Removing invasive species supports the livelihood of native plants. By eliminating non-native or introduced species in vulnerable areas around parks, this work is essential as they compete with native plants for critical resources and are more likely to be flammable and increase fire fuel. In other cases, invasive species tend to overgrow and cause limited access to park visitors and emergency services. Several of our workday events at Half Moon Bay State Beach, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, and Chino Hills State Park focused on pulling, clearing, and removing these pesky plants. Our volunteers removed an impressive 814,792 square feet of invasive species.
It's no secret that planting native plants and trees is essential for habitat, especially endangered ones, to thrive. Parks like Rio de Los Angeles State Park, Los Angeles State Historic Park, and Garrapata State Park are hosts to a variety of wildlife seeking refuge. One endangered species is the Smith’s blue butterfly. Certain plants, like coastal buckwheat, are the only food source for its larvae, so planting buckwheat can help restore vital lost habitat. You're probably asking — what can't native plants do? They help enhance biodiversity, positively impact local ecosystems, and increase carbon absorption. They simply rule! Our awesome volunteers planted 4,544 native plants and trees to provide habitat for wildlife.
To continue to preserve the natural beauty of our parks, volunteers tackled maintenance projects and joined cleanup events at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, and Palomar Mountain State Park. Their efforts help protect and preserve sensitive areas in parks and provide extra safety for future park visitors. Not all maintenance projects look the same, and each is unique to our parks’ immediate needs. With historical storms affecting a few parks, our volunteers rallied to support our parks by joining critical projects. They repaired 355 feet of fencing, restored 12 picnic tables, and collected 251 bags of trash and recycling.