An Interview with Kelle Green

An Interview with Kelle Green

What is it like to work for CIR? Here is the first of a series of interviews with CIR employees to see what goes on behind the scenes. First in the series is Kelle Green, CIR's Nursery Manager.

Backcountry Perspectives

Backcountry Perspectives

...it doesn’t take long to come to love and appreciate our backcountry areas for their subtler brand of beauty. They are pristine, quiet, and inspiring places that have so much to offer. Let’s keep them that way.

Plant Profile: Giant Coreopsis

Plant Profile: Giant Coreopsis

Giant coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) is an enigmatic poster-child of the Channel Islands due to its large size and vibrant colors. The big, floppy daisy-like petals and verdant green leaves can often be seen framing the edges of pictures taken at Inspiration Point on Anacapa Island in the spring.

Field Report from the Los Padres Backcountry

Field Report from the Los Padres Backcountry

I sat down with field crew leader and backcountry trip veteran, Doug Morgan, for an inside look into what the backcountry trips are like. Here’s what he had to say.

When Restoration Work Isn't So Glamorous

When Restoration Work Isn't So Glamorous

Here at Channel Islands Restoration we work in a lot of scenic places - the cliffs of East Anacapa Island, the peaks of Santa Rosa Island, on the sand dunes of San Nicolas Island, along the banks of the Sisquoc River, in the rolling grasslands of the San Marcos Foothills, and more. However, sometimes it’s not so glamorous, and that’s been the experience for many of our field technicians in the past few months.

The Wildflowers are Coming

The Wildflowers are Coming

With this year’s rain, it’s looking like it’ll be a great year for wildflowers! Blankets of poppies and lupine, pockets of monkeyflowers, lilies, and fiesta flowers, rare stream orchids and Humboldt lilies, and more can be found all throughout the Central Coast - but the question is, where?

Plant Profile: Santa Cruz Island buckwheat

Plant Profile: Santa Cruz Island buckwheat

The Santa Cruz Island buckwheat (Eriogonum arborescens) is an extraordinary plant species, as it is endemic to three Channel Islands: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Anacapa. The little shrub is mostly found on bluffs and canyons on Santa Rosa and Anacapa, but it's found all along Santa Cruz Island.

Plant Profile: Manzanita

Plant Profile: Manzanita

The manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), a plant most distinguishable by its smooth, twisted red bark, is a key component to California’s beautiful chaparral environment. There are over 40 species of manzanita in the genus Arctostaphylos. They are found in parts of Oregon and Washington and as far south as Mexico. However, they are most common in California.

Volunteers Help Restore Native Grasslands

Volunteers Help Restore Native Grasslands

Early Sunday morning, a group of motivated volunteers met up at the trailhead of San Marcos Foothills to help restore the native habitat. The group spent around three hours pulling out the invasive weeds surrounding the native plants on the Preserve.

Plant Profile: Toyon

Plant Profile: Toyon

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a common native shrub here on the Central Coast, which is easily identifiable by its small, but brilliant red berries, which give it its other common names – Christmas berry and California holly.

Educational Service Trip to Santa Cruz Island

Educational Service Trip to Santa Cruz Island

Along with Channel Islands Restoration’s mission to restore habitat on the Central Coast and Channel Islands is our goal of providing environmental education to under-served students through environmental service trips.

Voluntourism Restoration Project on San Nicolas Island

Voluntourism Restoration Project on San Nicolas Island

This winter, Channel Islands Restoration installed over 11,000 plants on San Nicolas Island over the course of 50 trips to the island, with the help of 337 volunteers.

Gudrun joined us as one of those volunteers and wrote up her experience for the newsletter of her local chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Invasive Species Profile: Tamarisk

Invasive Species Profile: Tamarisk

Tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima) is one of the most detrimental and troublesome invasive plants of the Southwestern United States.

Salt Marsh Restoration in the Goleta Slough

Salt Marsh Restoration in the Goleta Slough

The Goleta Slough is a large salt marsh (estuary) located around the Santa Barbara Airport and UCSB. In a healthy estuary, saltwater from the ocean goes into and out of the estuary twice each day with the tides. However, in one of the estuary’s channels, “tide gates” were installed sometime before 1942 in order to prevent tidewaters from moving up into the upper part of the estuary.

Volunteer of the Year: Robin Birney

Volunteer of the Year: Robin Birney

Robin’s help this season on San Nicolas Island has been invaluable. She has helped with every aspect of our work on the island, from propagating plants to getting them in the ground. Robin has spent 44 days on the island, some of which have been multi-day trips, but most have been single-day trips.

Controlling Invasive Sea Lavender in the Carpinteria Salt Marsh

Controlling Invasive Sea Lavender in the Carpinteria Salt Marsh

In August 2017, a grant from UCSB Coastal Fund enabled staff and volunteers from Channel Islands Restoration and students from UC Santa Barbara to perform a survey of the endangered salt marsh bird’s-beak and Coulter’s goldfields in the marsh.

Restoration at the San Marcos Foothills

Restoration at the San Marcos Foothills

The San Marcos Foothills experienced an exceptionally hot and dry summer along with the rest of the region and we were concerned about the survival of the native seedlings we had just planted. Luckily, with some watering throughout the season, they survived it. Now, after the January rain, invasive plants are surging up from billions of dormant seeds. Our native plants received a head start from irrigation during the summer, but winter can be a critical time for young plants, because they can become overwhelmed by fast-growing non-native annual grasses and other weeds that compete for soil moisture and sun. 

Restoration on San Nicolas Island

Restoration on San Nicolas Island

We are currently growing and maintaining nearly 13,000 native and endemic island plants as part of our current restoration project. These plants were grown from seed and cuttings collected exclusively from the island under the watchful eyes of our Nursery Manager, Kelle Green and Nursery Assistant, Sarah Spellenberg. It has taken the dedication of thousands of staff and volunteer hours to successfully propagate, grow and maintain such a large number of plants at an isolated island nursery 60 miles off shore.