Yesterday morning, my kiddo and I joined some friends to do a little restoration…


Yesterday morning, my kiddo and I joined some friends to do a little restoration work at Lake Merritt’s Channel Park in Oakland, one of the many Martin Luther King Jr., Day service opportunities around the country.
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While most of our fellow volunteers worked hard picking up trash, removing invasive species, and planting native species, my toddler and I were, well, less helpful. I spent most of my time making sure he didn’t go for a swim, stick himself with a hypodermic needle, or discover just how effective gardening shears can be at removing tiny digits.
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So what *did* we do to help restore the tidal estuary ecosystem? We pulled out quite a bit of “ice plant.” More accurately, we pulled ropes of sea fig (Carpobrotus chilensis), which can be distinguished from its even more aggressive relative, ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis), by the color of its flowers; magenta flowers belong to sea fig, and yellow or light pink flowers belong to ice plant. Why are these two introduced species deemed “invasive”? Both grow to form nearly impenetrable mats of vegetation that out-compete threatened or endangered native plant species by consuming the lion’s share of nutrients, water, light, and space.
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Here’s a shot of my proud toddler holding some sea fig before he stumble-carried it to the pile of invasives seen in the background. In the second shot, he’s returning to claim another rope of the succulent.
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Special thanks to the @oaklandmuseumca Green Team, Ryan Jones, and @kateleestirr for allowing me to bring my little guy even if doing so made me a lot less effective.
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#Oakland #LakeMerritt #ChannelPark #MartinLutherKingJrDay #MLKDay #habitatrestoration #volunteering #invasivespecies #nativespecies #iceplant #CarpobrotusEdulis #seafig #CarpobrotusChilensis #naturalhistory



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