Stream Spirit Rising was a community outreach project in 2004 sponsored by North East Trees to promote awareness of the lost streams and springs in our region. Jessica Hall led the campaign, which focussed on the North Branch, a tributary of the Arroyo Seco that once flowed through Highland Park to join the Arroyo at Sycamore Grove Park.
Stream Spirit Rising featured a series of events including "Tales of the Arroyo Night" in which oldtimers told their stories of the Arroyo Seco and the North Branch stream. Artist Jennifer Murphy led several workshops that crafted stream spirit masks featuring creatures of all kinds (swamp monsters, turtles, bear, dragons) that represented the beings dependent upon streams.
The culmination of the campaign was a lively parade along the course of the stream and through the local community with flags, banners and the colorful masks. The goal was to inspire the daylighting of the old North Branch, aka Stormdrain 5202, through the neighborhood and Sycamore Grove Park. That stream still has not been daylighted, but the campaign certainly did inform and inspire the community.
photos - Jennifer Murphy