Volunteers Needed at the
San Marcos Foothills Preserve
Saturday January 19th
8:45 am to 1:00 pm Join us for a brand new project at the fabulous San Marcos Foothills Preserve, sponsored by the REI Santa Barbara store, the Patagonia Ventura store and the San Marcos Foothills Coalition. Volunteers are needed to help us kick off a new project at the San Marcos Foot Hills preserve! We will be planting natives along public trails in the Preserve!. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TOKICK OFF THIS IMPORTANT PROJECT. Please see below for moreinformation on the Preserve and this project. Refreshments will be served! If you can help out, please email:[masked]
Where to meet (other important info) All volunteers need to meet us at the main trail head for San Marcos Foothills Preserve at 8:45 am (see directions and map below). The group will walk from there to the restoration sites. Please be on time, or you will have trouble finding the group! Call [masked] on the day of the event if you need help finding the group.
To get to the meeting spot
- Take Hwy 154 north one exit at Cathedral Oaks Rd. /Foothill Rd (first exit).
- Turn left on to Cathedral Oaks Rd.
- Turn right onto Via Chaparral.
- Turn right on to Salvar Road (bridge that goes over freeway).
- Turn left on to Via Gaitero
About the Preserve and the Project
- Take Via Gaitero up the hill to the end of the road
San Marcos Foothills Preserve (SMFP) is a regional park ownedand managed by Santa Barbara County. The park is a natural area of native and non-native grasslands, Coastal Sage Scrub, willow and oak riparian habitats, and Coast Live Oak woodlands, and wetlands. The park area is 210 acres, with a trail 2.14 miles in length traversing the property east to west, with access from public roads at each end. This is a new park, donated to the Trust for Public Lands by the developer, from a property totaling 377-acres, and transferred to the County in 2008. The remainder has been approved for development, but the economic downturn has precluded sale of any of the lots. In 2009, 0ver 70% of the parkland burned in the Jesusita Fire, and the proposed work will aid in rehabilitation of the trail and the trail buffers.
SMFP is at the urban boundary, and is thus very accessible to the public. It is utilized by walkers, bird watchers, dog owners, artists and many others. It is located close to La Colina Junior High School and its proximity to that and other schools as well as its high biodiversity and varied habitat types provides a great potential as a outdoor classroom. CIR believes that a public trail enhancement project will help to publicize this new park to community members, and educate the public in stewardship of our public lands.
CIR proposes to enhance the trail by planting natives at the Via Gaitero trailhead, the main entrance to the Preserve, invasive plant removal at three main sites with extensive native vegetation: Oak woodland/native grassland (central), Native grassland on the east side, and the seep along the trail downslope of the Antone Road entrance. In addition, we plan to clear weeds from numerous native plant stands in the trail corridor within10 feet of each side of the trail, and some follow-up in the two restoration areas that are along the trail.
The seep has several native plants such as Spikerush, Umbrella Sedge and California Rose. Removal of invasive weeds such as Bristly Ox Tongue and Curly Dock will enhance the wetland function and the visitor experience.
Two native grassland areas will benefit from non-native weed removal. The larger area has extensive native Bunchgrasses and Blue-eyed Grass with scattered weeds such as mustard and thistle. The smaller area has Coast Live Oaks as well, and a wider species mix of natives, grasses and coastal sage scrub, and higher density of non-natives as well.
The project will improve the native plant communities that support species such as Burrowing Owls, breeding Grasshopper Sparrows, breeding White-tailed Kites and other raptors, and Coyotes. Native plants and invasive weed control of the trail corridor will also enhance the visitor experience. We will use photographic monitoring of the sites over time to demonstrate expansion of the native flora.