hillside of native plants
Sage Hill at UCLA

Practicum Project | 2022

Developing a non-native vegetation plan to support habitat restoration for Sage Hill at UCLA

Sage Hill is the last piece of untouched native habitat in West Los Angeles and has the potential to become a sanctuary, outdoor class space, and hub for undergraduate research. Nestled in the northwest corner of UCLA’s campus, this 3.5-acre parcel of coastal sage scrub, grasslands, oak woodlands, and riparian habitat is home to a diverse community of mammals, birds, insects, and plants. However, the presence of non-native species may be limiting the quality of this habitat, and current invasive species management practices are labor intensive and may not promote habitat restoration.

Our team’s goal is to create a removal and management plan for non-native species in order to restore Sage Hill’s native ecosystem. In the first phase of this project, we will identify and map the non-native species present at Sage Hill. Then, we will research and analyze the impacts of these different species on the native ecosystem, focusing on the potential for non-native plants to impact ecosystem functioning and their potential as a fire hazard. Based on this research, we will develop and implement a sustainable removal and management plan for non-native species at Sage Hill. We also hope to improve accessibility to Sage Hill by updating on-site signage and reimagining Sage Hill’s online presence. Through restoration, Sage Hill can become an important natural space for UCLA students, faculty, and researchers, local Gabrielino/Tongva peoples, and conservation enthusiasts alike.

Sage Hill at UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

View our Final Report

Student Team: Tara Bretzfelder, Hanna Choy, David Facio, Izzy Hatcher, Annabel Li, Jose Robles, and Kevin Santiago

Client: UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Advisor: Dr. Cully Nordby