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Boy Scouts and REI employees hack out non-native plants, discover mystery skull.

Zachary St. Louis, age 13, organized fellow scouts to help in this service project as part of the requirements to earn his Life Scout rank, the step before Eagle Scout (the highest rank).

On October 14, 2006 seven members of Boy Scout Troop #271 and parents Anne St. Louis and Russ Vetter joined almost 30 REI employee volunteers hacking out non-native plants along the Regents trail into the canyon. This will make way for the planting of native plants, which benefit our local birds and other wildlife.

Ben Stevenson, Rose Canyon’s native plant restorer-in-chief, masterminded the project. He handed out the weapons (er, tools) to the scouts and managed to prevent them from hacking each other rather than the plants. The boys did a WONDERFUL job.

scouts
Troop #271 does the
invasive plant removal dance.
Left to right: Myles Morris,
Ketih Van Orden, Zachary St. Louis,
Anthony Landau, Garrett Slack,
Spencer Fay, Sean Mannix.

skull
Mystery skull. Guess the animal.
Click to learn the answer.

rake
Zachary St. Louis, Anthony Landau

clearing
Sean Mannix, Keith Van Orden,
Spencer Fay

sticks
Garrett Slack, Anthony Landau,
Zachary St. Louis


Other Recent Volunteer Efforts:

 :: High School Volunteer Conducts Canyon Survey Over spring vacation, U. C. High student John Wilbur set up a table in Rose Canyon and interviewed people who passed by runners, bikers, dog walkers. See his results here.
His mother, Chris, assisted. Thank you, John and Chris. John is a member of a youth leadership council at Volunteer San Diego. He called Friends of Rose Canyon to see how he could help.

 :: On April 8, 2006, 35 volunteers from REI gave Rose Canyon an amazing gift: they pulled a massive amount of honeysuckle vine out a stream side area that was being choked by this highly invasive, non-native vine. The location is across from the native plant garden, near the Genesee Ave. canyon entrance. Meanwhile, some of the volunteers worked in the native plant garden, hauling out brush. These volunteers included the REI store manager for the San Diego store and new hires from both the San Diego and Encinitas stores.
Ben Stevenson, grand master of the native plant garden and this streamside restoration project, was thrilled. Removing the honeysuckle had been a project he planned to spend much of next year on. And if you’ve never tried to remove honeysuckle, take a look as these photos: it wraps itself tightly around anything available, and climbs skyward. It sets deep, far-reaching roots in the ground. These volunteers yanked and cut and dug.
With the honey suckle gone, there will be far more open soil, moisture and sunshine for the new native plants that Ben will have volunteers plant along the streamside. As they grow, our native birds and other animals will have back the kind of place they most like to live.
Rose Canyon – its people, its wildlife and its native plants - thank you, REI volunteers!


REI Volunteers April 8, 2006

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volunteers

volunteers

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