Ventura River Bridge Graffiti
- Home Decor for Woodland Dwellers. Hundreds of homeless lived in the Ventura River estuary for many years, with 250 of them forced to leave permanently in order to restore what’s left of the river system. In 1958, Casitas Dam blocked the river’s natural flow, water now coming from street run off, oil and other industries, and treated sewage. The estuary is still known as Hobo Jungle: during the Depression, the railroad crossed on a steel trestle that remains and jobless folks hopped off and on freights slowing there. Our contemporary greed-induced economic depression brings the poor and destitute back. They decorated a new bridge’s cement pier with colorful tasteful art to claim it in a sense as part of their living space. We should preserve it as a reminder of what happens to neglected and damaged natural sites close to cities, and to signal the need for plans to house the homeless as part of ecological restoration. Neglected nature and neglected people will find each other and create a culture in the damaged woods and watersheds they feel akin to.