SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – Police will be cleaning up an illegal campsite and marijuana grow operation near the Pasatiempo Creek in Santa Cruz Friday.

Santa Cruz police and Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation crews will be conducting a large-scale campsite and marijuana grow cleanup in a wooded area just west of the state Highway 17 and state Highway 1 interchange.

Crews will clear a campsite comprised of several tents and makeshift structures after posting warning notices on Wednesday advising of the cleanup.

Police said a marijuana garden was also being grown on the hillside.

The campsite was found to be polluting the Pasatiempo Creek, which flows into the San Lorenzo River. Water was being diverted from the creek to supply the marijuana grow operation, causing environmental destruction, police said.

Police said the camp was housing multiple occupants. Bicycles and other items were also found at the site.

In June, fire crews battled a blaze in the wooded area that threatened several nearby homes. Police said the campsite posed a continued fire threat.

Cleanup costs are estimated to be $15,000, police said.

According to police, illegal campsites continue to be a significant concern to the city.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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