Tweet Street park on Cortez Hill has a sign with some very useful information. It shows shrubs and trees that attract local San Diego birds and butterflies.
Please refer to the information on the sign and my photo captions. As you can see, some of these plants are native to San Diego. All are beautiful and would fit nicely in most San Diego gardens. And all naturally attract winged life. Even in the heart of the big city.
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This morning, when I saw a large temporary sign on the street outside my front door, I went to investigate. And look what I discovered! A neighborhood spring festival is going to take place on Cortez Hill!
It’s called Jacaranda Spring Thing! (Yes, there are lots of beautiful Jacaranda trees on Cortez Hill. Many can be found in Tweet Street Park where the festival will take place.)
The free outdoor event will feature food trucks, a special Home Depot workshop (about fixing up your outdoor patio), live music, a book truck, a photo booth . . . all sorts of fun stuff!
Okay, are you interested? It takes place on April 16 at Tweet Street Park, along Date Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, from noon to 4pm. Here’s a link with more info. (By registering at that link, the organizers at the Downtown San Diego Partnership can get an idea of how many people might show up.)
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Every day for the past six years I’ve been watching for rare birds.
As you might have read on this blog, I live at the top of Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego. One cool feature of my neighborhood is a modest but well-loved park that awaits a few steps from my front door. Cortez Hill Park, more commonly called Tweet Street, is an extremely narrow urban park that stretches for several blocks along Date Street and Tenth Avenue. Completed in 2008, it includes a small playground, dog rest areas, and benches where visitors can rest and enjoy the San Diego sunshine. But Tweet Street’s unique purpose is to provide an inviting refuge of trees, shrubs and birdhouses that encourages birds to take up residence!
I remember when Tweet Street first opened, and my excitement. The artistic, brightly painted birdhouses were simply fun to walk past, and the idea that the park would soon be full of birds put a spring in my step.
Years later, I’m still watching for birds. Occasionally one can be glimpsed or heard in the deeper parts of the trees, or down on the hillside above Interstate 5. But to see a bird near the sidewalk is a rare thing. I’ve never seen a single birdhouse being used.
I suppose the lesson is that birdhouses shouldn’t be erected 5 or 6 feet from a popular walkway, where many people pass throughout the day, often with dogs. And that birds need a little more cover than what an extremely narrow park provides. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tweet Street! I love how the trees have grown out. I love walking along the park and gazing out at different vistas. The idea of attracting birds was terrific. But birds have their own notions about where to live. It seems they prefer a little more privacy.
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I just got home from my walk today, when lo and behold, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Date Street right next to the Tweet Street playground are a couple of friendly folks collecting used and unwanted textiles. Here’s a pic!
Their website is www.rippletextilerecycling.com and they raise money by collecting old, stained or torn clothing, bedding, towels, shoes, stuffed animals . . . you name it! Wearable and useable items are sent to developing nations. The other stuff is ground up and converted into new products. They earn 10 cents a pound, and the proceeds are donated to local charities.
The money raised today will go to the YWCA Cortez Hill Family Center!
Please check out their website and make a note of their upcoming events!