The City of Richmond has a great opportunity for residents and volunteers to improve city owned land that is in need of care. Called the “Adopt- A-Spot” program, volunteers can transform an empty field into a community garden, clean up trash or, as Pt. Isabel stewards and volunteers have done with the sliver of land at the corner of Central Avenue and Rydin Road, remove trash and weeds and plant with a variety of native plants.
One of the biggest challenges in our Adopt-A-Spot (that is under the stewardship of Margot) is the removal of hairy crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis). Before we got started there the City of Richmond used an herbicide on the grass which knocked it down but it didn’t take long for it to come roaring back. Not at all a surprise! We eventually tarped the grass and covered the biodegradable weed barrier with mulch but, while it seemed to be contained under the tarp, it pushed through the tarp and mulch at the seams and the edges and continued to grow. Our latest strategy is to pull all the grass that is poking through and around the tarp, add a new layer of tarping material and re-mulch. In our second work party in October, the crew used hand tools to dig out masses of the grass and ended up with 8 large bags of it that we will dispose of ensuring that none of the seeds are allowed to germinate.
Steward Rob continues his fantastic work removing trash from all along the trail and beyond. Point Isabel dog walkers have thanked us for Rob’s work and told us he has inspired them to do the same and to keep the marsh and the trail as clean as possible. We are getting to know a number of very cute and friendly dogs when their companions stop to chat with us.
The toyon berries are in various stages of pale orange up to bright red and we know that cedar waxwings and robins will arrive there soon to enjoy the bounty. More monarch caterpillars are feeding on the narrow leaf milkweed (Ascelpias fascicularis) and we were delighted to find two of them on showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). Bumblebees and butterflies are visiting the marsh gum-plant (Grindelia stricta).
Stewards, volunteers, and the EBRPD are all pitching in to make our section one of the Bay Trail’s best habitats in the whole park system!
Jane and Tom Kelly