Alone or in partnerships with others, our goals are to
- Educate students and adults about the ecology of the creek and the watershed;
- Improve the health of the watershed, particularly for birds, other animals and plants living in or near the creek and wetlands;
- Demonstrate the value of using California native plants in our gardens;
- Improve the appearance of the creek;
- Improve recreational opportunities along the creek and adjacent areas;
BCR Informative Presentations and Tours
We love to create presentations or bus, walking or bicycle tours for interested groups. Our audiences are sometimes adults and sometimes students. Our classroom presentations are by trained teachers, and our field trips are led by trained docents. Our adult groups have included groups from the YMCA, library groups, and garden clubs. Our student groups have included classes at Lycee Francais, Lycee International, Culver City Middle School, and Reseda High School. We teach people how to reduce contamination flowing into the creek from ordinary activities. We also provide public lectures by experts on interesting topics pertaining to the creek and watershed. And we have booths with abundant photos and information and knowledgeable staff at many public events. Read more about our Outreach and Education
BCR provides very popular creek cleanups at the Centinela Avenue entrance to the creek bikepath at various times of the year; please see our column "Recent and Upcoming Events" on the right-hand side of our website for dates and other information. Along with the City of Culver City and Heal the Bay, BCR has also co-sponsored cleanups in the Culver City portion of the creek annually in September, as well as with former California Assemblymember Karen Bass’s Environmental Commission. Cleanups are enthusiastically supported by community members, including children and students for community service credit. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff volunteers fish out of the creek!
Teaching the Value of Native California Plants.
How much water we waste on our lawns and gardens, much of the water running down the street into the storm drain to Ballona Creek and the ocean, carrying lawn chemicals, pet droppings, oil dripping from cars, and just plain trash! California native plants require much less water than imports, and no chemicals! BCR has co-sponsored a variety of garden projects with native plants including:
- Six LA County Earth Day planting projects with students from various schools;
- A Native Plant Garden on the grounds of Culver City Middle School;
- A community garden on a formerly vacant, trash-strewn parcel of LA County land over Centinela Creek at Mesmer Ave.;
- A joint project with Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Mar Vista Community Center beside the bikepath, under a grant from the Wetlands Recovery Project. Read more about our Native Plant Projects
Improving the appearance of the creek.
BCR began life in 1995 as an arts project, and our first work of art was the mural entitled “Postcards from Ballona” along the creek bikepath entrance at Overland Avenue. Later we added the mural “Rivers of the World” at the Duquesne Ave. ramp. We provided assistance to a neighborhood group along the eastern section of the creek in turning barren, weed-infested and trash-strewn strips beside the creek into clean, attractive areas with plantings and irrigation. We have also provided planning and outreach and in partnership with many public agencies to create attractive entrance “parks” at most of the bikepath access gates, with artistics gates, plantings, benches, water, and interpretive signs.
Improving recreational opportunities along the creek.
The service road along the north bank of the creek is well used by cyclists, walkers, joggers and skaters. BCR works with public agencies to develop additional resources such as interpretive and directional signage and wildlife viewing areas. We also work with local governments and bicycle organizations to deal with normal opportunities issues of bicycles and other recreational uses of the bikepath, which is also a walking path, a running path, and a skating path as well as a maintenance road for official vehicles.
Ongoing Education, Outreach and Advocacy
BCR’s colorful and informative newsletter, web site, E-updates, news articles, media interviews, support and advocacy letters and phone calls, speaking before government decision-makers and in occasional media coverage, particularly about environmental concerns and the scourge of plastic trash.