B. Creating Your Pathways

Walking side-by-side

  • When possible make paths approximately 4 feet wide – wide enough for 2 people to walk together and allow natives to creep as they become healthy and spread.

Downed limbs can become the border of paths

  • When possible, incorporate the natural resources on the property in landscaping. Fallen limbs may be used to define an edge for newly constructed paths. They can become habitat and, as needs change and your landscape evolves, they may be relocated to other areas.  Defining these paths also allows natives to grow into the edges of the paths creating a “nursery” of native plants that can be harvested for use in other areas. (link on nurseries) 
  • If there are any flagged, native species in the path, gently harvest these plants and replant in a nearby area or holding bed to be planted at a future time. 

Line the path with wood chips 

  • The fastest and best way to establish a path in a native habitat setting is to cover the path with a thick layer of native wood chips such as redwood, oak, bay, fir or madrone. 
  • These chips provide the service of suppressing the growth of unwanted plants and to act as a mulch to preserve moisture, which native trees and plants will access. 
  • Avoid non-native chip such as acacia and eucalyptus as well as chips with ivy or vinca. 
  • Grading the chips will eliminate uneven areas.  With time and rain newly laid, fluffy chip will become firm and more comfortable to walk on.

The San Lorenzo Valley Native Habitat Restoration Program integrates environmental and community needs to restore the riparian habitat and ensure the ongoing health and beauty of the watershed.

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