Give thanks for our public lands, because they are home to the abundance of nature that makes our urban life sustainable. Last weekend, TreePeople celebrated National Public Lands Day by helping out in the Santa Monica Mountains. We were excited to be part of National Public Lands Day, the largest volunteer event for America’s public lands, when thousands of Americans volunteer to improve and enhance our nation’s public lands.
Over Saturday and Sunday, 100 people turned out to bring the ecosystem back to health in endangered Malibu Creek State Park and Lower Topanga Canyon Creek. Together, we dug out, cut down, and hauled away invasive plants, removed over a ton of garbage, as well as watered and mulched newly planted native plants that are repairing damaged riparian habitat. In between, we took time to appreciate the beauty and clarity of these creeks that sustain local wildlife such as turtles, deer and endangered steelhead trout!
It’s not only the wildlife that benefits from this kind of care. The invasive weeds can be highly flammable. In this severe drought, the work TreePeople volunteers are doing creates a much safer environment for all who live in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding communities.
According to Cody Chappel, TreePeople’s Wildlands Restoration Manager, “When ecosystems are intact, they can weather drought and fire danger.” Even though things are very dry, he says, “the work we are doing in these two areas is creating a positive tipping point towards a fire-resilient environment.”
Thank you, public lands….and our hardy Mountain Restoration Program volunteers! http://www.treepeople.org/santa-monica-mountains-restoration For information on our next Santa Monica Mountains ecosystem restoration event, visit our calendar <http://www.treepeople.org/calendar>.