New Restoration Project

A kid digs a hole with a shovel and another kid behind holds a plant
Elementary school students plant native plants at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park. The National Park Service and Mountains Restoration Trust are seeking volunteers to help plant nearly 5,000 native plants and trees.

National Park Service

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News Release Date: March 3, 2015

Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

Contact: Betsey Scheets , 818-591-1701, ext. 208

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Help is on the way to revive native trees and plants in the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains, thanks to a $94,469 grant by the Ventura County Tree Mitigation Fund. 

Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) is the grant recipient and will work closely with the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct the work at Rancho Sierra Vista in the Newbury Park area. Rancho Sierra Vista is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

"We are pleased to work on this restoration project, doing what we do so well, which is growing and planting native plants," said Betsey Scheets, the project manager for MRT. "We are also looking forward to meeting and working with new volunteers in Ventura County as we expand our restoration work into the western portion of the Santa Monica Mountains."

The project, now underway, encompasses 24 acres and consists of planting, monitoring and regular maintenance of 2,000 trees, including coastal live oaks, valley oaks, walnuts and sycamores. In addition, there will be 3,000 understory plants, including shrubs such as sage, bunchgrass and herbs. All plants and trees will be maintained and monitored over a 10-year period.

"This is an exciting and important restoration because we are connecting to 10 acres we planted last year in the upper reaches of Potrero Creek," said Irina Irvine, a restoration ecologist for the National Park Service. "We will be creating a functioning, self-sustaining riparian corridor which will benefit overall watershed health, reduce flashy fuel loads and provide water, forage and shelter to wildlife."

The public is invited to volunteer either a few hours or on a more long-term basis to help with planting and weeding. More information is available at www.volunteermatch.orgsearch/opp1943238.jsp.

All trees and plants will be grown locally at native plant nurseries operated by the two agencies.

Mountains Restoration Trust is a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving natural land in the Santa Monica Mountains through restoration, education and land acquisition. Founded in 1981, MRT collaborates with government agencies in an ongoing effort to maintain a cooperative relationship between urbanization and native land. More information is available at www.mountainstrust.org.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it encompasses a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/samo.

The Ventura County Tree Mitigation Fund distributes funds for projects that result in the planting and maintenance of protected trees, including restoration and/or maintenance of their associated habitat. The program is administered by the Ventura County Planning Department. More information available at www.ventura.org/rma/planning/programs/trees/index.html.

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Last updated: March 18, 2015

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