Cleaning the Coast, Removing Pepperweed, and Looking for Tarantulas!

Stewardship Update

Written by Haley Sutton, Land Stewardship Associate

Volunteers bringing branches to the wood chipper. Photo by Roxana Lucero

Adopt a Crag

Mount Diablo State Park forestry aides working the chipper. Photo by Roxana Lucero

Staff led an Adopt a Crag event in partnership with Mount Diablo State Park, Bay Area Climbers Coalition, Yosemite Climbing Association, CalFire, UC Berkeley, and Touchstone Climbing.

The stewardship event was held at Knobcone Point in Mount Diablo State Park.

Volunteers aided in trail restoration and fire hazard reduction in an area filled with listed and endemic species.

State park staff thinned branches and put them in piles for volunteers to gather and chip.

There was a great turnout, with 30 volunteers who accomplished a lot to protect the mountain we all love. A huge thank you to all who joined!

Solution to Plastic Pollution

Twenty-one volunteers joined us for another successful Coastal Cleanup Day at Thomas Kirker Creek in Pittsburg, which is located off Kirker Pass Road.

This cleanup event was one of about 20 events held throughout the county that resulted in the removal of over 10,000 pounds of trash from our local waterways!

Volunteers traversed the 10-acre property, recording the types of trash found as they removed it from the environment. The most collected items this year were food wrappers and pieces of paper, and 14 contractor bags were filled throughout the morning.

The community science aspect of Coastal Cleanup Day has led to legislative wins for the environment, including the statewide plastic bag ban, local bans on styrofoam products, and replacement of plastic straws with compostable straws in some businesses.

This past June, California passed the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act (SB 54) that will require all single-use packaging to be compostable or recyclable by 2032.

The new law will hold packaging producers accountable for the maintenance of new waste management infrastructure.

A big shout out to our dedicated group of volunteers, including stewards, community members, and Pittsburg High School students, who joined the more than 30,000 groups of volunteers at cleanups around California!

Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers with trash collected. Photo by Roxana Lucero

Nurturing Natives

Marsh Creek 4 and 6, two of our properties that we own and are restoring in the Marsh Creek watershed on the east side of Mount Diablo, have been getting a lot of love this year. The plants are happy!

Our Diablo Restoration Team volunteers watered our native plantings on both properties before attacking the tall stand of milk thistle and perennial pepperweed along the creek at Marsh Creek 4.

The milk thistle was taller than everyone! Volunteers bagged thistle heads and the seeding pepperweed to remove additional seeds from the ecosystem.

As we cleared out the weeds, volunteers opened space for established California rose plants and uncovered a young buckeye tree. Thank you to everyone for all their hard work!

Marsh Creek 4 and 6 restoration volunteers. Photo by Haley Sutton

Monarchs and Milkweeds

The California milkweed (Asclepias californica) plants growing at the Watershed Nursery are looking good! So good, in fact, that monarch butterflies are visiting and laying eggs on the little sprouts, and caterpillars are roaming around the containers.

Milkweeds are the host plants for monarch butterflies, and monarchs can’t survive without them. We are working on a project to create more habitat for monarchs on and around Mount Diablo. Our volunteers have mapped milkweed locations and collected seeds to start new milkweed plants.

We are so excited for planting this winter!

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed. Photo by Sean Burke

Join Us!

October 8th DiRT day, Marsh Creek 6 and 4, 9 AM to noon

Male tarantula at Mount Diablo State Park. Photo by Mary Nagle

Education and Outreach Update

Written by Denise Castro, Education & Outreach Associate

Sign up for any of the Discover Diablo events through Eventbrite.

Our September 3rd Mitchell Canyon Tarantula Hike for Families was led by Discover Diablo volunteer Ken Lavin and attended by 19 participants. Participants got to see some cool spider action!

Our September 10th Mitchell Canyon Tarantula Hike for Adults was led by Discover Diablo volunteer Ken Lavin and attended by 18 participants. Participants got to hold Ken’s personal pet tarantula and see both the male and female tarantulas in the wild!

Tarantula hike. Photo by Maren Smith

Thank you to all our Discover Diablo volunteers!

Top photo: Adopt a Crag volunteers by Roxana Lucero

Join us to save the remaining natural lands of Mount Diablo!

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