Tending the newly planted natives after some lovely rain

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It rained off and on starting Sunday Nov. 30 to Wednesday night which was wonderful.  All the plants soaked it up and the ground was still pretty moist when the Sunday work day rolled along.  We didn’t have any big groups sign up so it was nice small group made up of families and core Stewards weeding, rebuilding, and seeding areas we just planted with native grasses.  The sun was played hide and seek with the clouds all morning which created the perfect weather.

We worked in the green rectangle first rebuilding berms around the grasses, and weeding and breaking up the soil around the berms.  The rains wash away the berms so they berms need to be rebuilt.  The berms help keep the water around the plants, and help us locate the plants we planted.  Danny, our Jr. Stewards Coordinator then brought some yummy snacks out to the work area which was a big hit, especially with the kids.  After everyone had taken a break to get some water and food, we got out the bags of seeds I had bought to cast out in the rectangle.  We had 5 species of native wildflowers and grasses.

Stipa cernua– Nodding needle grass

Stipa pulchra– Purple needle grass

Eschscholzia maritima– California coast poppy

Lasthenia californica– California goldfields

Nemophila menziesii– Baby blue eyes

I handed each bag of seed to a parent who then carefully gave seed out to the kids.  Spreading the seed didn’t have to be perfect, and I wanted the kids to be a part of the process.  They learned how to cast out seed from their parents and the other adults there, and everyone had fun.  We will now broadcast water to the rectangle from the truck and cross our fingers the seeds germinate and sprout (in hopes of out competing the non-natives).

We then moved onto the area we had planted the previous work day to rebuild those berms as well.  Some kids witnessed some cormorants, sea gulls and other birds feasting on a school of small fish near the end of the day, and I saw a lot of smiles as we walked back to the parking lot.

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~Erin

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