The Native Grass CAN BE Greener on BOTH Sides of the Fence!
By Abir Hossian & Jen Adachi
We kicked off this week by meeting with our stakeholder, Professor Tom Gillespie, at Sage Hill for a quick tour and rundown of the native species found at the site. Opting for the more difficult trail, the biodiversity team hiked along the narrow ledge as Professor Gillespie pointed out the tagged california sagebrush plants (Artemisia californica), explaining how planting efforts over the last couple of years allowed for these natives to make a comeback after the vegetation clearing ordained by UCLA administration. The sounds of birds chirping and California ground squirrels scurrying through dry brush conferred a sense of duty upon our members as we all realized that we must preserve this biodiversity and work to make Sage Hill even more habitable.
After our inspiring trip to Sage Hill, our team decided to alter our project so that our main focus will now be to develop a comprehensive restoration plan for Sage Hill. We will research past successful restoration plans and go out into the field to test various methods of reintroducing California natives. We will conduct a thorough survey of species at Sage Hill, using the iNaturalist mobile app and GIS, to create a baseline biodiversity assessment of Sage Hill for future reference. We hope that our research and restoration plan will be able to help advise the Sage Hill task force and future groups about the most effect ways to restore the land. Further, we met with Dr. Cully Nordby to discuss possibilities for signage at Sage Hill and how to approach The Green Initiative Fund application to secure funding.
After a productive week, we are happy to have a better sense of our project and excited to get to work restoring Sage Hill!