Creekside Science

Archive for the ‘Stewardship’ Category

Ardenwood Historic Farm Monarch Habitat Assessment

In Stewardship on January 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm


On January 6, 2017, Creekside Science began site assessment and habitat characterization of Monarch butterfly overwintering habitat at Ardenwood Historic Farm (East Bay Regional Parks District).

The primary goal of this project is to conserve the long-term integrity of winter roosting habitat for monarch butterflies at Ardenwood by developing comprehensive site stewardship plans.

Creekside Chief Scientist Flies High Once Again in the Name of Monarch Stewardship

In Stewardship on December 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

In December 2016 Creekside Chief Scientist Dr. Stuart Weiss was hoisted high into the sky by way of a bucket truck to facilitate Monarch habitat assessment work at Rob Hill in the Presidio. Creekside Science is engaged in canopy characterization to assess seasonal solar radiation, temperature and wind conditions in Monarch butterfly overwintering habitat.

Hemispherical photography conducted at different elevations increases our understanding of overall habitat structure and what conditions the butterflies require. This information guides comprehensive site-specific adaptive management plans.

Dr. Weiss was happy to check this off his bucket list!

Pacific Grove Monarchs 2015-2016

In Stewardship on January 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Monarch_Buddelya 10-21-2015 1-32-29 PM

Stu and city staff from Pacific Grove successfully completed another year of adaptive management at Monarch Grove Sanctuary.  The monarchs returned (11,500 Thanksgiving count) and are taking advantage of the wind shelter provided by blue gum trees planted in 1999, and sipping from the nectar gardens.  Stu continues to network with other monarch scientists around the world.

Creekside Science completes 30 year review of San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan

In Stewardship on November 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm


This fall, Creekside Science submitted their final draft of the 30-year review of the San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). This HCP, approved in 1982, was the first ever such agreement. Now, there are more than 500 HCPs nationwide.  Although both the HCP planning and implementation process has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, there are many lessons that remain pertinent.

With the case of San Bruno Mountain, we conclude that the core butterfly species are thriving and well monitored. Core populations are stable, although some peripheral populations are in decline. We recommend more stewardship needs to be directed towards reducing scrub encroachment in grasslands. Rare plants and rare plant habitat also needs more future attention.

The official announcement and the full document is located on the San Bruno County Parks Department site:



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! 

Barbed Goatgrass Control Research

In Stewardship on November 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

BGG mowing on Coyote Ridge Creekside

Creekside staff has been working diligently to control Barbed Goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) in occupied Bay Checkerspot habitat on Coyote Ridge. This annual grass occupies areas where important forbs (like host and nectar plants) may grow. Notably, BGG seems to form denser stands thus deteriorating Checkerspot habitat. We present the following findings (see PDF below) on BGG control which has mostly been successful and met project objectives.

Creekside Executive Summary on AETR control

Late Spring Rare Plant Monitoring

In Stewardship on June 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

Christal and the Creekside staff on Coyote Ridge monitoring the federally endangered Santa Clara Valley Liveforever (Dudleya abramsii ssp. setchelli). Creekside is using a macroplot methodology and conducting a complete census in 4 permanent plots.


Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan Passed

In Stewardship on January 31, 2013 at 11:04 am


The staff of Creekside is very happy to report that the Santa Clara Valley HCP has been passed by the City of San Jose, the final signatory needed to enact this auspicious plan to help protect and restore habitat for 18 rare plants and animals including the Bay Checkerspot butterfly, Santa Clara Valley Dudleya and a few other species that Creekside currently works on conserving. We firmly believe that preserving and properly managing serpentine environments is critical for biodiversity in the Bay Area. Please contact us with any biological questions about the plan and/or species.

The final habitat plan can be found here.

Click here for a map of the HCP Plan area.

Thanks to the local partners who are critical in making the plan implementation a success:

local partners

Here’s the article from the San Jose Mercury news:HCP passed news article

Restoration Volunteer Day in Woodside – December 8th 9:30am

In Stewardship on November 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

Creekside will be coordinating a volunteer day on Saturday Dec 8th at 9:30 am at the Horse Park in Woodside.  This fabulous site hosts native grassland, oak woodland, oak savanna, and a mix of other habitats.  We will be working on helping maintain the soil integrity of a drainage by transplanting local native shrubs and grasses from another site on location.  We will be concentrating on coyote brush and creeping wild rye as our two key native plants for soil stabilization.

Participants will learn about the restoration process, transplanting techniques, and get their hands dirty!

Please see more about the day in the flyer below.  Please contact us at with any questions.