Teens from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Conservation Corps dug in and got their hands dirty as they helped to plant 825 native plants at Lake Hodges in Escondido earlier today. The area was ravished by wildfires in 2007 and the teens were part of an ongoing project to restore native habitat.
The volunteer project, with the goal of planting 10,000 native shrubs across 25 acres at Lake Hodges, was spearheaded by the team from the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Applied Plant Ecology Division, in conjunction with the San Dieguito River Park, with a Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation grant and a Climate Ready grant from the State of California Coastal Conservancy. To date, over 7,000 plants have been planted.
Coastal sage scrub is a disappearing habitat in Southern California, much of it being lost to invasive grasses, especially after fires. By restoring coastal sage scrub the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and Conservation Corps volunteers are helping to provide habitat to much of the unique wildlife that makes San Diego County special, including the threatened California gnatcatchers, the San Diego horned lizard, and coastal cactus wrens.
Photo taken on Feb. 7 by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.