Grow Riverside and the Push for more High Density Development
We know that the Friends of Riverside’s HIlls, the citizen supporters of Prop R and Measure C, the Santa Ana River Conservancy and the Riverside Land Conservancy understand the many reasons it makes sense to preserve open space and biodiversity .
Farmers always new this. The Gage Canal and local industry have a legacy worth revisiting today. After all, it was an agricultural economy that put Riverside on the map. We had land, water and markets. Now we still have water; there’s a lot less land but much bigger markets than ever. Experts agree, even urbanized communities can become assets supporting biodiversity.
There is an increasing number of Grow Riverside advocates and stakeholders who appreciate the importance and the value of reinvigorating a locally developed, sustainable agricultural economy. We have incredible opportunities within reach and there is something in this for everybody.
The case can easily be made that agriculture is the highest land use to consider for our remaining ag lands. How many of the eighteen and a half million consumers in our So Cal region can we introduce to “Riverside Grown”? How many different classes of fans can we create? How many new locally owned businesses can we spark to fill a gap or offer a service. How man more servings of fruits and vegetables can we produce for our local community to consume? How quickly will this impact our health outcomes?
We have two important areas of prime agricultural land still available in Riverside.These remaining agricultural and open space lands are the basis for the prosperity we enjoy today. No one could have predicted the amazing benefits we enjoy from having UCR here, Without our citrus industry would we even have a UCR today?
What if we choose a different path for the management of these assets? Despite the misleading ballot proposition to “save” the La Sierra Hills, this November’s election gives us an opportunity to voice a resounding “NO” to more high density development masquerading as open space preservation.
Defeating the measure for higher density development signals a resounding “YES” for a local, agri-based and potential billion dollar economy instead of more over development and negative impacts.
It’s important to talk to your neighbors about this. Ask questions. Speak out. Write letters to everyone who should know about this and share with your networks.
You’ll be surprised how much agreement already exists around this opportunity. Our resounding community voice will signal a commitment to begin meeting all our of our community’s needs – jobs, education, poverty, food and health. .
A good question to start with might be:
How many servings of fruits and vegetables does it take for no one to ever go hungry in Riverside again?