Lost Coast Interpretive Association

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Lost Coast Interpretive Association

Whale Gulch students remove Pampas grass as part of a service-learning project. Photo by Cheryl Lisin

In the past year, with contributions from the Cereus Fund of Trees Foundation, the Lost Coast Interpretive Association (LCIA) and its community partners have made large strides to control the population of non-native Pampas grass in Shelter Cove through community education and promoting landowner involvement.

In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Coastal National Monument, the Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District (RID), Mattole Restoration Council, the community by presenting at the meetings of local organizations including the Shelter Cove Property Owners Association, Shelter Cove Pioneers, and the Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation Foundation. Building on the excitement gained from these meetings, SCIPP organized a “Pampas Seed Head Bounty” and with participation from approximately 26 property owners, collected 12,375 pink seed heads. The Shelter Cove RID provided financial support to the effort and has agreed to clear and maintain Pampas on their properties.

The BLM assisted the project with staff, heavy equipment, storage space, tools, and materials for the volunteer service projects. While continuing efforts to educate the community by working with schools and the Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau, LCIA has formed a partnership to focus on non-native plants, now known as the Shelter Cove Invasive Plant Program (SCIPP). A project coordinator was hired, and with assistance from a BLM botanist, a map of high concentration areas and a treatment plan to address the Pampas spread was created. This plan is to be rolled out in four phases over multiple years:

1) community awareness/volunteer projects

2) plant excavation/removal

3) assistance for property owners and

4) on-going maintenance.

In spring, SCIPP provided service- learning opportunities with two classrooms from the local Whale Gulch School including in-class lessons and a Pampas removal project. To celebrate Earth Day, SCIPP hosted a volunteer Pampas removal project at which over 40 community volunteers removed 35 cubic yards (three dump truck loads) from wetland areas and local youth participated in a poster contest.

Over the summer, SCIPP concentrated on community education and collaboration, creating an informational brochure for property owners that outlined the problem with the Pampas grass spread and how to remove the plant. SCIPP has also educated the community by presenting at the meetings of local organizations including the Shelter Cove PropertyOwners Association, Shelter CovePioneers, and the Shelter Cove Arts andRecreation Foundation. Building on the excitement gained from these meetings,SCIPP organized a “Pampas Seed HeadBounty” and with participation from approximately 26 property owners,collected 12,375 pink seed heads. eShelter Cove RID provided financial support to the effort and has agreed to clear and
maintain Pampas on their properties. e BLM assisted the project with staff, heavy equipment, storage space, tools, and materials for the volunteer service projects.

While continuing efforts to educate the community by working with schools and leading volunteer projects, SCIPP is excited to focus on Pampas excavation projects including the creation of a rebate program for property owners to offset costs of removing large plants.

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