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2023 Highlights
RDMIA Fall 2023 Highlights
Our History, Updated.

Special thanks to Recently Retired Director Sam Nazzal for his years of dedicated service as the Treasurer of the RDMIA. Sam is a Life Member who remains engaged with ongoing projects. Join us in thanking Sam in person at our next project. 

Special thank you to Joyce Barnett for her endless gardening effort on our most visible landmark in Rio Del Mar, The Esplanade Roundabout

October 16, 2023 Semi-Annual Meeting Highlights

Speakers and Special Guests:

  • Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 2

  • Nolan Clark, Coastal Planner, California Coastal Commission

  • Lauren Kitayama, Outreach Coordinator, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Newsletter Highlights

  • John Hibble Round and Round We Go," Rio Del Mar History - Courtesy of the Aptos History Museum

  • Aptos History Museum Update and exclusive RDMIA Member benefits

RDMIA Fall 2022 - Spring 2023 Highlights
Making a Difference Post-Pandemic

​"There is no question that Santa Cruz County today is different than it was 30 years ago, and we know that some elements will also change 30 years from now. How do we invest inre can the county improve its methods? Where should we focus our efforts?" At the Spring 2023 Meeting, Santa Cruz County's Second District Supervisor Zach Friend gave us insight into these questions and the shared vision for Santa Cruz County. He also announced the launch of a new website’s features and all the important tools being made available to our community.

At the April 19 Rio Sands Meeting, Marcus Pimentel, Santa Cruz County Budget Manager, explained how very little of our tax contributions are available to spend on county projects when compared to other counties in the state. Where’s all our money going? 

Sarah Christensen, the senior transportation engineer in charge of key projects including the Watsonville to Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program and Coastal Rail Trail, discussed the trail and highway updates that impact our members. 

For a comprehensive update on maximizing RDMIA member contributions, please read the Spring of 2023 and  Fall  2022 Newsletters.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting. If you are not a member, please consider supporting RDMIA in enhancing your neighborhood!

2021 Highlighs
RDMIA 2020 - 2021 Highlights
Mission Forward through the Pandemic

2020 through late 2021 was a challenging time for our country. Plans and efforts to complete projects were delayed yet, we want to take a moment to consider the positives, which must always include how lucky we are to live in this great country and further, being a part of such a great community. The RDMIA's mission to enhance our neighborhood through beautification, advocacy, and engagement, which perfectly aligns with keeping Rio del Mar a safe, supportive, and happy place to live.

RDMIA continues to be very engaged despite the pandemic-related restrictions on group activities. We've been putting your membership contributions to good use in pursuit of the mission:


  • Installed solar lighting at the Highway 1 exit Rio del Mar wall  

  • Refurbished the roundabout sign and improved the solar lighting 

  • Trimmed the Magnolia trees to restore Rio del Mar sign solar panel output at the Deer Park median  

  • Competed volunteer landscape work on road medians

  • Contributed to Hidden Beach Park playground Jett Ramsey Tribute fundraiser

  • Donated to Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller Heroes Fallen Fund

  • Promoted weekly County Supervisor Town Hall calls covering pandemic and local issues

Median Landscape Improvements

RDMIA members Patrick and Caroline Kelley stepped in and got their hands dirty to rejuvenate and replant water-wise and low maintenance ground coverings at both the Treasure Island Sumner Drive and Rio del Mar Blvd intersection medians.  

Patrick shares it was” one and done” with the turnover of the old to the new within an hour.  Thank you both for your time and talent! 

Do you have one hour to spare? There are other landscape projects on the horizon and RDMIA can use your help. Please consider becoming a Volunteer member of RDMIA. Complete our quick contact form or send an email with the Subj. "RDMIA Volunteer" to

Annual Coastal Cleanup
Every Saturday in September!

Hidden Beach

Seascape (Beer Can) Beach

Platforms Beach

Rio del Mar Beach


September 2020 marked the 36th annual California Coastal Cleanup

SAVE LIVES partnership
Santa Cruz County & Community Foundation
SAVE Lives logo.JPG

The Health Services Agency of Santa Cruz County announces a partnership: SAVE LIVES SANTA CRUZ COUNTY


A framework to safely move forward that protects residents and aligns with State public health authorities, based on measurable objectives, to increase community resiliency.

