Roseland Review by Duane Dewitt - November 2019
Thanks be given to close to 20 helpful 10th graders from Roseland University Prep High School who spent time on Weds. October 16 during their Biology class doing some outdoor study time at the Roseland NeighborWood between Burbank Ave. and McMinn Ave. Two Roseland School District employees Ms. Melissa Neufer a tenth grade Biology teacher and Ms. Veronica Vasquez brought students to the McMinn Ave. side of the NeighborWood where the Kemp house used to stand before being demolished by the city in September. The class members of Ms. Melissa Neufer spent time in the NeighborWood learning about nature and invasive species of plants which have negative effects on the native plants. Roseland School Board member Mary Balcerak was also out in the NeighborWood helping the community where she took the picture below of some of the young women in the class trimming back invasive plants. Along with the Biology instructor, members of the local Milo Baker branch of the California Native Plant Society were in the NeighborWood to help on this community service project. Many Roseland residents are thankful the NeighborWood has been saved for now as a nice natural spot in the rapidly urbanizing Roseland neighborhood. The names of the students and the folks from Milo Baker will be reported in the future. But now a BIG THANKS is given to them.
Now with all of the buildings on the site of the 19.5 acre NeighborWood there will be a chance for nature to come back. It is heartening to see young people interested in getting back to nature, and out in nature. The picture along with this article shows this was a "hands on experience" for the students.
Jan Lochner of the CNPS said, "The objective is to: recognize the invasive species, notice the area it dominates, and consider removal techniques." The students worked with the CNPS folks, Mrs. Lochner and Susan Dean, as well as Mrs. Mary Balcerak and Mrs. Trish Tatarian from the Burbank Ave. Neighborhood Association in Roseland. The students were given, "maps, a page of information of the various invasives, and tools," according to Mrs. Lochner. She explained they were working to pull out "Privet" a very bothersome and tenacious invasive plant. For 20 years various residents of Roseland and supporters of the NeighborWood have done volunteer work days such as the "Make a Difference Day" held on Sunday morning 27 Oct. from 10-12. Some local residents are now encouraged some students at Roseland University Prep have shown an interest in helping also. A BIG THANK YOU to them.
Another Thanks be given for the new crosswalk signal light recently installed by Santa Rosa at the intersection of Burbank Ave. at Hearn Ave. leading into Southwest Community Park where the bus stop "turn around" is also located. It has been a site many parents worried about children crossing to get into the park or on school days when students for Elsie Allen High School walking to school have to brave the crossing in the face of heavy traffic. Two Bus Stop Shelters located there have recently been removed. Because they were originally purchased by funds from the Southwest Santa Rosa Redevelopment Project area some local bus riders hope those shelters will be place at other stops in Roseland where riders need shelter from the weather.
One more Thanks be given along with a correction from last month's column. Daniel Chapparo from Roseland has again volunteered for and been reappointed to the Community Advisory Board to represent Southwest Santa Rosa residents. Some local residents are hoping the young college graduate will perhaps run for the City Council District 1 position next year to get a young voice from Roseland onto the City Council. With politics in mind, Mr. Mike Hilber who grew up in Roseland has announced he is running for the position of Sonoma County Supervisor for the 5th Supervisor District hoping to unseat Ms. Lynda Hopkins holder of the position since a tough election in 2016 against Noreen Evans. Ms. Hopkins has been a supporter of the Roseland NeighborWood proponents telling them in office meetings she supports their view and will talk with Santa Rosa officials to work to preserve nature. She also supports having school aged, "students use the site to educate and expose the kids to nature." She even coined a new term to describe the NeighborWood. She has called it a "Micro-Wilderness."
Thanks be given to Lynda Hopkins who also serves as a Director of the Sonoma County Open Space District which has paid millions of taxpayer's dollars to secure the 19.5 acre NeighborWood from development. The Conservation Easements written to protect nature are the only thing keeping "development" and many yards of concrete being inflicted upon the nature there by Santa Rosa. Thanks be given to those Sonoma County employees looking to save these last bits of nature in Roseland before Santa Rosa destroys them or allows others to destroy them.