Hundreds of new trees planted in Balboa Park.

I was walking through Balboa Park on Sunday, making my way toward Park Boulevard, when I noticed a newly planted tree with a shiny plaque beside it.

I veered across the grass to investigate…

The plaque states:

TREE BALBOA PARK

This tree and hundreds of others have been planted throughout the park by the Balboa Park Conservancy, Urban Corps, Tree San Diego, and Parks & Recreation.

Funding for this California Climate Investments grant project has been provided through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Urban and Community Forestry program.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art exhibit: water, drought, and San Diego’s rainmaker.

The 9th floor gallery at San Diego's Central Library features an art exhibit called RAINMAKER. The theme is water, drought and climate change.
The 9th floor gallery at San Diego’s Central Library features an art exhibit called RAINMAKER. The theme is water, drought and climate change.

RAINMAKER is a fascinating, thought-provoking art exhibition at downtown San Diego’s Central Library. Because it will be coming to a close this weekend, I recently headed to the library’s 9th floor gallery to check it out.

Charles Hatfield was hired by the city of San Diego a hundred years ago to produce much-needed precipitation in order to fill Lake Morena. He might or might not have created the torrential rains and catastrophic flooding that followed his efforts at “moisture acceleration”. Was Hatfield an actual scientist or a charlatan? The question remains open.

This art exhibition focuses on the importance of water in our arid region, and how people affect and are influenced by the environment. Twelve local artists have contributed pieces which touch upon this theme. RAINMAKER is especially relevant today, considering San Diego’s current long drought, and the threat of coming winter storms caused by a strong El Niño that has developed in the Pacific Ocean.

Charles Hatfield, self-proclaimed rainmaker, was hired by the city of San Diego in 1915 to fill Lake Morena Reservoir during a severe drought. Record rain and floods ensued. Was this a coincidence?
Charles Hatfield, self-proclaimed rainmaker, was hired by the city of San Diego in 1915 to fill Lake Morena reservoir during a severe drought. Record rain and floods ensued. Was this a coincidence?

Photo at RAINMAKER exhibition shows catastrophic San Diego flooding caused by 30 inches of rain in 1915.
Photo at RAINMAKER exhibition shows catastrophic San Diego flooding caused by over 30 inches of rain in 1915.

Adam Belt, Willow Wash, 2015. Paint, graphite and reflective powder on canvas. Where is the boundary between science and magic.
Adam Belt, Willow Wash, 2015. Paint, graphite and reflective powder on canvas. Where is the boundary between science and magic?

Roman de Salvo, Joinery Blossom, 2013. Chinese elm, glue. Metaphor of Earth's ecosystem, with networks of family, community, interdependence.
Roman de Salvo, Joinery Blossom, 2013. Chinese elm, glue. Metaphor of Earth’s ecosystem, with networks of family, community, interdependence.

Eva Struble, Navy Yard, 2011. Oil and acrylic on canvas. This piece emerged from a trek through Brooklyn's Navy Yard. A vision of decay that is also expansive, waiting.
Eva Struble, Navy Yard, 2011. Oil and acrylic on canvas. This piece emerged from a trek through Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. A vision of decay that is also expansive, waiting.

Margaret Noble, I Have Arrived, 2015. Mixed media installation with 3 pedestals, 3 plant boxes, 3 sprinklers, and 3 handheld audio players. Lawns have been a symbol of status in society.
Margaret Noble, I Have Arrived, 2015. Mixed media installation with 3 pedestals, 3 plant boxes, 3 sprinklers, and 3 handheld audio players. Lawns have been a symbol of status in society.

Tools of the Rainmaker. The scales, measuring scoops and barometer in this case were donated to the San Diego Library in 1972 by Paul A. Hatfield, brother of rainmaker Charles M. Hatfield.
Tools of the Rainmaker. The scales, measuring scoops and barometer in this case were donated to the San Diego Library in 1972 by Paul A. Hatfield, brother of rainmaker Charles M. Hatfield.

Jim Wilsterman, Rain Event #10, 2011. Earth, fiber, raindrops. Somewhere between photograph, sculpture and painting, this art has recorded rainfall using clay and mud.
Jim Wilsterman, Rain Event #10, 2011. Earth, fiber, raindrops. Somewhere between photograph, sculpture and painting, this art has recorded rainfall using clay and mud.

Sheldon Wood, Drought Dreams, 2014. Watercolor on paper. With the lyrical movement of rain on a hot surface, references to petroglyphs and lost sinkholes, and an atmospheric perspective...
Sheldon Wood, Drought Dreams, 2014. Watercolor on paper. With the lyrical movement of rain on a hot surface, references to petroglyphs and lost sinkholes, and an atmospheric perspective…

Lisa Hutton, Supercell with Chickens, 2013. Graphite on paper. Environmental artwork depicts storm clouds.
Lisa Hutton, Supercell with Chickens, 2013. Graphite on paper. Environmental artwork depicts storm clouds.

Lisa Hutton, A Flood and a Fire, 2013. Graphite on paper. The catastrophic effects of environmental disasters.
Lisa Hutton, A Flood and a Fire, 2013. Graphite on paper. The catastrophic effects of environmental disasters.

Four pigment ink photographs of desert environment by Michael Feld record beauty and natural history.
Four pigment ink photographs of desert environment by Michael Feld record beauty and natural history.

Dominic Paul Miller, rain gatherer, 2008. Ink on mylar. Part of a larger body of work concerning uranium mining and the Navajo Nation, who have scant access to running water.
Dominic Paul Miller, rain gatherer, 2008. Ink on mylar. Part of a larger body of work concerning uranium mining and the Navajo Nation, who have scant access to running water.

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz, Dear Hatfield, 2015. Speculative writing. Reflects modern anxiety associated with urbanization.
Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz, Dear Hatfield, 2015. Speculative writing. Reflects modern anxiety associated with urbanization.

RAINMAKER, a fascinating art exhibition at San Diego's Central Library, continues through November 29.
RAINMAKER, a fascinating art exhibition at San Diego’s Central Library, continues through November 29.

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