Recognizing the challenge COVID-19 poses to the community, SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County is a partnership between the County of Santa Cruz and Community Foundation of Santa Cruz.


The community-based plan is designed to facilitate progress based on four principles:







For more information visit:

RDMIA Fall 2019 Meeting

Wednesday, 11/6/19, 6:30-8:00 PM at the Rio Sands Hotel


Please join the RDMIA members and neighbors in attending the semi-annual Fall meeting at the Rio Sands Hotel on Wednesday, November 6th starting at 6:30pm.  Doors open at 6:15.


Guest speakers are:

  • Zach Friend, 2nd District Supervisor - Community updates

  • Matt Machado, Director of Public Works - Measure D update for local roads

  • Eric Sturm, SC Parks Dept. Superintendent - Hidden Beach Park improvements and community input


Zach will offer his always entertaining Rio del Mar Community update, Matt with lead an informative discussion covering the current local road improvements and Measure D projects status, and Eric will introduce the upcoming HBP enhancements.  Bring your questions!

Members and the public are invited to attend. Please RSVP. For time efficiency, submit your questions for the panelists to

2019 Highlights
Stroll to the Aptos Village Green
Walkers, Bikers, Friends, Neighbors





Saturday, 8/3/2019, 10 am

Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Friends, Family, and Neighbors arrived for a Saturday Stroll to the
Aptos Village Green event on Saturday, August 3rd

Hosted by the Seacliff Improvement Association, RDMIA encouraged everyone in the community to attended this important annual event. The welcome booth opened at 10 am and prizes were drawn at 11 am.

  • Snacks were provided by New leaf Market

  • Pedestrian survey results

  • Prizes from the Aptos Village merchants.

  • The first 100 arrivals received a reusable New Leaf shopping bag


A quick survey completed at the welcome booth will help to:

  • Inform the local transportation agencies about your experience

  • Increase and improve pedestrian safety measures for walking and cycling to and from the Aptos Village

Imagine the difference we can make together. Please share this with family, friends, and neighbors to speak up about safe walking and biking to Aptos Village!

2019 Hidden Beach Cleanups
Friday, 7/5/19 - Hidden Beach Park and Beach

Rio del Mar Improvement Association remains committed to Save Our Shores and the Adopt-A-Beach program in 2019 and will continue to facilitate Hidden Beach clean-ups.

2019 Hidden Beach Clean Up Days with RDMIA and Save Our Shores.  Beach cleanup events 9:00 – 11:00 am

Please join in for one or more clean up days in 2019:

  • Friday, July 5th  - this is one of the dirtiest days for our local beaches, where over a thousand pounds of can be found at the edge of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

  • Saturday, September 21st - Annual Coastal Cleanup Day - a statewide effort is the biggest and largest volunteer effort on the planet, where tons of trash are removed from the coastline every year.





RDMIA and our community acts to help keep Hidden Beach clean with many efforts to keep marine debris out of the ocean throughout the entire year!  California’s Adopt-a-Beach program provides people of all ages with an opportunity to learn more about and actively participate in the conservation of our precious marine resources.


RDMIA is excited to bring the community together to be a part of the solution to ocean pollution! 

Your membership dollars made it possible to donate $100 to Save Our Shores in addition to everyone’s ongoing volunteer energies.  Many thanks!  For more information or RSVP contact

RDMIA greets all volunteers at Hidden Beach park picnic tables to sign in, gather supplies and answer any questions.  We encourage volunteers to bring their own gloves if possible.  Rain cancels events.

RDMIA Spring Meeting

Wednesday, 4/17/19, 6:30-8:00 PM Rio Sands Hotel


Please join the RDMIA members and neighbors in attending the semi-annual Spring meeting at the Rio Sands Hotel on Wednesday, April 17 starting at 6:30pm.  Doors open at 6:15.


