It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. We’ve been busy!


Our season of fire recovery work came to a close in early April. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to help our community and watershed heal from the Walbridge and Glass Fires.  At our peak, we had 7 members on our fire crew, which made it possible to assist 39 properties in 2021.


Spring has been a time of renewal after all of that very difficult work, and it has been a pleasure to resume our “normal” work at our restoration projects.  It’s delightful to watch seedlings thrive, native plants bloom, and pollinators visit.  Of course, the weeds are back, too. Native plants that we installed a few years ago are now getting established nicely and providing the ecosystem services that we had hoped for.  Wildlife abounds, even in our urban creek sites in Windsor.


The Hanson property has gotten its annual mowing of its weedy roadways and paths and a trash cleanup.  This allows collaborators like our senior hydrogeologist partner to access the groundwater monitoring wells throughout the expansive future floodplain and in the river itself.  This groundwater movement study will be extremely helpful to determine the full extent of the impact that the former gravel pit ponds have on the neighboring river.  The bird watching has been great, and we are working on eliminating the invasive weed, scarlet wisteria, from the property before grading work begins.


Kids programs are back!  We are looking forward to running our education program with the Mike Hauser Academy again in June.  This is a summer program that encourages young people coming out of middle school to use science, technology, and math to consider their future career paths.  They will once again be able to learn some of our hands-on biology skills to perform a creek study, measure its flow, make calculations for designing a bio-swale, and log data on what plants and animals we see at our Wetzel Native Plant Garden in Healdsburg.

Just one of the drainages in the Glass Fire that we performed erosion control work on in March.  This work will help to control sediment runoff in future storms which foul up Mark West Creek.

Erik and Fernando installing some of the season’s last wattles at a burned-down cabin perched on a very steep slope right above Mark West Creek.

What had once been a weedy, barren stretch of vinca ivy is now becoming a lush riparian plant habitat of coyote brush, wild grape, gooseberry, native grasses, and yarrow underneath young trees like buckeye, valley oak, coast live oak, and elderberry. All of these plants were installed by us a few years ago on our Windsor Creek Improvement Project. Some of the fast-growing plants are now well overhead in height, and will soon be providing shade over the creek, and habitat for wildlife.

Fernando trimming the weeds after the trash was removed from the Hanson gate.

Fernando removing trash dumped near Hanson gate.

Don and Ryan (Senior Geohydrologist with GHD) retrieving one of the groundwater sensors that collect data from River Point 1, in the Russian River, adjacent to the Hanson ponds.

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