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Alamo Creek Urban Greening in Vacaville

Alamo Creek UG Map no title description on topOverview of 10 of the 11 sites along Alamo Creek selected for restoration with native plants. An 11th site has been added near Pena Adobe Park on the west edge of town.

 

AC Photo 2 plant propagationVolunteers propagating sticky monkey flower, CA grape, CA rose, hollyleaf cherry, CA grape, and toyon for the Alamo Creek Urban Greening project.

Solano RCD is partnering with the City of Vacaville and its citizens to restore 11 different sites totaling 28 acres along the Alamo Creek and Southside Bike Trails.  Restoration activities include planting 1,500 native trees and shrubs, plugging 23,000 native grass, sedge and wildflower plugs, and seeding 15 acres of native grasses and wildflowers.   These native plants will not only shade and beautify the trails, they will also provide important wildlife habitat.  This effort is being funded by a grant from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Urban Greening Grant program.

The essence of the project is community-based restoration, and there are numerous opportunities for residents, community organizations, and youth groups to participate before the project is completed in May 2016.

Plant propagation
AC Photo 3 young toyon compressed
Young toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) seedlings get potted up into deepot containers by volunteers.

In 2012 and 2013, volunteers helped propagate 2,200 native trees and shrubs (40 different species) from seed collected from local watersheds (Alamo Creek, Ulatis Creek and Putah Creek).  15 volunteer plant propagation workdays have been held, and the Solano RCD nursery facility is full of beautiful native plants grown out from local ecotypes.

Plant installation

Seven of the eleven restoration sites were installed in 2014.  City of Vacaville work crews tapped into water mains to provide water sources for the new plants and Solano RCD staff trenched in 2,000 feet of PVC pipe and slip plowed 20,000 feet of sub-surface dripline.   Solano RCD is also controlling invasive weeds in the planting areas to reduce competition.  Once the irrigation system was set up, community members installed over 1,200 trees and shrubs along the Alamo Creek and Southside bike trails during 16 volunteer planting events.  Nine classes of local elementary students also participated in the planting effort, as well as students from Solano Community College and UC Davis.

AC Photo 4 volunteer plantingMembers of the Vacaville Reach Youth Coalition help plant native wildflower plugs along Alamo Creek.

What's Next?

In 2015, another set of volunteer days will be held to install the last four sites.  Two of these sites are demonstration gardens, which will provide living examples of how Vacaville residents can use native plants to reduce water use and create wildlife habitat in their local landscape.  If you or your organization is interested in participating, please contact Katherine Holmes at 707-678-1655 ext 118 or

AC Photo 5 scouts plantingMembers of Boy Scout Troop 488 help plant trees along Southside Bike Trail.

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