I took an "appreciation walk" at Besant Meadow Preserve last week. After the trauma of the Thomas Fire, I wanted to see what the rain had wrought. I am happy to report, the meadow is alive with animal life, waterfowl and humans all enjoying the result of the Ojai Land Conservancy's forethought and hard work in transforming this parcel. The replanting of this property by the OVC is a perfect example of landscape that enhances the natural properties of our valley. Although larger than most of our yards, it is a good example of land that has been brought back to it's glory after man's unintentional degradation of the land through inappropriate land use. The property before restoration was barren and flat with hard packed soil that repelled water, now it is a refuge that holds water in its catchment basins, supports absorption with native plant life and prevents flooding of neighborhood streets. I don't know about you but I can always use some the inspiration right now. Listed below are several great resources that I hop can inspire all of us to get started at replanting what the fire may have have damaged. No fire damage? Lucky you, but maybe you can help improve on other local surroundings. Even without the fire, Ojai's five years of drought had taken its toll. Let's get planting!
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Urban Forestry Program is charged with advancing " the development of sustainable urban and community forests in California. " Trees provide energy conservation, reduction of storm-water runoff, extend the life of surface streets, improve local air, soil and water quality, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, improve public health, provide wildlife habitat and increase property values. In short, they improve the quality of life in our urban environments which, increasingly, are where Californians live, work, and play. They also manage reforestation programs and conservation efforts "that yield better air and water quality, enhanced wildlife habitat, greater biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability, healthier forests, reduced soil erosion, and increased timber production.