and the Bolsa Chica Stewards held planting days. While Vic was giving
his last lecture of the semester to his fall birding class for
seniors, Grace Adams and I lead 10 Bolsa Chica Conservancy volunteers
in planting 120 California sagebrush, white sage, coyote brush and
coastal prickly pear cactus on Little Mesa at Warner Avenue and
Pacific Coast Highway.
Guy Stivers and Kelly Keller of the Bolsa Chica Stewards led their
group of about 60 people, mostly high school students, across the
Warner Avenue bridge to Bolsa Chica mesa, where they planted 200
coastal sage scrub plants. Over the 10 years that the Stewards have
been at work, their plantings at the tidegate overlook have matured.
Now they're concentrating on planting closer to Warner Avenue.
Digging in the soil is hard work, so we took plenty of breaks to
chat. Several of us, like Marinka Horack, Guy and I, also work at
Shipley Nature Center. Claire Grozinger volunteers at the Wildlife
Care Center as well as working with the conservancy. Nancy Harris is
a mainstay of the Stewards, the Friends of Shipley Nature Center, and
the Urban Forest in Central Park. She drives to Tree of Life Nursery
in San Juan Capistrano before planting day for each of these groups
to pick up plants.
While we worked, we swapped information between groups. As Claire
was planting sagebrush for the conservancy, she picked up fishhooks
left behind by careless fishermen. Claire said that she had recently
cared for a brown pelican at the Wildlife Care Center that had
swallowed five fishhooks. Picking up discarded hooks might prevent
yet another avian victim from ending up at the care center.
As I was placing pots of coyote brush along the northern edge of
the wetlands along Warner Avenue, one of the Stewards mentioned that
they were planning on replacing the existing rail fence and extending
the fence around the entire perimeter of restored wetland cells near
Warner and Pacific Coast Highway. What a great idea!
The conservancy planted spiny rush, coyote brush and saltbush
along the wetland edge both to restore the habitat and to try to keep