Let me tell you about a beautiful place where you can go hiking or biking or bird watching, or simply lounging on a soft patch of grass in the shade of an old oak tree. A place where the Kumeyaay Indians used to live. You can still see their metate grooves in the boulders alongside the San Diego River where they used to grind acorns for their meals, and watch the ducks bob on the water.
This is one of the nation's largest wilderness parks inside a city, and it's called Mission Trails Regional Park. My husband and I have hiked and mountain biked here for the past 30 years and consider it our backyard. It's your backyard, too. It's a national treasure, just like Yosemite, the Sierras and Glacier National Park. It is to San Diego what Central Park is to New York City.
The title of my piece seems pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Vampires swooping in to sink their fangs into a sunny Southern California patch of land that seems so idyllic.
By "vampires" I mean Sempra Energy in collaboration with Cogentrix Energy out of North Carolina. They want to rezone an Open-Space parcel of land adjoining Mission Trails Park into an industrial area, and then erect a Power Plant with eleven spewing smoke towers like some kind of Darth Vaderistic scene from hell.
There are already Sunrise Power Link towers lining some of the nearby ridges like ugly sentries, and perhaps because we allowed those to go in, the energy companies now think they can cruise through with this power-plant boondoggle.
I would like to now point you over to the following article that illustrates very well what is at stake, not just for Santee citizens, and not just for San Diego County, but for our nation.
Yes, insidious, isn't it, the fact they call it "Quail Brush Power Plant," as if it's a lovely, sultry aspect of nature. Aren't we all privy by now to the way language is used to the advantage of environmental ransackers: "The Clean Water Act" and "The Clean Air Act" are two that come to mind. Do they think we are so simple-minded as to believe it?
I know it's just one more battle among hundreds that we fight every day for what we believe in. But consider joining us in the fight to save Mission Trails. Together, we can stop this.
Here's the description of Mission Trails which you'll find at their website:
|Mission Trails Regional Park encompasses nearly 5,800 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542.|
Centrally located and only eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park provides a quick, natural escape from the urban hustle and bustle.
Mission Trails Regional Park has been called the third Jewel in the City of San Diego Park System. Along with Balboa Park and Mission Bay, it provides San Diego residents and visitors a way to explore the cultural, historical, and recreational aspects of San Diego.
Started in 1974, Mission Trails Regional Park has become one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Originally used by the Kumeyaay, the park is the site of the Old Mission Dam, built to store water for the Mission San Diego de Alcala.
With over 40 miles of trails, boating on Lake Murray, camping at Kumeyaay Lake, numerous informative hikes, and a state-of-the-art Visitor & Interpretive Center, Mission Trails Regional Park has something to offer everyone.
This is an SOS to everyone who cares about saving a place where the spirit loves to dance. It is a pristine natural area that should continue to stay this way, for our children, and future generations. Let us not sell out to the energy vampires.
If you live in San Diego, have ever been to San Diego, or dream of one day visiting San Diego, get involved in this issue. Stop the Santee Power Plant. The last thing we want to have to do is lie down in front of a bunch of bulldozers.
By the way, if you have no plans this evening, join us at the Mission Trails Visitors Center at 5 PM tonight for a community meeting to address this issue and take a stand.