Many Yolo County residents have ridden down County Road 98 to observe both Putah Creek’s wonderful contribution to the wildlife and its demise as a damaged ecosystem. In an effort to improve and preserve the creek’s beauty and viability, several independent and campus wildlife groups have teamed up to grow native plants to modify Putah Creek toamorenatural state.
Over the years,Putah Creek has been tremendously altered by humans– it has beenre-channeled,and a dam was installed.This also had an impactonthe habitat itself,especially for the fish and plants,as the changes allowed weeds and other invasive species to dominate the area.
By growing seedlings of native plants to belater addedto Putah Creek,some of the past threats to the well-being of the areawill be reversed.Native plant species helpfoster and maintain the other types of native wildlife,which is why it is important to restore the riparian corridor of the creek.Native plants serve as shelter for the wildlife in and around the water as well as help balance the ecosystem.The native plants contribute to the quality of the waterandthe air and protect the creek from erosion of agricultural land materials.All these factors prove how vital native species are to the region and howimportant the nursery project collaborationisbetween the Putah Creek Council,Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee and the UC Davis chapter of Sociology for Conservation Biology.
Other benefits of the collaborative nursery project include reviving a previously unused greenhouse at theL.A.MoranReforestationCenter onChiles Road,which wasnever heavily utilized due to itsolder design.But between using an existing facility and recruiting volunteers,the project’s costs will stay relatively low while positive impacts will be relatively high.
Over the years,modifications and dumping have damaged the integrity of Putah Creek,but it is wonderful to see the local community,including UC Davis affiliates,give the natural habitat a new face.Hopefully,the installation of native plants will not only improve the wildlife but also discourage people fromlittering on the creek’s banks.
Interested volunteers may contact the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee,orgo toputahcreek.org.XXX