Last Saturday, thirty five volunteers rallied at Herbert Preserve and gathered in the misty morning with shovels in hand, ready and eager to get to work. The group was diverse—mothers, babies, grandparents, teachers, students, adults—everyone had come to restore the prairie wetlands. All together, they planted 600 plants that day to improve the preserve’s streamside habitat.
Herbert Preserve is one of the last remaining pieces of the natural valley floor. The land there has never been leveled or farmed, though it is currently grazed to promote native plant species. It is home to spectacular and rare wildlife, such as the badger, golden eagle, and burrowing owl.
Every spring, vernal pools turn the preserve into a vibrant wonderland. Colorful rings of flowering plants surround the pools, which provided habitat for fairy shrimp and frogs. In other parts of the valley, these pools were lost to us when the ground was leveled. Vernal pools only form in the low points of the landscape’s natural undulations.
Special thanks to all of our volunteers! We would also like to thank the teachers from Redwood High School, Pro Youth/HEART, Mission Oak High School, and College of the Sequoia who encouraged their students to lend a hand.