Welcome to our May 2013 e-Newsletter!

A message from our new Active Living Program Manager, Emily Sinkhorn

NRS has had an eventful spring in support of healthy watersheds and healthy communities!  From completing finishing touches to the Hikshari’ Trail from Herrick Avenue to Truesdale Avenue in south Eureka, to starting a community bike kitchen at the Jefferson School project, NRS has continued to collaborate with community partners to plan and implement meaningful projects in our north coast communities and watersheds. NRS will also be continuing to expand capacity for low-impact development projects through the North Coast Stormwater Coalition, developing an interpretive plan and signage for Lake Earl Wildlife Area in Del Norte County, and supporting the County of Humboldt to establish the McKay Tract Community Forest in greater Eureka. 

The spring has brought much success on the ground, and also new opportunities, as NRS wishes farewell to three long time staff members. Chris Lohoefener and Elena L’Annunziata will be departing the cool fog of Humboldt for the warm desert in Tucson, Arizona, where Elena will be utilizing her community organizing expertise through NRS’ Loleta Community Building Initiative to pursue a PhD in Women’s Studies. NRS’ Active Living program and the North Coast Community Garden Collaborative have both thrived under Chris’s direction, and his focus on empowering staff has ensured a smooth transition through these changes. Kevin Wright also departs Humboldt County after leading numerous trail implementation and transit planning projects. Kevin was instrumental in the completion of the Hikshari' Trail, which will stand as a lasting tribute to his skills in bringing community partners together to make significant change. NRS has welcomed a new senior planner, Josh Levine, to the staff team. Josh hails most recently from Madison, Wisconsin and brings expertise in transportation planning and a passion for bicycle commuting. Josh’s diverse background in urban and regional planning and community development through the Peace Corps will be a great addition to the NRS team. We thank our many partners, funders and the community for continued collaboration and support, and look forward to new opportunities ahead. 

Above: Cutten Walk Audit participants

Successful Walkability Audit Held in Cutten

NRS held a Walkability Audit and Workshop in Cutten on April 16th, 2013 to observe and identify concerns and solutions to safety issues around kids who walk or bike to Cutten Elementary School and for those who will be walking or bicycling to Winship Middle School when it re-opens in fall of 2013.  Since Winship has not been an active, open school for the past few years, this audit offered a unique opportunity to examine any safety concerns prior to the school's re-opening, and preemptively address needs. Parents, neighbors, the school principals, the California Highway Patrol, the Eureka Police Department’s School Resource Officer, Humboldt County Public Works Department, Humboldt County Office of Education’s (HCOE) California Joint Powers Authority Risk Manager,  HCOE’s bus transportation manager, NRS/RCAA staff, and County Public Health were all on hand to witness firsthand the challenges and opportunities around safe walking and bicycling in Cutten. The Audit was supported by the County-wide Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) Task Force and funded through the Redwood Crossing Guard Program, a Safe Routes to Schools non-infrastructure grant received by Humboldt County Public Works and administered by the Public Health Branch. 

Below: Neighborhood maps. 

Above: Successes in the garden bear fruit!

NRS Supports Local Gardens

RCAA Gardens are blossoming this spring, thanks in part to NRS staff, who work with several local gardens, including the Demonstration Garden behind RCAA’s Energy Services Division located on 6th and T Streets in Eureka. The Demonstration Garden offers examples of planting techniques of local crops, involves program participants in garden tending, and provides fresh organically-grown produce and information about healthy foods year-round for several RCAA programs, including transitional housing and youth programs. NRS staff recently began a weekly gardening class with resident families at the Multiple Assistance Center, and are starting a new garden at a transitional living facility. NRS staff help manage the Henderson Community Garden behind Winco, where Hmong families grow traditional foods and medicines. Lastly, NRS staff members work with community gardens through the North Coast Community Garden Collaborative. The Collaborative is a support network of and for community garden groups and their partners, working together to increase access to fresh, healthy, and culturally appropriate foods for all North Coast residents. A volunteer Steering Committee oversees the Collaborative, with representatives from local gardens and organizations like Food for People and U.C. Cooperative Extension. RCAA provides fiscal sponsorship, and two part-time NRS staff members help coordinate resources and services with funding from Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services’ CalFresh Outreach Program. CalFresh is the new name for the food stamp program, with which seeds and starts may be purchased to grow food.  For more information about CalFresh or the North Coast Community Garden Collaborative, please visit For more information about the gardens we help support, please visit or contact or (707) 269-2071.
Above: Eureka's newest waterfront trail. 
South Eureka's Hikshari' Trail Completed
Eureka’s newest section of Eureka Waterfront Trail is now complete! The Elk River Hikshari’ Trail is a multiple-use, paved trail that runs between Truesdale Avenue (just south of the Bayshore Mall) 1.5 miles south to the Pound Road Park & Ride lot, off the Herrick Avenue and Highway 101 interchange.  Four parking areas and trailheads were enhanced at the following locations: Truesdale Vista Point, Hilfiker Lane (with primitive boat ramp), Hilfiker Lane at the Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary, and Pound Road Park & Ride.  Informational kiosks with map information have been installed at each access area, in addition to benches, picnic tables and interpretive signage highlighting the area’s natural and cultural history.  NRS collaborated with Redwood Artists Association in the development of a special ‘local art’ panel at the Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary trailhead. This panel features artwork from five artists, works inspired by the area and elements of the watershed. Artist John King designed the concrete structures (thematic entryway signs, benches and kiosks) and artist Gary Bloomfield illustrated the interpretive panels. Wayfinding signage (indicating ‘Eureka Waterfront Trail’) along Highway 101 through Eureka and access streets will be installed soon. This project was possible with funding from California State Coastal Conservancy, PG&E, and the California Resources Agency's River Parkways Program. NRS worked closely with the City of Eureka as a key partner throughout trail implementation. NRS also thanks our other project partners, including: LACO and Associates, SHN, California Conservation Corps, Alves Inc., Figas Construction, Hooven & Co., the Humboldt Trails Council, and community volunteers.
Copyright © 2013 May/ Spring e-Newsletter, Redwood Community Action Agency and Natural Resources Services, All rights reserved.
Redwood Community Action Agency
Natural Resources Services Division
904 G Street
Eureka, CA 95501