Ventura Land Trust (VLT) will undertake a major reforestation project at its 2,100-acre Harmon Canyon Preserve with the planting of a new oak grove. The 4-acre grove, funded by a grant from SoCalGas, will be planted in a terrace area of the preserve near the preserve’s trailhead.
With eight miles of trails for hiking and biking, Harmon Canyon Preserve is Ventura’s first large-scale nature preserve.
SoCalGas’s grant award will fund the planting of 50 coast live oak trees, as well as native plants like mulefat, coyote brush, sage, elderberry, sage, deerweed, and buckwheat. A trail will wind through the grove, so that the public can see and enjoy the reforested area.
SoCalGas has been a longstanding partner of Ventura Land Trust.
“We are proud to support the Ventura Land Trust with the planting of 50 coast live oak trees and native plants at their Harmon Canyon Preserve,” said Jawaad Malik, vice president of strategy and sustainability, and chief environmental officer at SoCalGas. “Preserving open space and providing public access will improve the quality of life and well-being of Ventura and the surrounding communities. We hope the community enjoys the trails to hike, bike, and explore.”
VLT Executive Director Derek Poultney is pleased to see a significant section of Harmon Canyon Preserve restored, after the preserve and many of the oak trees were burned in the Thomas Fire.
“This is the first major reforestation project on Harmon Canyon Preserve. The oak trees here have survived for generations, but many have been lost to drought and fire. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to remove black mustard and invasive plants that have taken over, and replace them with plants that enhance the really reflect the habitat and character of Ventura.” says Poultney.
A 50-year-old oak grove can sequester 30,000 pounds of CO2 per acre. Oak stands can live for more than 100 years, with individual trees living up to 250 years. Given the challenges presented by climate change, oak restoration projects are a step in the right direction.
This year, the planting of the oak grove on Saturday, April 24 coincides with VLT’s acknowledgement of Earth Day on Harmon Canyon Preserve. Visitors to the Harmon Canyon Preserve will find ways to learn more about the preserve’s plants and animals and can sign up to volunteer for future VLT restoration events.
Volunteers from SoCal Gas will plant the grove and install drip irrigation lines to water the young plants through the summer months.
(Please note, this is not a public volunteer opportunity.)