A panel discussion about the current status and general county plan for the homelessness issue in Santa Cruz County is the main topic. Panel members include:


  • Zach Friend, 2nd District Supervisor

  • Elissa Benson, Assistant County Administrative Officer

  • Sergeant Jordan Brownlee, Aptos Sheriff Representative


Rio del Mar and Aptos residents are interested in a better understanding of what this means in our neighborhood in the context of County and State laws and initiatives. A Q&A session about the topic follows the presentation.


Members and the public are invited to attend. Please RSVP. For time efficiency, submit your questions for the panelists to

RDMIA 2018 Highlights
Hidden Beach Park Improvement Celebration
Saturday, 12/1/18, 10:30-11:30 AM

Hidden Beach Park


(Please note this event rescheduled from an earlier date due to air quality concerns)


Rio del Mar Improvement Association and the Santa Cruz County Parks Dept. are excited to celebrate the recent upgrades to Hidden Beach Park.  Please join us for a dedication of gratitude for our supporters and members who helped make these improvements:

  • New water faucet with pet trough

  • ADA-compliant Porta Potty

  • Refinished picnic tables

  • Entrance sign relocation and landscape


Stop by for coffee, juice, refreshments and dog treats as we gather to give thanks for everyone's support. Come and meet your neighbors and community members.  Dog friendly event - everyone is welcome!

Many thanks to Starbucks at Post Office Way, Safeway at Rancho del Mar Shopping Center and Aptos Feed & Pet Supply for donations supporting this event!


aptos Feed & Pet Supply

2018 Highlights
RDMIA Fall Meeting

Wednesday, 10/17/18, 6:30-8:00 PM - Rio Sands Hotel


Please join the RDMIA members and neighbors in attending the semi-annual fall meeting at the Rio Sands Hotel on Wednesday, October 17, starting at 6:30 pm.

The tentative agenda includes:

  • Zach Friend update on local governmental issues, including a Q&A

  • Fire Chief Aaron Lowe introduction  

  • Aptos Creek sand berm enhancement cancellation

  • Hidden Beach Park improvements

  • Solicitation for new RDMIA project ideas 

Please RSVP or direct questions or comments to

Coffee and cookies will be served. See you there!

Hidden Beach 
2018 Annual Coastal Cleanup

Saturday, 9/15/18, 9:00-12:00 PM

Hidden Beach Park and Beach

Join in and be a part of the State’s largest annual volunteer event on Coastal Clean Up Day. RDMIA and Save Our Shores along with the California Coastal Commission welcomes everyone’s participation.  This is an ideal opportunity for students to earn community service too!


You can help us reduce our footprint and save time at Annual Coastal Cleanup by doing the following:


  • Print and fill out this waiver and bring it with you to the cleanup. For English click here and Spanish click here

  • Download the Annual Coastal Cleanup Day app CleanSwell for recording cleanup data. This will enable you to tally your trash collection as you go

  • BYOG: Bring your own gear. Come to our cleanup with your own gloves, bucket, grabbers, and filled reusable water bottles

  • All volunteers please check in at the picnic tables

  • For more details please visit SOS Annual Coastal Cleanup


Event sponsored by Rio Del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores in coordination with the California Coastal Commission or for more information contact

Hidden Beach Park Improvement Fundraiser Success
Over $1,700 Raised!

Many thanks to the RDMIA members, Rio del Mar community, and partners for all your donations!  The association exceeded the $1,500 fundraising goal and with the promised match from the Santa Cruz Parks Department have generated over $3,400 for Hidden Beach Park improvements. 


The funds will go directly to replace the broken water faucet at the park.  An upgraded model, designed specifically to help prevent blockages, includes water outlets for adults, children and pets is on its way.  


The new water faucet is scheduled to be installed this summer.  In addition to the water faucet, SC Parks has committed to repairing the broken sidewalk along the grass area leading to the playground.  We will keep you posted on progress and announce when the work is complete.  


 The Rio del Mar Improvement Association also thanks to the Community Foundation for their support and funds, along with the exceptional help of the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz.   And another shout out to SC Parks for their support and engagement.  This effort, along with important direct neighborhood resident donations, have helped prioritize these improvements for our local neighborhood park.  Your efforts and contributions are making a difference!

