"Watershed." This weekend I was thinking about both interpretations of this word and its meaning for the future of Healdsburg.
Here's how Lord Google defines it:
- An area or region drained by a river, river system, or other body of water.
- An event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.
As we know, Foss Creek runs through the heart of Healdsburg and is part of the Russian River watershed. This Saturday I experienced a kind of "watershed moment" by participating in the annual Foss Creek cleanup sponsored by the City of Healdsburg. That's a picture of me holding one of the "treasures" I found - Yes, that's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan, and yes it still worked.
As always the cleanup was a showcase moment of civic participation, where government, service groups like Kiwanis and Sunrise Rotary, social organizations like the Healdsburg Community Church and the Cub Scouts, and individuals like myself all join forces to make a difference in their community. We removed hundreds of pounds of trash from the Russian River watershed that might otherwise have made its way into the river and potentially all the way to the Pacific trash vortex. Nice work Healdsburg!
I feel that Healdsburg itself is currently facing a watershed moment of its own. We are like that proverbial drop of water falling from the sky over the Mayacamas mountains, whose ultimate destiny is determined by which side of the ridge we fall upon. Do we flow down the eastern slopes to the Napa River, or down the Sonoma side to the Russian River?
Fortunately, unlike the drop of water whose direction is determined almost entirely by external forces, as a community we can exercise some degree of choice. We can apply our collective will to counterbalance the forces of markets, regulations and economics toward the direction we want our town to go.
The question is, which watershed would we choose? What is the future that we want for Healdsburg?
I think we all agree that what we love and want to preserve about Healdsburg is its "small town feel." But how we define that term is a very interesting question that will help guide us in the choices we make for our future.
I have some thoughts about that question... but enough for now. It's time to get ready for my day job.