Encinitas 101 MainStreet and the Cottonwood Creek Conservancy announce the unveiling of a new plaque recognizing Cottonwood Creek as a State of California Point  of Historical Interest at the overlook to Cottonwood Creek on Coast Hwy 101 just south of Encinitas Blvd.

The unveiling will take place Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m. The Conservancy will conduct tours of the creek from 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. 

The creek is locally significant because of its role as a water stop and fuel source for the California Southern Railroad beginning in 1881. The town developed around this train stop at the creek which also served as a source of water for the Encinitas community from 1881 to 1920.

In the early 1990s a group, devoted to keeping the creek from being developed, formed the Cottonwood Creek Conservancy. Headed by Ida Lou Coley and Mary Renaker, they were soon to be joined by Gil Voss, curator at Quail Botanical Garden, Mark Wisniewski of San Diego People for Trees and Bill Tippetts of California State Parks. They, with the help of many volunteers, spent countless hours cleaning up the area, removing over 120,000 stems of the invasive river bamboo, arundo donax and restoring the creek to its natural beauty.

Ida Lou applied for the historic designation and wrote the text on the plaque.

Mary feels “The small part I played in preserving Cottonwood Creek is one of the proudest achievements of my life.  I am so grateful to Ida Lou, Maureen Love Calvert, Gil Voss, Brad Roth, Mark Wisniewski, Carolyn Avalos, Marcia Jones, Bill Tippetts, Jesse and Jason Giessow, Lloyd O’Connell, the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association and the hundreds of volunteers who have worked so hard to preserve and protect this precious, historic, little spring-fed creek for future generations.”