Getting Our Hands Muddy at Laguna de Santa Rosa

By Manuel Hernandez


A Brief History of Meadowlark Field. Photo by Manuel Hernandez.

We began our wet and rainy day with a brief introduction to the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and more specifically Meadowlark Field, where we would be helping to plant some Juncus. Brent Reed and Aaron Nuñez from the Laguna Foundation were our hosts.


Coyote Bush (Baccharis pilularis) is one of the first shrubs to move into a grassland after restoration. Photo by Manuel Hernandez.

As we walked though Meadowlark Field we took a journey through time, as we stopped at several locations where we could view the different stages of a restoration project – chrono-sequence of succession after a project.

Our last stop on our tour of Meadowlark Field was a field of vernal pools, which may not look like much now, but in the spring will be ecological and biodiversity hotspots.


A Vernal Pool, a Spot of Brown in a Sea of Green. Photo by Manuel Hernandez.

After a soggy lunch we began work on planting Juncus. We first had to scalp, or remove the top layer of soil where the seed bank is. We then used plugs and planted the Juncus and then used hay as mulch to retain moisture and reduce chances for invasion.

At the end of the day, we thanked Brent and Aaron and were invited back for any of their volunteer workdays. I would be interested in visiting our plots to see how they progress in time. It was thoroughly enjoyable to be able to take part in a restoration project and to see such a beautiful place on a beautiful day.


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