Encinitas Habitat Stewardship Program, Cottonwood Creek Stewardship and Restoration
Dates: April 2020 – March 2022
Funding Source(s): City of Encinitas
Scope of Work: Restore 15.6 acres of open spaces adjacent to Cottonwood Creek and Encinitas Boulevard in Encinitas, CA. SDBG staff and volunteers are working to remove invasive species from sensitive habitats, improve the sites with signage and erosion mitigation, and effectively revegetate significant portions of the natural area behind Cottonwood Creek Park with native plants. These activities improve endangered bird habitat, reduce fire hazards by reducing weeds, improve the seasonal beauty of the trail by planting more flowering native plants, and improve the public’s safety by working with the City to document hazards.
Updates through June 2021: Total of 666 person hours (half staff, half volunteer) preparing for and removing invasive plants, including pre-clearance nesting bird surveys. SDBG staff and volunteers have removed more than 50 Acacia sp., nearly 2.5 acres of ice plant, two Myoporum laetum, more than four dozen toxic castor oil plants (Ricinus communis), more than a dozen tree tobacco plants (Nicotiana glauca), more than one dozen large Opuntia ficus-indica, more than 0.4 acres of coast morning glory (Ipomoea cairica), one acre of annual invasives (Gleibionis coronarium, Centaurea melitensis), more than half an acre of nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), and multiple Arundo donax. Using plants collected within the Garden’s natural areas, as well as plants obtained in collaboration with partners, SDBG staff and volunteers have restored the habitat by planting 1,350 native plants. SDBG’s staff and volunteers have put more than 200 hours into plant installation and many more into propagule sourcing, plant production, and post installation plant care. Among the natives planted, SDBG has installed six wild-collected, endangered Quercus dumosa in the Cottonwood Creek Park restoration site. With this planting, SDBG has created a new occurrence of an endangered species, and the related data has ben sent to the California Natural Diversity Database.
Collaborating Partners: Nature Collective, California Botanic Garden, Cottonwood Creek Conservancy