Prep for Borrego Bloom Begins
Last updated 1/23/2020 at 2:45pm
Early logistical preparations for either a flower bloom in March, or perhaps even a Super Bloom are underway, and as was the case last year, Borregans will be ready for both.
The Super Bloom of 2017 caught everyone by surprise, but the lessons learned and actions taken since then have proved effective in subsequent blooms.
Jim Dion, Executive Director for the Borrego Village Association, headed up the coordinated effort for the Wildflower Bloom Planning Meeting at the Library on Jan. 9, saying it was "a positive planning approach if we have a wildflower bloom in Spring 2020 0."
The meeting started with an expert's heads-up on what conditions are needed for a Super Bloom, provided by ABDSP Senior Environmental Scientist Danny McCamish; in short, if we have more rain in January, and temperatures stay on the cool side, he says there is the possibility for significant flowers. He used soil moisture data to bolster the notion of that possibility.
Other participants including Ray Lennox, Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Bri Fordem, Executive Director for the Anza-Borrego Foundation, as well as representatives from the County's Sheriff and Roads Departments.
The need for public information, including maps, traffic control, adequate sanitation facilities, and considerations for public health and safety were all on the list to assist Bloom visitors and residents in having the best experience possible; four working groups were formed around the need to first define a problem, then suggest solutions, and where possible to estimate the cost of implementing the solution.
The "Traffic" working group (four members discussed, as examples, traffic diversion and "slowing" signs and electronic message boards.
The "Public Information" working group of nine members split their discussion into Wildlflower Resources (covering Website placement and announcements, such as in BorregoBlooms.org and BorregoExperience.com; Social Media platforms to get info to the public; and Local resources such as the Park, ABF, and ABDNHA), and Planning (restrooms, local business outreach, promotion after the bloom, resource protection, and event flags to denote the special Bloom event).
The "Hospitality (health and safety)" working group of four members identified specific problems, and it proposed specific solutions that included providing maps of bloom locations at the Information Center; contacting businesses to ensure owners have accounted for extra delivery dates; providing safety checklist (water, driving, cell coverage, etc.) that visitors can find via websites/social media; off-road excursions; pet leash notification, waste, and disposal; and expanding outreach to surrounding communities.
The "Sanitation" working group of four members identified various needs, with proposed solutions offered, including directions to restrooms, providing adequate number of dumpsters and chemical toilets (including daily cleaning, weekly pumping, and supplies). This working group was the only group to identify a specific cost for their proposed toilet/dumpster solutions based on last year's experience: $15,000.
There will be more to say in late-February or early-March issues of the Sun regarding the subject of logistical planning for either the Bloom or Super Bloom.