Cleanup and restoration of UC Santa Barbara’s 69-acre South Parcel has begun under the supervision of the campus’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER).
UCSB and The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County recently announced that the tract would be permanently set aside as open space under a conservation easement agreement. The plan’s goal is to protect and enhance the land and to provide for public access compatible with the conservation of regionally significant coastal resources.
CCBER is overseeing the cleanup of remnant pipes, fencing, cement, and other items. Supplementary funding from the City of Goleta provided the opportunity to remove old barbed wire fencing along the property line with Ellwood Mesa.
A temporary storage area for tools and plants has been fenced adjacent to the Ellwood Marine Terminal. CCBER hopes to engage area residents in the painting of a mural on the cloth around the fence, according to Lisa Stratton, CCBER’s director of ecosystem management.
As part of the first phase of the restoration, CCBER will be enhancing wetlands along the western border of the property, where some original, less-disturbed soil and native plants remain. Visitors will notice sheets of black plastic, some soil disturbance, and new plantings in the coming months, Stratton said. In addition, several acres of pampas grass have been removed in collaboration with the California Conservation Corps.
CCBER will soon be hosting community volunteer restoration days on Saturdays. Anyone interested in participating should e-mail Dave Harris, CCBER’s restoration coordinator, at email@example.com to be placed on the notification list.