner and greener Escondido Creek Trail. Thank you to all the organizations who have lent their time and energy to help maintain Plaza Del Arroyo. If you’re interested in helping the Conservancy monitor this area, please reach out to our volunteer manager, Nathan Serrato. (firstname.lastname@example.org)