Growing Season: Nurseries Spring into Action


Nursery program at Oceana High School in Pacifica

With spring freshly arrived, you’re probably busy planning your garden for the season. Well, in a sense, the park nurseries are doing the same thing—only we’re not planning for gardens, we’re planning for dozens of park restoration and stewardship sites. With help from our dedicated volunteers, the staff of the six nurseries are busy sowing seeds, which were collected last year, that will later become the mature plants destined for planting in the field this coming winter.

In total, the nurseries aim to grow 134,951 native plants this season. These plants will eventually be going to key restoration projects from the Redwood Creek Watershed in Marin all the way down to Milagra Ridge in San Mateo County. In addition to gathering seed for growing, the seed specialists at each nursery also collect seed, mostly annuals, for direct sowing in the field; over 10,000 grams have been requested for this season alone!

One big project we’re sowing and growing for this season is the amazing landscape transformation happening at Muir Beach. With nearly 18,000 plants and 3,000 grams of seed requested, Redwood Creek Nursery is on track to have another big growing season! The project continues this season with the removal and realigning of the existing parking lot—to allow Redwood Creek channel to expand into its natural floodplain and, of course, to allow for more native plants in the area! There will be a mix of 46 native species going into the area this winter—small-fruited bulrush, California field sedge, and coast hedge nettle, to name a few.

From Muir Beach we head south to another key project in the Marin Headlands. As many of you have probably have noticed, there is some road construction happening in this area. This year, the road improvements will continue through Rodeo Valley, and Marin Headlands Nursery will be growing 8,000 plants to beautify the roadside and restore disturbed areas back to native habitat. Some highlight plants include coyote brush, blue bush lupine, and California blackberry.

As we work our way across the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Lands End, we find another exciting project, at Eagle’s Point (by the 32nd Avenue entrance to the park). For this restoration area, 8,000 natives have been requested from Fort Funston Nursery. There is a very diverse mix of 39 native species within this plant palette, including sticky monkey-flower, mock heather, and lizard tail.

To learn more about all we’ve got growing this season, or to learn how you can volunteer to help us this spring, be sure to visit our webpage.

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