Friends of San Ramon Creek Co-Chair Recognized for Exemplary Leadership in Watershed Conservation
Danville, CA — At the 2023 Contra Costa County Creek and Watershed Symposium, a well-deserved spotlight shone on Dick Heron, Co-Chair of the Friends of San Ramon Creek, who was honored with the prestigious Watershed Champion Award. The accolade pays tribute to individuals who have demonstrated remarkable dedication, leadership, and partnership-building in the protection, restoration, and enhancement of local creeks and watersheds.
Heron's contributions to the Friends of San Ramon Creek have been nothing short of extraordinary. With unwavering enthusiasm and dedication, he has been instrumental in leading various efforts within the group, furthering the cause of preserving San Ramon Creek and its watershed.
Among his significant contributions, Heron has organized presentations as part of the Danville Library speaker series, spreading awareness about the importance of watershed health. He has also played a pivotal role in the group's water quality monitoring program, which is vital for understanding and preserving the local environment.
However, one of the most outstanding and ongoing initiatives spearheaded by Dick Heron is the eradication of the invasive weed, Arundo donax, from the San Ramon Creek subwatershed. Recognizing the magnitude of the task at hand, Heron took the initiative in 2013, leading volunteer groups in removing Arundo from several areas along the creek in Danville.
What sets Dick Heron apart is his forward-thinking approach. He collaborated with a software expert to develop a comprehensive map, meticulously tracking the locations of Arundo within the subwatershed. This strategic move laid the foundation for a highly organized and effective eradication effort.
Through the challenges posed by each passing year, Dick Heron and the dedicated volunteers of Friends of San Ramon Creek have honed their removal methods to maximize efficiency. They meet every Friday from April through October, tirelessly working to remove Arundo from the creek banks. Thanks to Heron's strong leadership, the Friends of San Ramon Creek have successfully eradicated a remarkable 120,000 square feet of the known 160,000 square feet of Arundo in the San Ramon Creek subwatershed.
Heron's dedication goes beyond the hands-on work. He ensures the volunteer team is equipped with all necessary permits, landowner permissions, and the required equipment for their weekly efforts. Furthermore, he keeps regulatory agencies well-informed about the progress of the eradication effort.
The impact of Dick Heron's work extends far beyond the removal of invasive species. His leadership has served as a source of inspiration, motivating people to collaborate towards healthier watersheds in Contra Costa County. The recognition and honor bestowed upon him as the 2023 Watershed Champion reaffirms the tremendous value of his contributions.
In response to the award, Heron expressed his gratitude and emphasized the importance of collective efforts in preserving the region's watersheds. He continues to serve as an inspiration to residents of Danville and beyond, reminding us all of the difference one person can make in the pursuit of a healthier and more sustainable environment. Congratulations, Dick Heron!