Summer Safety Meeting Recap

Tuesday, 6/12/18 - Rio Sands Hotel


Many thanks to Sgt. Kent and Lieutenant Greg along with Supervisor Friend and all who attended to discuss the upcoming 4th of July holiday and updates about recent auto crimes in the neighborhood.  Your time was greatly appreciated!

Key discussion highlights about home safety and fireworks:


Auto and crime updates

• Remember to lock your automobile doors as well as your homes.  Most break-ins occur into unlocked cars.

• Mailbox theft usually happens in rural areas.  For peace of mind, consider a locked mailbox.  When traveling, the Post Office provides a hold mail service.  For more info go to USPS.

• Call the Sheriff’s office and ask for a vacation watch whenever you are traveling.  The Sheriff will patrol your area while you’re away.  Details can be found here.

• If you see something say something.  The Sheriff encourages you to call the non-emergency number 831.471.1121 any time if you suspect something.  Better to be safe and alerting the Sheriff of usual behaviors often helps with handling potential future crimes. 

Firework Deterrent Program

• The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office outreached to vacation rental owners alerting them of firework illegality and the $1,000 fines.  All renters must be informed of this law, in addition to tourists staying in local accommodations.

• The County of Santa Cruz, in conjunction with the SC County Sheriff’s department launched a social media campaign about the dangers and violations related to firework use.  The press release can be read here.

• Safety tips for a safe holiday and pet care are outlined here.


Family safety comes first and we hope these friendly reminders of the County’s efforts to deter illegal fireworks will make your 4th of July holiday one of the best. 

Hidden Beach Cleanup
4th of July Recovery

Thursday, 7/5/18, 9:00-11:00 AM

Hidden Beach Park and Beach

The Rio del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores will sponsor an Earth Day beach cleanup at Hidden Beach, Aptos, on Thursday, July 5, 9-11 a.m. Meet at the picnic tables at Hidden Beach Park to sign in and pick up supplies. Students may earn community service credit. Rain cancels the event.


Event sponsored by the Rio Del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores. For more information, contact

RDMIA Neighborhood Summer Meeting

Tuesday, 6/12/18, 6:30-7:30 PM

Rio Sands Hotel

You are invited to join the conversation with Sgt. Kelly Kent, along with Supervisor Zach Friend and Fire Chief Aaron Lowe about the recent break-ins and theft in our community.  

A discussion about the upcoming 4th of July holiday and fireworks is also on the agenda.

If you have any questions or comments please contact

Hidden Beach Park Improvement Human Race Fundraiser

The Human Race is an opportunity to raise funds on behalf of RDMIA’s Hidden Beach Park Improvement Project in collaboration with S.C. Parks Department.  The Human Race is the longest continuous running Human Race in the United States and is the largest collaborative fundraiser in Santa Cruz County.  #humanracesc

Human Race - Saturday, May 12th 9:00 am
Registration begins at 8 am - 5K walk/run

Great News - Santa Cruz County Parks Department has agreed to match donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000! Thank you, SC County Parks, for your generous support.

Hidden Beach Park is a gem in our neighborhood where families, neighbors, and visitors gather for birthday parties, playdates, dog play and making memories.  The park was dedicated in 1992 and has been a community favorite ever since.  


Funds raised are for park improvements including picnic table upgrades, ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliance porta potty and the larger scope playground project.  These initial donations, matched by the SC County Parks Department, will fund the overall potential costs estimated at $150,000.  This fundraiser is one of many we will participate in as a community to bring this wonderful park up to current standards. 


Join RDMIA in this new endeavor and make a difference with your contribution! Please donate today.

Hidden Beach Cleanup
Save Our Shores - Earth Day!

Saturday, 4/21/18

Hidden Beach Park and Beach

The Rio del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores will sponsor an Earth Day beach cleanup at Hidden Beach, Aptos, on Saturday, April 21, 9-11 a.m. Meet at the picnic tables at Hidden Beach Park to sign in and pick up supplies. Students may earn community service credit. Rain cancels the event.


