Thursday, December 31, 2020

#366 / The Trees Of Santa Cruz

Former View From The Top Of The Cedar Street Parking Garage*
In this blog, I have advanced the idea that we should all "Take A Walk," and that we should do so on a regular basis. Having issued that pronouncement, I thought I should consider practicing what I have so roundly preached. I was pretty inspired, actually, by the story of William Helmreich, who walked every street in New York City. That means he walked 121,000 city blocks, and over 6,000 miles. To inspire my personal engagement with the "Take A Walk" philosophy, I decided that I should see if I might be able to do the same thing that Helmreich did, and to walk every street in my own (admittedly much smaller) home town. 

I also thought, once I decided that I would try to duplicate Helmreich's achievement - locally, and on a much smaller scale - that I should have some sort of "purpose" in mind as I walked along the streets of Santa Cruz. 

Thinking back to a book that impressed me greatly, The Overstory, and to my own, "Take A Walk" blog posting, I decided to take pictures of notable trees, as I strolled around the town. Actually, "stroll" isn't quite the right verb, at least where streets like High Street, Western Drive, Miramar, Water Street, and Broadway are concerned. Some of those uphill "strolls" can get pretty aerobic. 

Santa Cruz is blessed with some very lovely trees, and from my point of view, the City doesn't do enough to protect and preserve them. Hopefully, the tree photos that are displayed in this blog posting will help inspire local folks to make sure that we honor trees by insisting that property owners and developers preserve and protect the truly extraordinary ones. That is, actually, what the City's "Heritage Tree Ordinance" is supposed to require. But too many loopholes have let too many property owners  and developers chop down way too many trees. That is my opinion, at least, and this may be considered a bona fide editorial comment.

I began my endeavors on July 22, 2020, and I am definitely not done yet. Maybe I will get there and maybe I won't, but I am enjoying all the walking that I am doing. Since New Year's Day - tomorrow - is a time when we all consider our "resolutions" for the year ahead, I thought that today might be a good day to report in on a practice that I have found both energizing and educational.

As of today, I have gone beyond the initial East Side area shown here, and I have amalgamated a lot more wonderful pictures of trees. I am keeping them all, and if I am ever done with this "walk every street" effort, maybe I'll set up a separate website and make those pictures available to anyone who would like to see just how lucky we really are to have such terrific trees scattered throughout the city. What I am showing here, of course, is just a very small sample.

My thought? Take a walk yourself.** Take lots of walks! People and trees. We're pretty lucky to be alive!!

Walking Around The East Side

132 Dake Avenue - Redwood
204 Stanford Avenue - Canary Island Date Palm
122 Melrose Street - Quaking Aspen Cottonwood
121 Magnolia Street- Catalpa
125 Catalpa Street - Catalpa
230 Poplar Street - Redwood
312 Poplar Street - Walnut
Branciforte Middle School, Poplar Street - Liquid Amber
421 Poplar Street- Chinese Elm

101 Hammond Street - Weeping Willow
111 Hammond Street - Coast Live Oak
210 Parnell Street - Chinese Elm
412 Chilverton Street - Redwood
108 Belvedere Terrace - Sweet Gum
121 Belvedere Terrace - Pepper Tree
150 Belvedere Terrrace - Northern California Walnut
170 Belvedere Terrrace - Incense Cedar
939 Branciforte Avenue - California Black Walnut
946 Branciforte Avenue - Coast Live Oak
1007 Branciforte Avenue - Coast Live Oak
1045 Branciforte Avenue - Douglas Fir
1035 Branciforte Avenue (At Rose Street) - Redwoods
116 Keystone Avenue - Species Unknown
223 Morrissey Boulevard - Redwood
220 Morrissey Boulevard - Redwood
231 Morrissey Boulevard - Mexican Fan Palm
412 Chilverton Street - Redwood


*Current View 

Map Image: Google Maps -,-122.0041785,15z
Species Identification - "Picture This" iPhone Application
Photo Images: Gary A. Patton
** There is now a book available specifically dedicated to Santa Cruz Walks. It's by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover, and it's called Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz (28 Walks For Fun And Fitness). You can learn more by clicking this link. It's available at Bookshop Santa Cruz. 

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