Restoration Update: June 2022

Photo credit: Chevy111

What Happens Downstream Matters

Jane Mio continues her work on the Estuary Re-Vegetation Project Site with her teams of local Volunteers.

Saturday, June 18, 2022
10 Volunteers

Thursday, June 23, 2022
9 am–11 am
21 9-14-year-olds from the Quaker Youth Program

Total Volunteer Hours: 57.5

SL River Estuary Project volunteers
Volunteers: Connie, Haley, Julio, Robin, Peter, jane, Rosy, Anna, Ivan, August

In June, Jane was joined at the Riverside Bridge by a group of 10 committed volunteers and 21 curious campers from the Quaker Youth Program to further tackle estuary re-vegetation. Both groups focused on planting native plants, cutting down invasive grasses to mulch existing plants, watering newer plantings, pruning dead wood from native shrubs, and removing invasive non-native mustard.

The value of this re-vegetation project can be seen by the numbers of animals we find living and visiting the Estuary that are crucial to the San Lorenzo River environment. Innumerable birds feed on small insects and seeds on these plants.

  • Hummingbirds to the Sticky Monkey Flower (Mimulus aurantiacus)
  • Moths to the Lizard Tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • Butterflies to the Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
  • Migratory Birds to the fall berries of the Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
  • Bees to the plantings of Bees Bliss
    • Bees Bliss is a hybrid cross between the native Salvia leucophylla and the native Salvia clevelandii. Both plants are native to Baja. Although Bees Bliss does support pollinators, the natives support more significant numbers of identified butterflies and moths and is more available in nurseries.

Additionally, many of the plants mentioned here act as ground covers, the importance of which cannot be overstated. These ground-covering plants not only sink deep roots to hold the soil against erosion but also shade the ground, reducing transpiration during these hot days of summer that follow our winters of less rainfall.

SL River Estuary Project work
Haley tackling dead wood of the coyote bush
SL River Estuary Project demo
Jane explains benefits of Bee Bliss.
SL River Estuary Project planting bee bliss
Julio & August planting Bee Bliss

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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About the San Lorenzo River Estuary Re-Vegetation Project

Begun in 2017 as a project site of the Native Habitat Restoration Program of the Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley, the Estuary Re-Vegetation Project also enjoys support from the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department and City Serve and Downtown Streets Team members.

An added benefit of these workdays allows Jane to share the beauty of the Estuary, native habitat restoration techniques, and to help the volunteers understand the importance of caring for the San Lorenzo River and the San Lorenzo River Watershed, the source of water for the City of Santa Cruz, and the San Lorenzo Valley, as well as the watersheds where visiting volunteers live.

Volunteers meet every 3rd Saturday of the month, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM in a designated area of the estuary.

Join the Restoration Revolution!

We'd love to have your help to ensure the estuary thrives! Contact us to get on the volunteer mail list to learn about where we will be restoring next.

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