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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 426

Fort Ord Plant-A-Thon: 300 plant 5,000

On a warm and beautiful Sunday last month, 300 volunteers were serenaded by a live bluegrass band while they planted 5,000 native plants. These volunteers were under the supervision of BLM staff from Fort Ord Public Lands and their partners from CSU-Monterey Bay’s Return of the Natives Restoration and Education Program (RON). The habitat restoration project is located on U.S. Army lands of former Fort Ord and they are slated for transfer to the BLM about ¼ mile from the BLM Fort Ord Project office. (text continues below)

 Two kids dig in the soil while Mom holds a baby and watches
Most of the volunteers were students and their parents from the local Monterey Bay Charter School.

U.S. Army and Base Realignment and Closure Wildlife Biologist William Collins was also on-site as a volunteer group leader and told BLM staff after the event that “the work completed today demonstrates the public’s interest in open space areas on former Fort Ord. The area restored today will be a part of one Monterey County’s largest parks following the transfer to the Bureau of Land Management. This activity is icing on the cake following the cleanup of this area and will contribute to the ultimate conservation of more than 14,600 acres as habitat reserve.” Two threatened and endangered plant species and the threatened California tiger salamander occur on the site as well as 4 other BLM sensitive plant species which all are beneficiaries   of this project. (continued below)

A boy with blue glasses works a trowel
People of all ages plant along a strip plowed into a hillside, extending off into the distance
People of all ages helped plant native vegetation

Most of the volunteers were students and their parents from the local Monterey Bay Charter School which used the event as a Plant-A-Thon. BLM heavy equipment operators and volunteers had prepared the site for planting by ripping and recontouring it then broadcasting over it with barley cover seed and rice straw for short-term stabilization until the native plants grow enough to hold the site in place for the long-term. Volunteers and BLM staff will monitor the site for plant survival and the Army will request funding for weed control until the lands are transferred to BLM ownership.

 A young woman shows a group of volunteers how to prepare a seedling for planting
A coordinator shows a group of volunteers how to properly handle native plants to be placed in the ground

A young boy helps his father with a plant
A young volunteer holds a plant for his Dad

A young girl holds a plant while her Dad supervises
Another young volunteer holds a plant while her Dad supervises.

- BLM botanist Bruce Delgado. Photos by Marcia deChadenèdes, outreach and partnership coordinator, California Coastal National Monument. 3/21/10

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 426

Last updated: 04-08-2010