by Suzanne Whelan
A dozen volunteers joined me on a crisp Saturday morning to restore oak woodlands and grasslands on the shore of Bon Tempe Reservoir, pulling out French broom and cutting down small Douglas-fir and Monterey pine seedlings. While the Doug-firs are native to Marin and the Monterey pines are native to California, their growth is diminishing the diverse mosaic of habitat we have on Mt. Tam. These evergreen trees grow very tall and shade out the oaks, madrones and bay laurel trees, which support a broader number of birds and mammals.
When we finished our work outdoors, we moved indoors for a fun craft project. Hot chocolate, Beatles music and the sweet smell of evergreen branches set the holiday mood. Using pieces of the Douglas-fir and pine we cut in the morning, along with ribbons and berries and other vegetation, we made lovely wreaths and other winter decorations. The volunteers left with seasonal decor and the knowledge that the work they did helped maintain habitat diversity on the watershed, for which we all can be thankful.
Save the dates and join us on the watershed for one or more of these upcoming volunteer events!
Trail Crew: December 5, January 9, February 6
Habitat Restoration: December 12, January 9, January 16, February 20
Visit our volunteer page for details.