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 »

Meadows Restoration Update

By on October 31, 2013 in News, Ojai Meadows Preserve, Press

Starting this week, if you look around the Ojai Meadows Preserve, you will see that a lot of activity is underway on the open fields. This work represents the final phase of the master restoration plan prepared for the site in 2004. The open fields are currently being managed for weed control and, ultimately, their new function as native grasslands and oak savannas.


Photo by Les Dublin

There are eight management fields within the preserve and each has a somewhat unique plan. The prescriptions for each field are based on site history, desired habitat type, existing site conditions and vegetation, soil types, weeds present, and other factors. The methods we are employing come from a body of scientific literature on restoration techniques, field experience and adaptation, and a robust monitoring program. The effort will take several years of precise and hard work. The result will be more naturally functional meadows that provide improved habitat for birds and wildlife, reduce annual management costs, and create a pleasing aesthetic. Future visitors will see native bunch grasses, an assortment of native wildflowers, scattered oak trees and shrubs, and more birds and wildlife.


Photo by Les Dublin

The project starts with weed management—this is currently being done manually and mechanically. Mechanical work includes mowing and plowing. Three of the fields have been plowed for different reasons such as to alter the soil compaction/water absorption rates, force a change in dominant weed species, remove rocks, and make the surface more uniform. This was a one-time effort to prepare the sites for long-term mowing. Long term plans are to use timed mowing in the spring to manipulate the seed production of non-native annual plants, giving a seed production advantage to later seeding native perennial plants.

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy works to protect the views, trails, water and wildlife of the Ojai Valley. Since its founding in 1987, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy has permanently protected over 2,000 acres. On that land every year, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy maintains dozens of miles of trails, guides hundreds of visitors, and hosts thousands of guests—hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, school children and others. To learn more, visit

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.