So, here's the story folks: the various species of broom plant are quite beautiful, when in bloom, and they are rightfully storied in European song and folklore. They hail from France, Ireland, Scotland, Portugal, the Canary Islands, and quite probably even Atlantis. Problem is, our beautiful native flora and fauna -- golden poppies, azure lupines, endangered whipsnakes, and the Coast Redwood, tallest trees on Earth -- have evolved for millions of years in a lovely dance together, with natural checks and balances and a glorious web of interdependencies. But then the tall ships arrived, and axes, and Spanish cattle, Russian trappers, and American rifles; and the seeds of many foreign plants against which our native species have no defense whatsoever; and, as with the local elk, and pronghorn antelope, and grizzlies, and redwoods, many if not most of our local plants have been in retreat for a long time. And French broom has been at the forefront of this steamroller of invading European vegetation, suffocating literally every single other species -- native grasses, ferns, brilliant dancing wildflowers, oak and redwood seedlings -- in the gloom beneath its immense, impenetrable, and rapidly advancing thickets. That is, until recently!!
If you want to have a hand in something pretty frigging astonishing that is happening right here, in the home of what were quite likely the largest coast redwoods ever (yes, here -- in the immense forest that once lay between Oakland and Moraga, a forest that is resurging with our help) then check out what is happening the First Saturday of every month along the East Ridge of Redwood Regional Park.
Meet at the Skyline Gate at 9:00am sharp, and don't bother about getting coffee along the way -- the Redwood Rangers have you covered with fresh hot Peet's and more munchies than you can shake a weed wrench at. Be ready for fun people, good sweaty work that will last (literally and factually) a thousand years, and if you have a speeding ticket they can even sign your hours :-D Hope to see you there!