Some representative projects. Click on graphics to see high resolution images.
California Native Grassland Restoration – Cache Creek Nature Conservancy, Yolo County, CA
The conversion of California perennial grasslands to European annual grasslands is ecologically significant, altering ecosystem function and species composition. In collaboration with Jan Lowry, we implemented a 3-acre native grassland restoration project at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve. The project included removal of remnant gravel stockpiled from historic gravel mining operations, a prescribed burn, seven ‘grow-and-kill’ cycles throughout the winter and summer seasons, drill seeding, and subsequent weeding with school and other youth groups. Seven years after project establishment, the site still contains over 80 percent native species cover. The Cache Creek Nature Conservancy has since implemented grassland restoration on approximately 30 acres throughout the reserve.
Wetland Functional Assessment and Identification of Historic Reference Vegetation Types at Lake Elsinore, California
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Functional Assessment methods can provide a scientific foundation for planning, implementing, and monitoring wetland mitigation projects. Their value lies in collecting data from representative regional wetland and riparian ecosystems, which is used as the baseline upon which to base restoration goals and objectives. Much of Lake Elsinore, a desert lake in southern California, is dominated by tamarisk scrub, and a functional assessment was performed to identify and sample historic vegetation types in at Lake Elsinore, and to evaluate wetland functions and values at a degraded project site compared to the regional baseline. Willow riparian woodland, mulefat scrub, alkali marsh, and saltgrass – vernal pool complexes were sampled at 8 reference sites.
Wetland Restoration Monitoring, Sage Hill School, Newport Beach, California
Wetland mitigation projects typically require a 5-year monitoring period to verify that restoration success criteria have been achieved. In addition to collecting time series data on ecosystem development, the 5-year monitoring period typically includes any habitat management activities that may be necessary to ensure long-term success. The Sage Hill School mitigation site is a 3.25 acre detention basin where wetland, willow riparian, and coastal sage scrub habitat was established. Project achievements including abundant native speceis recruitment and documented California coastal gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) nesting and foraging at the detention basin.
Community forestry and urban beautification in New Haven – Urban Resources Initiative (URI), Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Urban beautification – the process of planting street trees and turning abandoned lots into pocket parks – can be used as a community development tool to address urban blight and social decay in inner-city neighborhoods. As Yale President’s Public Service Fellow worked with the Urban Resources Initiative in New Haven. Most of my work was in the Fairhaven neighborhood where the Latin Kings gang had dominated for over a decade. Acted as liaison between project stakeholders, facilitated community decision making, and coordinated the implementation of urban environmental beautification projects. The Wolcott & Lloyd project, which turned an abandoned lot used by the Latin Kings into a pocket park, was featured in two newspaper articles. This was the third attempt to create a community space in this lot, and this time our efforts took root and stood the test of time.