Great Holiday Kick-off in Moore Creek

23 December 2007

Trailwork and French Broom removal got off to a great start on Sunday December 23rd. A brisk 41 degrees with lots of sunshine greeted us.

A core group of six local volunteers -- all from Meder Street and the Westside of Santa Cruz -- got on Santa’s good side with some volunteer trailwork right before Christmas hit. Along for the ride were: Don Aurthur, John Bono, Val Cole, Terry Cole, Dick Spencer and John Winston. For several volunteers this marked the beginning of their SIXTH year of work in this beautiful preserve.

John, Don, and Dick make fast work of small broom along the canyon.
John, Don, and Dick make fast work
of small broom along the canyon.

Wet soil made for productive work and happy volunteers.
Wet soil made for productive work
and happy volunteers.

At six years old, Terry Cole has already developed excellent technique with the broom puller.
At six years old, Terry Cole has already developed
excellent technique with the broom puller.

And Terry shows off his air guitar licks.
And Terry shows off his air guitar licks.

Nice the Yellow Jacket nest was obsolete by the time we ran into it.
Nice the Yellow Jacket nest was obsolete
by the time we ran into it.

The plan this year is to move from the “top” of Moore Creek -- right off Meder St. -- to the “bottom” down by Highway 1. After six years, the kind of work we are doing has changed a lot. We have gone from removing 6-10 ft. French Broom “trees,” to eliminating 6" to 10" “saplings.” What it means is that there is still lots of work to be done, but the smaller stuff doesn’t take nearly as long. It’s also clear that we are seeing less and less broom in many parts of the preserve, and certainly keeping it from spreading elsewhere.

After cleaning-up the wildflower meadow right past the entrance gate, we moved down the fenceline area, and then dropped further into the canyon. The group of six covered an area that two years ago would have required 20+ large, burly individuals. The two days of recent downpours helped our cause a lot.

We’ll be back at it in January, hoping for a large crew. Happy Holidays and see you then. We really DO make a difference!!