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Plant restoration project underway in Santa Maria Riverbed, homeless asked to leave


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria is asking a group of homeless people to leave their camp as officials get ready to restore native plants in the area.

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department wants to help people enjoy the riverbed more by restoring the native plants.

While the homeless in the area are being asked to leave, agencies are reaching out to help them.

150 acres of the Santa Maria Riverbed are undergoing a native plant restoration project.

“The city applied for a grant from the state to purchase the land. We did with the purpose of creating something called The Santa Maria River Trail program,” said Alex Posada of the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department.

Posada said the project will reduce overgrown shrubbery and invasive plant species.  

Native plants and animals will also thrive in the spring season, and allow for easier walking access.

But in order to do this, the City posted signs notifying anyone residing in the riverbed to vacate the property.

Posada said the recreation and parks department is working with other agencies to help those homeless find services.

One of those agencies helping out is Good Samaritan 

“We want to make sure they have somewhere to go and somewhere to lay their head tonight,” said Kirsten Cahoon with the Good Samaritan.

So far, Cahoon said at least 4 homeless people from the riverbed have agreed to seek assistance. 

Posada said his hope is to make the area a safe place for everyone in the community.

“Our goal is to open up that property this spring. There are already a couple of established trails that have markers as well as wildlife,” Posada said.

On Thursday, the City will put in no trespass signs along the boundaries of the city’s property.

Article Topic Follows: Community

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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