Volunteers Sought for Planting Project on Former San Geronimo Golf Course

Volunteers Sought for Planting Project on Former San Geronimo Golf Course

For Immediate Release, November 16, 2021

Contact:

Audrey Fusco, audrey@seaturtles.org, 415-845-4791

Volunteers Sought for Planting Project on Former San Geronimo Golf Course

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.—This winter volunteers from around the community will gather to help the Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) on a project at the former San Geronimo golf course.

Volunteers will be planting on SPAWN’s latest restoration project along San Geronimo Creek, one of the most important habitats left for critically endangered coho salmon on the Central California Coast.

The project removed a 100-year-old dam last summer, known as Roy’s Dam, that was obstructing coho salmon and steelhead trout from swimming freely above and below the dam as the species spawned and migrated to and from the Pacific Ocean. The final phase of the project, completed in October 2021, widened floodplains, created side channels, and installed large woody debris structures in-stream directly upstream of the work completed last summer. The collaborative work with local, state, and national agencies culminated in the restoration of a quarter mile of creek habitat, now known as “Roy’s Riffles.”

“Creating floodplains will allow the creek more room to maneuver, create habitat for salmon, and make the riparian corridor more resilient to flooding and drought,” said Audrey Fusco, native plant nursery manager and restoration ecologist at SPAWN. “Volunteers will help to further restore this area by planting native species that will provide shelter, shade, and stability that is beneficial for salmon, wildlife, pollinators, and members of the San Geronimo community.”

Since the listing of central California coast coho salmon under the Endangered Species Act in 1996, their population has continued to dramatically decline and the fish are now considered close to extinction. Marin County’s population of coho salmon is considered to be one of the strongest remaining in California and critical to the recovery of the species throughout central California. The San Geronimo Watershed includes 30% to 50% of the entire central California coast coho population, one of the largest remaining in the state.

The planting events will take place rain or shine on Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18 from 10am to 2pm. The Nov. 20 event will focus on planting native grasses and perennials to support monarchs and other pollinators; and the December events will focus on planting mid and upper bank trees and shrubs including redwoods, coast live oaks, buckeyes, big leaf maple, blue elderberry, serviceberry, and hazelnut.

“Grasses and perennial plants establish and spread their root systems quickly, binding soil and stabilizing the newly cut slopes,” Fusco explained. “Other trees such as redwoods and bigleaf maples will take a few years to establish root systems but will soon form the base of a healthy and resilient riparian forest.”

Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, sun/rain protection, and wear work clothes and close-toed shoes that have good traction. For more information and to RSVP please visit www.seaturtles.org/events.

The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) is a program of the global ocean conservation non profit Turtle Island Restoration Network that protects endangered, wild coho salmon and the forests and watersheds they need to survive in West Marin County, California. Learn more at www.seaturtles.org/salmon. 

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