Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Grant monies to fund parks on border in Imperial Beach, Tijuana
Parks will feature furniture made from reclaimed garbage
The San Diego Center for Civic Engagement and the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that the two organizations will partner to award $45,000 to nonprofit 4Walls International for the construction of a bi-national park space.
The funds will be implemented about equally on both sides of the border to clean up and create park space and a nature reserve in a Tijuana canyon known as “Los Sauces,” as well as a project the group has dubbed “A Border Gateway to Nature” at the Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach.
The innovative part of the project is that 4Walls plans to use trash recovered from the Tijuana River Valley to create park benches, artistic installations, and other park infrastructure. Thousands of discarded soda bottles, for example, will be stuffed with other trash and used for the benches.
“This innovative project turns a negative into a positive -- using trash itself to create new park space for the local communities,” says EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld.
The Mexican Environment Ministry will also contribute significant funds to the Los Sauces cleanup, including picking up the tab for hiring 100 temporary workers for a 12 week stint cleaning the area of trash.