Gardner Bullis students learn stewardship through environmental restoration project

Photo By: Courtesy of Town of Los Altos Hills
Photo Courtesy Of Town Of Los Altos Hills

Gardner Bullis School sixth-graders collaborate to restore Adobe Creek at Edith Park.

The town of Los Altos Hills recently received more than $83,000 from the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Environmental Enhancement Implementation Grant Program. The funds will be used to restore Adobe Creek at Edith Park to its native riparian habitat and to provide educational outreach to local students.

Debbie Pedro, planning director for Los Altos Hills, and Jon Laslett, project manager at the Santa Cruz-based habitat restoration firm Ecological Concerns Inc., collaborated to secure the grant and plan the project.

The native habitat in Edith Park had become overgrown with invasive species, compromising the area’s biodiversity. By removing invasive species and planting native varieties, the project aims to increase native plant diversity along the restored stretch of Adobe Creek and boost habitat quality along the wildlife corridor. The installation of native plants was finished in mid-December, and maintenance and monitoring of the work will continue through 2016.

Up the street from the restoration site, Gardner Bullis School’s sixth-graders have been studying environmental sciences all year and partnered on the community project. Ecological Concerns conducted planting demonstrations and lessons in ecology onsite.

The curriculum came full circle when 51 students planted approximately 600 native plants in just two days.

“This was an excellent opportunity for our students to experience the science curriculum in context by exploring local ecosystems while serving the community and the environment,” said Gardner Bullis Principal Courtney Cadwell.

The water district awarded $3.4 million in grants for projects that span the Central California region. Since 2000, 385 acres of tidal and riparian habitat have been restored in Santa Clara County. The program has resulted in the protection of endangered species and the creation of safe passage for fish native to California’s waterways.

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