Creekside Science

CitizenInvestor Funds Restoration of San Mateo Thornmint

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2014 at 6:21 am

After a successful fundraising campaign on CitizenInvestor in spring of 2013, and a one year wait for wetter (better) growing conditions for San Mateo Thornmint (Acanthomintha obovata ssp. duttonii), a partnership of groups including County of San Mateo Parks, Friends of Edgewood and Creekside Science carefully seeded around the existing thornmint population in order to expand the limited distribution of this plant.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-4

Creekside Science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and San Francisco Water, Sewer, and Power partnered with the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden to produce a seed increase using leftover seeds from a decades-old experiment. In total, 7,500 seeds were dispersed on site and early observations in late December indicate that some germination is already occurring in the newly seeded areas!

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-15

The planting plots were mapped and then prepared by scraping the top 1-2 inches of material to the side creating bare ground. This post-germination scraping technique decreases annual grass cover (for that year) and increases the amount of bare ground, which increases germination (and likely survivorship and seed production also). This treatment increased thornmint numbers and vigor in our previous in-situ experiments.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-9

Packets of 250 seeds (prepared by the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden) were spread as evenly as possible into 30 square-meter plots, then tamped gently into the soil to enhance soil to seed contact.

SMT Dec14 seeding pics-18

The new plots were placed uphill of and adjacent to the existing population, in areas where mowing and dethatching had created the open habitat that favors thornmint. Two of the plots were placed in a historical location where thornmint has not been observed for many years.

120914 SMT seedlings observed onsite

Thank you everyone for contributing to make this a successful project. Creekside Science will continue to monitor germination and maturation of this unique restoration effort.


For more photos and information from the Friends of Edgewood, please read here.

Rare Plant Service-based Learning Workshop: Serpentine Prairie, Oakland

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

CLFR rare plant seed collection workshop 9-5-2014-1371

Creekside staffer Lech Naumovich teamed with the East Bay Regional Park District and the California Native Plant Society of the East Bay in order to bring together a workshop on rare plant seed collection methods. Our project took place in Redwood Regional Park, on a restored serpentine area known as the Serpentine Prairie. This site is home to one of the two largest populations of Presidio Clarkia (Clarkia franciscana). We’ve been working to learn how to best maintain the existing population and how we can use human stewardship to bolster resiliency of the site and its rare plants.

UPDATE 9/26/2014: Project highlighted in KQED Science Friday Blog.


Here’s a quick synopsis of key topics we covered.

key considerations for rare plant seed collection workshop

Thanks to everyone who came out and learned and participated in this project!

Medusahead Treatments Showing Success

In Restoration, Stewardship on June 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm

creekside pano of medusahead mow at edgewood 2014 smlWe are very excited to publicly report that our medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski) treatments at Edgewood Preserve have been an enormous success. Our treatments started in 2009 with medusahead infestations spanning some 5-6 acres of the preserve grasslands.  As we completed our 2014 seasonal mow, staff botanists observed only a few individuals throughout the treatment area. Our timed mowing has been extremely successful in reducing the invasive by > 99% according to our annual monitoring which occurs before any mowing.


ARS photo: Brett Bingham

The Friends of Edgewood have volunteered many hours in order to help reduce resprouts and find new nascent foci and make our efforts even more successful. Thanks to San Mateo County Parks, Friends of Edgewood and all our partners for the great work. We will continue to monitor the site to ensure medusahead is (hopefully) eradicated from the site! 


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