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Habitat Restoration

Bolsa Chica Stewards

stewards
The Bolsa Chica Stewards–the Restoration Team of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust–have been restoring the natural habitat on the Bolsa Chica Mesa since 1996.  In cooperation with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Bolsa Chica Stewards have planted over 38,000 drought tolerant, native plants with the help of more than 17,000 volunteers from 80 different schools and community organizations.  Our planting season is October through April; during the rest of the year we care for the new plants and remove non-native plants, pick up trash, and other maintenance tasks.
 
The Bolsa Chica ecosystem is comprised of a rare combination of saltwater wetland and dry upland Mesa. The lower wetlands received a breath of new life in the form of a significant restoration; however, the Mesa was untouched by that project. The Bolsa Chica Stewards foresaw the need to heal the habitat and had the passion to undertake the immense challenge of restoring native vegetation among a sea of non-native, invasive weeds.  With persistence, dedication, and a “yes we can” attitude, the Bolsa Chica Stewards have successfully met the challenge and transformed over 9 acres into beautiful Southern California Coastal Sage Scrub habitat and native grassland.
 
For more information on the Stewards, contact Beverley Hansen (Beverley@bclandtrust.org).

Bolsa Chica Jr. Stewards


Jr Stewards
 The Junior Stewards is a branch of the Bolsa Chica Stewards. This program’s main objective is to get kids out to the Bolsa Chica. Kids 5-16 are welcome to come help out!

Here are some reasons for joining the Junior Stewards:

  • you can get dirty and your parents won’t mind
  • it’s fun!
  • you get a stylin’ t-shirt
  • you get documented volunteer hours
  • pride in helping the environment
  • be part of a great team
  • make new friends
  • be in a beautiful place outdoors
  • learn leadership skills

A restoration team made by kids for kids!  The Jr. Stewards work on the Reserve at the same time and days that the Stewards do, but have their own area to work on as a team.  The Jr. Stewards are kids aged 5 – 16 who as a group learn about the local environment and ecology, build leadership skills and make lasting friendships.  The Jr. Stewards also visit other local Reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, go on field trips and campouts, and take part in other Land Trust events.   For more information on the Jr. Stewards, contact Danny Hasheminejad, Jr. Stewards Coordinator (Dannyh@bclandtrust.org).

Bolsa Chica Land Trust Stewards:
Growing Space

 

The purpose of this Growing Space is to support the Bolsa Chica Land Trust (BCLT) Stewards Habitat Restoration efforts, current and future, on the Lower Mesa at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.  The space will be utilized to grow native plants for both Coastal Sage Scrub and Grassland habitats.  The entire setup will be temporary and easily movable without physical change to the land.

Volunteer coordinator: Beverley Hansen, Beverley@BCLandTrust.org

Core Steward Leads: Mike McMahan, Mike Armstrong, Jeff Rokos

Core Steward volunteers:
John Phibbs
Marli McGraw
Joe Smisko
Roberta Armstrong
William Balow
Morgen Hansen
Ian Hansen

Why

native grass

The BCLT believes this Growing Space is vital to our success in restoring the Mesa to native Coastal Sage Scrub and Grassland habitat because: it will save on total costs of the restoration project; it will save on total carbon output by decreasing the amount of driving required to transport plants to the site; the plants will be propagated under the exact conditions of the Mesa increasing the probability the plants will survive once planted; it is a tool for educational and experimental possibilities; it will serve as a pilot test for future larger restoration project(s).

The Bolsa Chica Stewards have been very successful in our 25 years of habitat restoration.  The Coastal Sage Scrub habitat areas, most notably at the Point, have grown robust.  Some of the species have even expanded beyond the fence to establish themselves where few natives have been seen and none have been planted.  The Coastal Sage that was seeded in circles are growing and preventing non-native species from invading the circles.  The erosion control plants that were planted on the slope going up to the Point have done very well and have stabilized the slope from erosion.  Even the native grasses that we have just recently started to plant in the last few 5 years are surviving multiple years and are healthy enough to produce seeds on their own.

baby-blue eyes in Growing Space The Growing Space is an ideal location for education and experimentation of native plants.  Also, the Growing Space will be a living laboratory to test different propagation and treatment techniques to determine the most efficient and successful procedures for growing native plants under the environmental conditions of Bolsa Chica.

The largescale goal of the BCLT Restoration program is to restore the entire 118 acre Mesa into native habitat.  The project will use thousands of plants of many different species.  The small Growing Space will be a pilot for a Growing Space with multiple units to be able to grow enough plants.  The pilot Growing Space will test growing methods, supply needs, and the most efficient and safest procedures before the requirement of a larger-scaled space for increased plant output.  It will resolve a lot of the potential issues that would arise before the larger project starts.

 

 

The NITTY-GRITTY

  • Who: Bolsa Chica Land Trust Stewards
  • What: an on-site location to grow native plants for planting on the Bolsa Chica Mesa
  • When: weekly and monthly volunteering opportunities
  • How: volunteers supervised by trained Core Stewards

photos: Beverley Hansen, Kim Kolpin, and E. Chin

Eagle Scout Project

A big thank you to Luke Maloney, an Eagle/Life Scout in Troop 316, and his Troop for the hard work and dedication of erecting the physical structure of the Growing Space in the summer of 2017 as well as the construction of the tabletop cages!!

photos courtesy of Troop 316

bclt logo solid

Our Location

Bolsa Chica Land Trust
5200 Warner Avenue #108
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714-846-1001
Info@BCLandTrust.org

Bolsa Chica Land Trust is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit

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