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Monument to the Mighty Oak

By on April 13, 2016 in News, Ventura River Preserve

oaks_featuredBig plans are underway for oak restoration at the Ventura River Preserve. Last month, the OVLC was awarded $200,000 for oak savanna and woodland restoration at the old orange grove that was taken outlast fall, thanks to a generous donor. Grant funding comes from the Wildlife Conservation Board, a California State agency that focuses on land acquisition, habitat restoration and development of wildlife oriented public access facilities.

Grant funds will be used to restore 20 acres of the 41 acre project site to coast live oak savanna and woodland habitat. Planting will begin in the fall of 2016, so the oaks and companion shrubs can be nurtured by winter rains. The 20 acres of habitat restoration will include 4.7 acres of oak woodland and 16.3 acres of oak savanna habitats. Oak savanna habitats are remarkable for their scattered single trees, and differ from oak woodlands that tend to have higher tree densities. Ten acres of oak trees have been planted at the project site already through a grant from the Ventura County Tree Mitigation Fund.

The project is more than an effort to grow oak trees. The site is situated in an active restoration area that integrates multiple habitat types to create sustainable and functional value for wildlife.  Adjacent to the proposed oak site is a newly restored riparian area where Rice Creek has been returned to its historic route. The newly re-watered creek will attract a variety of wildlife and create ecological synergy. Oak trees have always represented strength and longevity in a landscape, as well as a nurturing spirit for their role in the woodland food web. It’s fitting,therefore, that this final phase of restoration is focused on the mighty oak trees that will sustain and nurture the land for centuries to come.


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