Volunteer Habitat Restoration — January 2015

Written in collaboration by Carol Babeli, LA Audubon Education Directors, Stacey Vigallon and Cindy Hardin and LA Audubon Education chair, Margot Griswold.

Photos by Carol Babeli and Stacey Vigallon.


A diverse group of volunteers converged for a day of habitat restoration and discovery

On January 24, Los Angeles Audubon hosted two events where 50 Fulbright scholars and 30 Ballona Creek Renaissance volunteers participated in restoration and conservation events held at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park and at Dockweiler Beach and Ballona Wetlands. The volunteers were guided by the very capable Los Angeles Audubon staff.

The Fulbright scholars, from all over the world, were visiting Los Angeles (many for the first time) and connected with LA Audubon through our relationship with the International Visitors Bureau.  Ballona Creek Renaissance volunteers included community leaders, middle and high school students and environmentalists who are dedicated to facilitating the long-term renewal of Ballona Creek and its watershed.


Fulbright Scholars at Ballona Wetlands vernal pond

At the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park site, our habitat restoration work resulted in the planting of 300 coastal sage scrub plants that included: toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), golden bush (Isocoma menzesii), CA sunflower (Encelia californica), CA sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). 


Fulbright Scholars at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Another part of the Fulbright group headed further west to walk Dockweiler Beach in hopes of spotting Western Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus nivosus). The search was successful; every participant was able to see the tiny birds, laying low in the sand within the enclosure area on the beach. Lots of other species sighted too, including plunge-diving Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and a raft of Surf Scoters (Mellanita perspicllata) just off shore. The Ballona Wetlands was the next stop. A walk through the sand dune habitat culminated at Ballona Creek. Many of the participants are studying Engineering or Urban Planning at various universities across the United States, and all of the scholars had convened in Los Angeles for a conference on sustainability. We hope that the time spent at all three sites will encourage them to save and restore precious open space within the confines of their home cities once they complete their studies!


Fulbright Scholars at Dockweiler Beach

Los Angeles Audubon is extremely grateful to Ballona Creek Renaissance and to the International Visitors Bureau/Fulbright Scholars for their hard work - improving native habitat that will benefit birds, wildlife and park visitors!  This work is part of Los Angeles Audubon’s Ballona Creek Watershed Restoration Project, with funding support provided by the USDA Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and FedEx.


Ballona Creek Renaissance volunteers

For more information about ways to participate in a future habitat restoration for you or your group, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published Western Tanager Vol. 81 No. 4 March/April 2015