Picking Off Thistle

Taking care of the Native Plant Area: Volunteer Helen Canin
Volunteer Coordinator Bob Huttar

Saturday May 14 was another Stewardship Day in the Native Plant Area. Among the volunteers who showed up to work was Helen Canin, age 91, a longtime park visitor. She said the next day, “I’m still picking off thistle but it was worth it…even my arthritic knee feels better!”

Volunteer Coordinator Bob Huttar, who organized the outing, is shown here with a big armful of mixed weeds. Springtime, as every gardener knows, is weed time, in the Native Plant Area like everywhere else. Keeping the weeds down is especially important this year because of the number of new native plantings that Conservancy volunteers put in the ground late last fall just before the rains.

Nearly all the new plantings have survived and are doing well, reports botanist Jutta Burger. Nearly all have outgrown the wire cages that protected them in their most vulnerable baby stages from marauding ground squirrels, and the cages have been removed. A few of the new plantings have already bloomed, such as the three species shown in the photos below.

If you would like to be notified when Stewardship Days are planned in the park, please drop an email to Bob Huttar, Volunteer Coordinator.

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