To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

From the Field

It has been another busy season for the field crew! This three-person team installed a recording breaking number of plants this season. While the final count has yet to be tallied, the number is in the thousands.

The primary focus for restoration this season was the 36-acre orange grove project on the Ventura River Preserve that was impacted by the 2017 Thomas Fire. Over 2,000 native plants were installed this season to replace plants that burned in the fire. This included approximately 700 coast live oak saplings and hundreds of acorns that had been collected from the preserve. While the number of plants at the orange grove site is close to where it was before the fire, it will take years of caring for these newly installed plants to bring the area back to its previous state. Even then, there is always more restoration to be done.

Plants on the Ventura River Preserve

Another project the field crew took on this season was restoring areas along a three- mile stretch of San Antonio Creek, from Camp Comfort down to the Confluence Preserve, where Arundo had been removed in previous seasons. Thousands of mule fat and willow cuttings were pegged into the stream bed along with hundreds of plants such as giant wild rye, mugwort, sycamore trees, and several other species that thrive in riparian zones. Regrowth in riparian zones happens much faster than regrowth of an oak savanna; it is so gratifying to see native plants thriving in areas where invasive Arundo had dominated for years.

When the field crew isn’t working on restoration projects, they can be found helping Stewardship Director Brendan Taylor with different preserve management tasks all over the valley. If you see them working on the preserves—building the Allan Jacobs Trail with volunteers, removing downed trees, and installing new signage—please stop by and say hello!

Help the field crew restore Ojai! Fill out an application to volunteer today »

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