“Ocean Night” at Kenwood School highlights creek restoration efforts
By Kenwood School Ocean Guardians
The Kenwood School Ocean Guardians work to protect our local watershed and ocean and keep them healthy for the amazing creatures that live there. Right here in our own Sonoma Creek and its tributaries, for example, you will find ocean-going steelhead trout and Coho salmon, as well as sticklebacks, sculpin, Sacramento squawfish, California roach, lampreys, and California freshwater shrimp. Many other native wildlife species, such as herons, egrets, kingfishers, dragonflies, weasels, deer, muskrats, river otters, and raccoons rely on these creeks as well.
Native trees, shrubs, and grasses play an important role in keeping our creeks healthy for these animals. Dense plants and roots keep creek beds stable, filter soil, and slow flood waters. The trees and shrubs cool the water and provide food, shelter, and shade. And leaves, fallen branches, and logs provide habitat for insects.
Unfortunately, the things we humans do sometimes cause severe damage to these habitats. For example, native plants are removed to make room for homes or businesses, or for growing crops. The destruction of these plants also makes it possible for invasive species, like giant reed or Himalayan blackberry, to take hold. These plants crowd out natives and do not provide the same benefits for wildlife.
The Sonoma Ecology Center has been working for many years to restore creek habitats in our watershed by replacing the native plants that have been destroyed. This year the Kenwood School Ocean Guardians have joined these efforts by creating a nursery on campus that is being used to grow native plants for use in the Center’s projects. By adding our plants to the Ecology Center’s restoration efforts we hope to one day see the return of vibrant, healthy creek habitats that once again support thriving populations of all of our native wildlife species.
To learn more about the benefits of native plant restoration in our watershed and hear a Sonoma Ecology Center representative give a brief history and update of the Center’s creek restoration projects, please come to “Ocean Night” on Thursday, April 26, 6-7 p.m. in the fifth-grade classroom. You will also find out how you can take a tour of our native plant nursery. Snacks and beverages will be served.
Working together we can help save our watershed and oceans, one native plant at a time!