Restoration Manager Tom Hayduk (right) and a volunteer(left) working to plant native species.

As you might already know, we are currently working on the Potrero Creek Revegetation Project at National Parks Service’s Rancho Sierra Vista property in Newbury Park. The goal of this large effort is to plant 5,000 oak trees and other native plants on 24 acres of floodplain along Potrero Creek. We are in need of donations in order to complete this vast project. The project is an exciting challenge and an opportunity for the community to help return this land back to the oak woodland and riparian habitat that existed prior to disturbance from ranching and farming activities.


Potrero Creek Restoration Site with volunteers.

The site was previously a cattle and sheep ranch, then a citrus farm, before being purchased by the National Park Service many years ago. Most native plants that were once there have unfortunately been replaced with non-native annual grasses, mustards and wild radishes. A previous restoration project implemented by the NPS within this area twenty years ago accounts for some of the coast live oak trees scattered throughout the site, and probably much of the mulefat, western sycamore and California wild rose established along the creek. Yet, when MRT first visited the site in the fall of 2014, the area appeared to be largely a blank slate. But on close inspection, little pockets of native plants were found, and anything native and thriving – even on a small scale – was added to our plant list for the project. The list was expanded to include other Santa Monica Mountain species appropriate to the habitats and microclimates found onsite.

Since the project began in February 2015, we have completed about 3/5ths of the planting, meaning that there are still just under 2000 plants that need to be put in the ground. As one of MRT’s most ambitious restoration project to date, we underestimated the vast amount of work required, and are running out of grant money. Even with strong support from the local community and the help of over 300 volunteers, we are still in need of additional funding. The donations will go towards completing the plantings and caring for the recently planted native plants, which includes watering, weeding and spreading mulch. Please share this with your family and friends, donate if you can, and/or join us at one of our monthly volunteer events! Your support in returning these 24 acres of land to the oak woodland and riparian habitat once found there is greatly appreciated!