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Time-Lapse: Volunteers Restore Marsh Creek

Save Mount Diablo group warms up for Earth Day next weekend.

Under the watchful mien of Mount Diablo, a group of 25 volunteers got down and dirty on the banks of Marsh Creek Sunday morning, digging out weeds and giving reintroduced native plants a chance to flourish.

The volunteer opportunity came courtesy of Save Mount Diablo, assisted by equipment and refreshments from its partner REI of Concord.

Kristen Wick of Pleasant Hill began volunteering with Save Mount Diablo more than two years ago. "I had such a good time, I kept coming back," said Wick. She likes the idea of "standing up for" green space.

A retired staffer for Contra Costa County libraries, she said, "I spent all my working life indoors looking at this mountain, loving it. Now I can support it. I love getting my hands in the dirt."

She plunges her hands into the dirt and directs volunteers to preserve the native plants like the California rose, elderberry, coyote bush, blackberry and bunch grass and pull out invasive plants like black mustard and radish and other weeds.

With the planted native species marked by little flags and the neighboring weeds pulled, the native plants have a better chance at sunlight and available water. And Save Mount Diablo volunteers will be back this summer for watering, said George Phillips of Save Mount Diablo.

Helping out was Celeste McCullough of Concord. "I like to garden," she said. "I should be at my house doing it, but I committed to this."

A handful of Patch staffers volunteered with the Save Mount Diablo group Sunday. If you have ideas for a Patch volunteer project, please let us know.

Triple Canopy April 16, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Did SMD perform a biologic survey before performing this work? The volunteers could have unknowingly trampled or disturbed the habitat of threatened species like red-legged frogs, California whipsnakes, or some burrowing owls.
Save Mount Diablo supporter April 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
The "frog" is actually a western toad; easy to tell by all the warts/bumps. As for biologic surveys (the Sunday 8:37 pm comment), in fact, yes we have done biotic surveys. The property is an artificially "filled" area along the creek, where a house burned down, that was choked by several non-native weeds--it had almost no native species except in the creek and on its north side. The restoration work is all about providing better and more diverse stream side habitat.
Triple Canopy April 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
So you're saying it's OK if red-legged frogs or whipsnakes were killed or their habitat was disturbed because the restoration work far exceeds the incidental take of these animals? Fantastic!
SaveMountDiablo July 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM
No, we're saying that we have done surveys with professional outside consultants and are actually recreating native habitat to help support native species like California red-legged frogs and Alameda Whipsnakes.
C.McCullough March 19, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I am i this video and am trying to use it for a power point presentation for school. May I use it and could you please send it ion a form I can download? Celeste McCullough
Emily Henry (Editor) March 19, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Hi Celeste. Please email me and I'll help you get a copy: emily.henry@patch.com.

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