How Big Were Their Footprints?



Orange groves are giving way to houses and stores. The population of Loma Linda is doubling every few years. Thousands of people are getting jobs in the new Loma Linda University Medical Center. The Veterans Hospital brings more people. The University is growing, with more departments and more students.



More and more wells are drilled. The city must build more water storage tanks to save water. Chemicals from a rocket plant in Mentone are being pumped up in Loma Linda drinking water.

Chemicals in the water can make people sick. These chemicals are impossible to remove. Some wells are shut down to protect the people. City officials worry about future water supplies.


Millions of cars make lots of pollution in the air. People call it "smog" -- a mix of smoke and fog. Smog from Los Angeles blows into Loma Linda.

People in the sixties and seventies have trouble breathing in the summer. Laws are made to require cleaner-burning engines in cars. The air gets better, but is still polluted.

Citrus is a very small part of the valley now. People plant lawns, shrubs and trees. Native plants only grow on the hills and places where no one has built yet.

Some friends of nature get the government to protect the hills from development. That means that at least a little land will not have houses built there.

More and more buildings must be built to house the people who live and work here. Bigger sewer systems are needed. Streets are widened. A flood control channel is built of concrete.

The area looks more like city than country. Rainwater runs down the cement channel instead of soaking into the ground. People wonder if the underground supply of water will dry up.

Cities have to work hard to get rid of sewage waste. A company in San Timoteo Canyon recycles it as fertilizer. Sometimes the wind comes from the east and it really stinks!

Dairies close because the land is more valuable to build houses on. Milk and other products are brought in from far away.

The most common animals now are pets. In the past some people kept horses in Loma Linda, but not anymore.

Native Americans are opening casinos for gambling. The government has given some buildings at the former Air Force Base to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The tribe is building a plant to bottle drinking water. They have good springs on the reservation.

People in the community are becoming more aware of the history and people of the past. Several local Native American tribes hold annual pow-wows. The public can come to see dancing, hear music,and enjoy Indian crafts, culture and food.

The Bottom Line:

More people came to the valley. They turned it from sleepy farm towns to busy cities. Houses took the place of orange trees. Problems with pollution grew. Some people moved away because it was "too crowded." The mistakes of the past, in pouring chemicals on the ground and using gasoline for cars catches up with us. The air and water get more and more polluted, until people realize things must change.