Stewardship Update June 2021
Written by Haley Sutton, Land Stewardship Associate
Volunteers Are Back in the Field
June brought a wave of volunteers back into the field full force! Our summer watering crew is back to tri-weekly visits at the Ang and Marsh Creek 7 properties and are adding visits to Big Bend and Marsh Creek 4 to help support all the plants we planted at our restoration sites this past winter.
We also hosted a couple integrated pest management (IPM) weeding workdays at the top of Curry Canyon Ranch‘s Lower 200 to target the noxious medusa head (Elymus caput-medusae) and barbed goat (Aegilops triuncialis) grasses all over the landscape. In just two workdays, we filled 15 42-gallon bags of those pesky weeds!
The Trail Dogs have also spent a few days grubbing out artichoke thistles along Thomas Kirker and Thomas Hess creeks, along the Thomas Home Ranch property. Artichoke thistles are another voracious weed that in order to completely eradicate, the entire individual must be removed from the ground.
Another weed that’s starting to pop up on our properties is stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens), which will be one of our next target species.
We are so grateful for everyone’s efforts and are so excited to have more community members join us in the coming months.
Favorite Trails around Mount Diablo
Last month our community was asked what trails they enjoy hiking or riding on Mount Diablo and its surrounding foothills. There are so many amazing trails! The pie chart below shows the general areas around Mt. Diablo where folks enjoy spending their time.
Throwing Up a Little Shade
Stewardship staff installed a temporary shade structure at Save Mount Diablo’s future educational preserve at Mangini Ranch.
The location of the shade structure is set in a natural amphitheater. It’s surrounded by oaks where cackling woodpeckers and white breasted nuthatches perch and turkey vultures soar overhead.
Staff painted the posts before setting them into the ground, upon which the upper posts were connected to support the canopy. The shade structure will offer a shady respite with a breathtaking view to future visitors of the preserve.
We thank the Diablo View Rotary Club for their gracious donation.
Conservation Easement Monitoring
This month, staff conducted multiple monitoring visits on land where Save Mount Diablo holds conservation easements.
These are properties that Save Mount Diablo purchased and then resold to private buyers with the attached conservation easement that grants perpetual preservation of the land. Our easement partnerships allow us to protect properties that may not be suited as an addition to an existing park or preserve due to size or location.
Catch a glimpse of kestrel foraging behavior from one of our game cameras at Mangini Ranch outside the active kestrel box. The parents brought back an array of prey items to feed their young, including western fence lizards, skinks, snakes, small birds, and mammals.
Education and Outreach Update
Written by Denise Castro, Education & Outreach Associate
Discover Diablo Program
May 29th Caminemos (Let’s Hike) Curry Canyon Lower 200 was led by Education & Outreach Associate Denise Castro and attended by 17 people. It was a gorgeous, cloudy day at Save Mount Diablo’s Curry Canyon Ranch. Participants saw a young gopher snake sunbathing on the trail and enjoyed the magnificent views from the top of the Lower 200.
June 5th Centennial Celebration was led by Education & Outreach Associate Denise Castro and attended by four people. It was a warm morning at the summit of Mount Diablo, but the views were spectacular! There were many plants in bloom too, including foothill penstemon, red ribbon clarkia, cobweb thistle, and woolly sunflower.
June 6th Three B’s of June was led by Save Mount Diablo volunteer Dan Fitzgerald and attended by 12 people. Lots of birds and butterflies were spotted (even a golden eagle at the very end)! Thanks to a grant, Save Mount Diablo was able to buy a few sets of binoculars to lend out during hikes. This was the first time a couple of participants have ever birded and they really appreciated these binoculars.
June 11th Caminemos (Let’s Hike) Wright Canyon was led by Education & Outreach Associate Denise Castro and attended by 22 people. This was a cool evening hike. Participants saw a lovely view of Mount Diablo and heard the interesting story of Wright Canyon from long-time volunteer Dick Heron (hike sweep). Near the end of the hike, participants saw some exciting bat activity!
Thank you to all the Discover Diablo event volunteers!
Want to sign up for future 2021 Discover Diablo events? Check them all out on Eventbrite.