DIFFICULTY: EASY to MODERATE ~ 2+ miles
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Novice to Professional
ACCESS: Open to all, no charge
[ALL WEATHER EVENT]
This Border Bioblitz is sponsored by Botanical Community Development Initiatives (BCDI)
In joint coordination with Ron Vanderhoff of California Native Plant Society - Orange County Chapter and Bianca Bonilla, Executive Director of BCDI we'll be headed out for a great opportunity to contribute to science in one of the most imperiled areas in our state, and perhaps even the country. If we're really lucky we'll hear from Dr. Sula Vanderplank and other biologists representing the San Diego Natural History Museum. We're contributing heavily to an exciting citizen science program at one our country's most impacted and controversial development sites. At the Southern US Border with Mexico, the US has erected many different barriers (to variable degrees of intended success), pushing back against a dense crash of civilization from both sides. From the Tijuana River estuary and Border Field State Park south of Imperial Beach to San Ysidro and further east into Otay Mesa, an amazing and unique array of habitat that exist in a constant state of threat.
The Bio Blitz program aims to identify and log as many species as possible along a team transect (area & path through that area). As we come across different species of plants, we'll take their picture and upload them to iNaturalist, a mobile app that contributes mightily to citizen driven data gathering. Whether the plant is known or not, the data we get will help to protect these sensitive and threatened environments from destruction in the future. After orientation, we'll head to a location near the border that will assigned based on our team size.
This field trip will be geared towards gathering data with teams of dedicated people who are looking to both learn about the border area and the plants and wildlife that live within. The Border Bio-blitz portion will be in the morning until lunch and then afterwards, a great treat: we'll get a custom tour of a vernal pool complex engineered by one of most experienced environmental consultants in Southern California, Scott McMillan.
Bring snacks and solid gear for any weather, including sunscreen and water. Please familiarize yourself with iNaturalist on your smart phone if you haven't used the app before. We'll upload all data to the San Diego Plant Atlas Project. If you have a good macro lens camera that can upload the pics to the internet, you can share the pics that way as well.
All vehicles ok. We'll be meeting at the Tijuana River National Estuary Research Center for a brief orientation on methodology, survey boundaries, and team formation. We will likely then carpool to the paved Border Field State Park parking lot or other parking location.
I will provide my truck (black Toyota Tundra) with three (maybe 4) seats from Fashion Valley Mall Transit Center parking area nearest Fashion Valley Rd (west end of the mall) from 7:00 to 7:10 AM. Be prepared to drive if space fills up. Parking at the Transit Center parking lot is free for 24 hrs and is occasionally patrolled by security. That being said, the same risks apply there as to regular street parking. Donations for gas are welcome, but not required. The roundtrip is about 42 miles. Expect to return to Fashion Valley around 2 PM.