Ventura County families planting native vegetation at Kalorama wetland by Ventura pier. Photo by Cliff Rodriguez
Youth, their families, and adult volunteers dedicated 720 hours to the restoration of the Kalorama Wetland by Ventura Pier since September, 2020. They took out non-native species that had invaded the area and learned about the benefits of native species and wetlands for our natural areas and our coast.
If you asked youth who participated in the project, on March 12, the invasive Highway Iceplant was by far the most common invasive plant they removed. Youth and adult volunteers helped decrease the area covered by iceplant from over 50% to less than 5%.
After many hard-working hours of removing invasives, we started planting this Spring! Volunteers planted 237 plants of 14 different native species, 8 of which were new to the site.
Overall, volunteers participated in 25 events! During the last Family Habitat Restoration event on March 12, 2021, Chumash elders applauded the volunteers for their effort prior to the blessing of the Kalorama Wetland site..
The Kalorama Wetland Restoration and Community Education Project involved dozens of youth and their families, community volunteers, and teachers with the support of the California State Parks Channel District and sponsorship from the State Coastal Conservancy and Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project.
In addition to the ecological benefits of the project, this project positively impacted our community by giving children and their families the opportunity to get outdoors and connect with nature, which is especially important for youth’s mental health and resilience during these times.