Weldon, CA – Once a
month from Fall through Spring, volunteers from around the community
gather to help on a project at the Audubon Kern River Preserve. Join
staff and friends on Saturday, May 15 from 8 a.m. to noon for the
last weekend volunteer day before the summer hiatus. This month's
project is to weed the Tricolored Blackbird habitat area and plant
native shrubs on the upland restoration site at the Sprague unit of
part of the Sprague Ranch in 2005, a project was begun to restore
the north side of the South Fork with Joshua trees and desert
vegetation. The soil is a very permeable, nutrient poor sand that
was not suitable for crops. Desert vegetation does not self restore
quickly so staff undertook the task of trying to figure out how to
create a protocol for this tricky restoration project. After five
years, many lessons have been learned and plants are beginning to
take hold and grow with little maintenance. During Saturday's
project volunteers and staff will plant some perennial plants and
shrubs that will be irrigated over the next two years to help them
establish a roothold so to speak!
In January Friends
of the Preserve began an experimental restoration project to develop
habitat for the Tricolored Blackbird, a
species of bird that has suffered dramatic declines in its
population. They planted herbaceous vegetation and placed irrigation
line along an agricultural canal. This experimental plot was planted
with native riparian vegetation such as mugwort, mulefat, stinging
nettle, wild rose, and sandbar willow. In the hopes of seeing
thriving breeding populations of Tricolored Blackbird in front of
the new visitor's center site within the next year or two.
On Saturday, volunteers will weed around the
newly established plants to reduce competition.
Bring gloves, wear
long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes/boots and safety glasses if you
have them. The preserve will supply the tools. Meet at 7:55 a.m. at
the preserve headquarters: 18747 Highway 178, Weldon, CA. Contact
the Kern River Preserve manager,
Reed Tollefson or call
760-378-2531 to RSVP.
The next scheduled
volunteer project will be on the Friends of the Kern River Preserve
team for Valley Pride Day - September 18th.