Lompico Pond
Restoration and Demonstration Project

Felton, CA

Book-lovers and Neighbors Gather to Create a Restoration Story

Photo by

Jennifer Gomez

About the Project

Known officially as Lake Lompico, this body of water, spanning less than an acre, holds a special place in the hearts of the local community. Fondly nicknamed ‘Guacamole Pond’ by the locals, it’s a unique gem that we’re working to restore. 

Various types of algae give the pond its coloration, which ranges from bright, fresh guacamole green to a darker green, like guacamole that has been left out for a while. Different algal species dominate throughout the year, resulting in this cyclical color variation. The pond is also occasionally covered in duckweed. 

The high density of septic tanks and leach fields surrounding Lake Lompico contributes to excessive water nutrients and algal blooms. Despite this, the pond supports a variety of species of introduced fish and turtles as well as native insects, birds, and other wildlife.

A narrow band of mixed evergreen redwood forest surrounds the pond. The understory plants are both native and invasive. 

In the spring of 2022, a local book club gathered at the pond to discuss their monthly read, Braiding Sweetgrass, by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. This book, which emphasized the importance of connecting with nature and giving back to the Earth, sparked a realization among the members that the pond, a neglected part of our community for many years, needed care.

Book club member Julie Kowalewski Ward contacted the Santa Cruz Regional Conservation District (RCD) and coordinated a site visit with local habitat and water quality experts. After this, a plan was created to restore the pond and its surrounding habitat. Soon after, the SLV Native Habitat Restoration Program of The Valley Women’s Club offered to sponsor the project, as it aligned with the organization’s mission. 

The Lompico Pond Restoration and Demonstration Project has been meeting on the last Saturday of the month since April of 2023. The volunteers’ focus has been removing invasive non-native plants and reducing built-up fuel. 

Thanks to the unwavering dedication of our community’s native habitat restorationists, significant progress has been made at our project site. Monthly cleanups have led to a substantial reduction in fire fuel and the removal of invasive non-native plants. Our volunteer restoration crews have also been vigilant in maintaining trails, addressing erosion issues, and keeping the pond and surroundings clean. These collective efforts have improved the habitat and enhanced public safety, instilling hope for a brighter future for our beloved pond. 

With the removal of invasive species and continued care and maintenance, the pond is expected to support more biodiversity soon and possibly even become home again to the endangered red-legged frog and western pond turtle.

At-a-Glance

Address

11603 Lakeshore Dr., Felton, CA

Sponsors

The Valley Women’s Club of SLV

Volunteers

Lompico/Zayante Women’s Social Club

Improvements

Volunteer Workdays

Join us for a fun and educational day of outdoor adventure!

Last Saturday of the month
January–October • 10:00 AM-Noon

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