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           Why are they removing 
                            plants in the Park?

It's all about protecting the Park's native
                     plants, animals, and insects!

If it's green, it's gotta be good, right?

Actually, over the years, the Park has become a host to very unwelcome guests--invasive species of plants!

These invasive species are plants which are not native to this area, are very aggressive, and are crowding out the native plant species that would naturally grow here.

The reasons that native species are good include that the local insects and animals (including reptiles and amphibians) have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to live and thrive on the California native plants--and there are dozens and dozens of California native plants. Each of these native plant species can appeal to a specific insect or animal--and the specific insect or animal then becomes dependent on that plant for its survival.

Invasive plant species are plants from outside of California which start growing here and become very successful. Some of these invasive species can actually look quite pretty, for example, with colorful flowers or tall green leaves.

However, the reasons that invasive species are bad include that they crowd out the beneficial native species and take over areas where the native plants would otherwise live. The native plants then decline as they die or are not allowed to take root and grow.


This decline in the native plants has a ripple effect as, for example, native insects that depend on the native plants decline, and the reduction in the number and variety of native insects then causes a decline in the native birds and animals which depended on the native insects and plants for food and shelter.

All these problems are preventable! However, it takes knowledge, hard work, and dedication. The invasive species must be removed on a regular basis, prevented from returning, and native plants introduced in their place. This process can take a number of years, as the invasive species can be quite difficult to remove on a long-term basis!

Specifically, the invasive species being targeted this season include Himalayan blackberry, sweet pea, teasel, thistle, broom, ivy, and mustard. Each of these plants is not native to California, aggressively out-competes native plants, can actually be toxic to native plants, insects, and animals, and can be difficult to eradicate once established. Many of these plants were likely unfortunately introduced to the area as ornamental or garden plants and are now growing out of control.

As mentioned above, removal and eradication of these invasive species and replacement by native species will take some years of work, and in the process parts of the Park will be a work in progress, and may resemble big dirt patches!

Are there non-native plants in the Park that are not a danger? Yes--not every non-native species is a danger! For example, heritage apple and pear trees in the Park are protected as part of the Park's cultural heritage, are not aggressive, and present no danger to native species. Another example are the many species of grasses found in the central meadow of the Park; these can be non-native species, however, they are not aggressive and present limited danger to native species.

Will there be removal of some native plants? Yes--even native plants can present a danger. We have all become very aware of the risk of wildfires, and the Park is not immune to that risk. There will be special attention paid to planning to reduce the fire load in the Park, for the safety of the neighborhood and the city. Included in this fire risk reduction will be the close cropping of the dried grasses in the meadow as that becomes an increasing risk, and the removal of dead and downed wood in the Park.

        Questions? Concerns?

                 Please feel free to email us at the link below ...

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