Coastal Cleanup Day, Animal Encounters, Fabulous Hikes

Stewardship Update September 2021

Written by Haley Sutton, Land Stewardship Associate

Cleanup crew posing for camera

Cleanup Crew. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Coastal Cleanup Day

Volunteers joined us along Kirker Creek in Pittsburg as part of the state-wide California Coastal Cleanup Day, which occurs annually in September. Each year, volunteers gather at creeks, rivers, beaches, drainages, and all types of waterways around California to clean up trash and protect precious natural spaces.

In 2019, more than 74,000 volunteers picked up more than 900,000 pounds of trash from beaches and waterways throughout the state. This was our sixth year hosting the event at Kirker Creek, which drains into the San Francisco Bay. Volunteers walked along the creek bed and banks while picking up every visible piece of trash.

Cleanup crew posing for photos

Cleanup Crew. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Together we gathered 250 pounds of waste, and the most unique item collected was a very old fire extinguisher.  Thank you to all who helped!

New Visitors at Dry Creek

This month Dry Creek welcomed 38 sheep and goats that were temporarily displaced by the Caldor Fire to graze the five-acre property.  Staff worked alongside our neighbor and shepherd Todd Ingersoll, to line-trim and install electrical-perimeter fencing around the property. The fencing protected the goats and sheep for the two weeks that they stayed there.

This spring we will team up with Todd and his sheep to utilize the flock for fire abatement and invasive species management as a test run. This project is serendipitously aligned with our Climate Action Plan’s goal to diversify our grazing practices when appropriate and applicable.

Goats entering an enclosure

Sheep and goats at Dry Creek. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Stewardship Team Progress on Educational Preserve

We are busy preparing for the Mangini Educational Preserve. DiRT volunteers removed stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) and yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) while hiking around the property.

The Trail Dogs completed some trail work to clear up the main paths throughout the property, and staff reclaimed and assembled trail posts from old-growth redwood that will display trail names.

DiRT also gathered at Big Bend to remove perennial pepperweed and stinkwort from the flood plains and along creek beds.

Volunteers maintaining trails

DiRT at Mangini Ranch. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Our Curry Canyon Ranch Watering Crew Needs You!

We have more than 200 trees protected at Curry Canyon Ranch as part of our 10,000 Trees and Plants project and Climate Action Plan goals.

After installing tree tubes that help prevent grazing while increasing access to moisture and light, we are watering each tree twice a month to increase survival rates and support biodiversity around the property.

A mighty team of volunteers gathered to initiate our Curry Canyon Ranch watering crew and provide water to the mix of blue oaks, coast live oaks, grey pines, and bay laurels protected in the valley and behind the field station.

It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, and we’d appreciate your help!

Installing tree tubes

Curry Canyon Ranch Watering Crew. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Trail Snacks

We all have our go-to trail snacks. Believe it or not, according to last month’s survey, many folks bring along trail mix as an energy replenisher when hitting the trails. Other favorites include peanut butter pretzels, Clif bars, dried fruit, sesame sticks, cheese sandwich crackers, and gummy bears! For this month, share your exciting wildlife observations around the mountain.

Threatened Snake Is Spotted at Curry Canyon Ranch

The Alameda whipsnake, or Alameda striped racer, inhabits northern coast shrub and chaparral habitats of western and central Contra Costa and Alameda counties. This past month, staff spotted an individual sunning among rocks in the creek bed at Curry Canyon Ranch. This observation shows us that our work offers vital habitat for this species!

Alameda whipsnake

Alameda whipsnake. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Upcoming Workdays

October 21: Curry Canyon Ranch Watering Crew, 8:30 to 11:30 AM

Education and Outreach Update

Written by Denise Castro, Education & Outreach Associate

Woman holding a tarantula

Tarantula Hike. Photo by Haley Sutton.

Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program

Join us for the Eighth Annual Dr. Mary Bowerman Science & Research Colloquium! This year, we will continue to hold a fully virtual colloquium through Zoom. This is a great opportunity to hear about research and other projects that scientists are working on along the Diablo Range.

Date and Time: Thursday, December 9th, 9 AM to 11 AM

RSVP now through Eventbrite.

Now Accepting Grant Applications

Spread the word! The Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research grant program is now accepting applications.

Save Mount Diablo is seeking proposals from all scientific disciplines that may contribute to the ecological understanding of the Mount Diablo region. The maximum award for each project will be $2,500, and this award can be renewed several times each year.

Deadline for grant applications is December 10, 2021.

For more information, please visit our Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program page.

Discover Diablo Program

We had five fabulous Discover Diablo hikes this past month.

September 3rd Mangini Ranch Property Tour led by Save Mount Diablo’s very own Stewardship Manager, Roxana Lucero, and attended by 19 people. It was a great evening hike.

September 4th Tarantula Hike led by Save Mount Diablo volunteer Ken Lavin and attended by 24 people. This is the most popular hike of the year and always fills up within minutes (sometimes even seconds). Everyone got to see at least two tarantulas and they even got to hold Ken’s personal pet tarantula!

Child holding a tarantula

Tarantula Hike. Photo by Haley Sutton.

September 11th Twin Ponds Loop Hike led by Save Mount Diablo volunteer Jean Vieth and attended by 16 people. It was a lovely hike!

September 18th Tarantula Hike led by Save Mount Diablo volunteer Ken Lavin and attended by 24 people. Popular as always!

September 24th Caminemos (Let’s Hike) Mangini Ranch led by Save Mount Diablo Education & Outreach Associate Denise Castro and attended by seven people. It was a gorgeous evening, and participants even got to see a big coyote cross the trail!

Thank you to all our Discover Diablo volunteers! Check out upcoming Discover Diablo events on our Eventbrite page.

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

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