January has been a busy month for us here at the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. Hence, I am combining the two Stewards volunteer work days we had this month into one post.
Sunday, Jan. 3rd: Last year I noticed that a sneaky perennial non-native plant had started to really spread out and choke out the native bushes and grasses. So Sunday, we focused on removing Australian saltbush (Atriplex semibaccata) and clear the now dead native tar plant from the Jr. Steward’s triangle by the first bench. I heard from a lot of Stewards “wow” at how much the Australian saltbush had spread while we had been focused on other tasks. Australian saltbush is a low growing ground cover plant that tends to blend in with the other plants that it slowly covers and eventually kills, because of the small size and light color green of the leaves. Therefore, it is easily overlooked and not noticed unless you are specifically looking for it. Danny and the Jr. Stewards cleared the dense dead tar plant in the triangle to expose the grasses and help them spread and grow (and to check to make sure the grasses are still alive). They also spread what remaining seeds were in the tar plants around our newer planted native grasses to help expand the areas where tar plant may sprout.
Saturday, Jan. 16th: We had a very busy packed work day with 120 volunteers! We had many school groups come to help (a big thank you to them!) as well as the kick off for the Adopt-a-plot groups. With everyone’s help, we planted and watered 200 native grass plants (Stipa pulchra)! The two adopt-a-plot groups got a very educational lesson from one of our dedicated volunteers Mike, learned about and how to identify non-native plants from native plants, and got a better idea of the work involved and the potential of their plots. Thank you adopt-a-plot groups for going on this adventure with us!
What a great start to the year! I’m looking forward to the rest of the volunteer Stewards day for 2016 and hope you can join us for one (or more) of them!!
photos by Marinka Horack and me