Event sponsored by the Rio Del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores. For more information, contact

For more local Earth Day activities visit Earth Day Santa Cruz

RDMIA Spring Meeting

Wednesday, 4/18/18, 6:30-8:00 PM

Rio Sands Hotel


Thank you to all who attended the Spring RDMIA meeting.  It was a huge success with a SRO audience.  Scott Grady from Terramar Retail Centers spoke about the Rancho del Mar Shopping center’s progress and confirmed current tenants and expected completion dates.  For the meeting summary please visit the Aptos Times article.


As always, Zach Friend’s wit and knowledge was well received in his discussion about current cannabis regulations, the status of the Esplanade’s Seabreeze lots, now owned by the County and the upcoming lottery for the Aptos Village Measure J units.


Many thanks to RDMIA’s community partners contributing to the meeting’s success.  Mangiamo’s Pizza of Deer Park Shopping Center for the delicious pizza served, Flats Bistro at the Esplanade for raffle prize gift certificates and to the Rio Sands Hotel for providing the wonderful meeting space.  Your support is appreciated and we hope our members will show their gratitude by patronizing your business.

If you have any questions or comments please contact

County Parks Strategic Plan

Meeting dates and locations


The SC County Parks Department invites you to attend one or more of three public meetings to review the draft County Parks Strategic Plan.  This plan will guide the next decade of parks, trails, playgrounds, programs, summer camps, athletic fields, etc.  Public meetings are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, March 27, 6:00 PM         Community Room at Simpkins Family Swim Center (Live Oak)

  • Wednesday, March 28, 6:00 PM    Highlands County Park (Ben Lomond)

  • Thursday, March 29, 6:00 PM        Civic Center Community Room (Watsonville)


Please come and hear what’s in the plan and how it got there, and why this plan matters to you!  For more information, including downloadable documents, click here

Storm Water Drainage Issues
Public Meeting

Tuesday, 4/3/18, 6:30-7:30 PM

Rio Sands Hotel

You are invited to join Zach Friend, SC County Supervisor, for a community discussion about storm water runoff  and drainage issues that affect Rio del Mar and Seacliff.  This specifically addresses "The Flats”.


In order to work towards a solution, Zach is hosting the meeting with County staff to discuss these drainage problems and solutions. This will be an informational meeting about the available options.


Issues addressed at the meeting will include:

  • An understanding of the storm water management district's boundaries 

  • What the zone's authority is (meaning what work can be done)

  • Funding challenges we face 

  • Options for financing drainage improvements through the zone should the community want that - especially in light of last year's damage

We hope to see you there!

Zach Friend / Patrick Mulhearn / RDMIA

Hidden Beach Cleanup Recap

Saturday, 3/10/18, 9:00-11:00 AM

Hidden Beach Park and Beach

The Rio del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores sponsored a beach cleanup at Hidden Beach, Aptos, on Saturday, March 10, 9-11 a.m. Thank you to all the volunteers including the group of children who participated in spite of the inclement weather.

See you at the next cleanup!

Hidden Beach Cleanup Recap

Saturday, 1/27/18

Hidden Beach Park and Beach

Thank you volunteers for spending your Saturday morning with us for another successful Hidden Beach cleanup.  It was great having students participate earning community service as well.  And welcome to the new neighbors who participated. Together everyone made a difference for all of us to enjoy the natural beauty of our Hidden Beach. 


Event sponsored by the Rio Del Mar Improvement Association and Save Our Shores. For more information, contact

October Meeting Recap

Wednesday, 10/18/17

Rio Sands Hotel


Thank you everyone for attending the October association meeting at the Rio Sands Hotel. 


Many thanks to Colt Esenwein with the Santa Cruz County Public Works department discussing the RDM Flats storm water drainage improvement project.  The estimated project timing was predicated upon FEMA extending the grant timeline and releasing more funds to the project. A conversation regarding flooding and need for adequate and appropriate drainage to the area was discussed.  Colt's overview presentation of storm drainage issues and the proposed project is available here. 

In addition, County Supervisor Zach Friend discussed the impact of the upcoming marijuana legalization in District 2.

Many thanks to departing Board member Fay Levinson for all her efforts and contributions over the years.  Fay will continue to facilitate the beach clean ups in association with Save our Shores.  Great job Fay!  And you too Joe  :-)

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