Sleepy Hollow Creek, San Anselmo
On the Drake High School Campus in San Anselmo, between 1997 and 2006 we worked with Sue Fox’s students in the SEA DISC Academy on an 830-foot section of Sleepy Hollow Creek between Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Saunders Avenue. Each year, the academy’s new students surveyed existing vegetation, removed invasive non-native plants, and recommended and installed native plantings. The site was originally dominated
by acacia, plum, and blackberry, and had suffered a landslide. We have planted 13 species of trees, 25 species of shrubs and vines, and 24 species of grasses, sedges, ferns and forbs. Approximately 180 native and non-native plant species have been observed, including the showy native broomrape (Orobanche vallicola spp.), last reported in the Ross Valley in 1924. Alders planted in 1997 are now over 45 feet tall, and luxuriant willows too have transformed the creek environment into a habitat nurturing much more diverse wildlife. Friends continues to maintain the project. In 2010 the School District is landscaping the area between our project and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard with native plants.
Funding has been provided by the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program.
Creek Park, San Anselmo
In October 2006 a crew from the Marin Conservation Corps (now Conservation Corps North Bay) replaced riprap and invasive plants with willows and dogwood, using a design for brush layering by Prunuske Chatham Inc. The layering included willow, which prefers a sunny site, and dogwood, a more shade-loving plant, as insurance against variable amounts of sun. The Conservation Corps crew returned in 2006 and 2007 to remove more cape ivy, giant reed, French broom, fennel, and vinca, making room to install over 200 plants representing 20 species. These plants were installed both upstream and
downstream of the brush layering. Big-leaf maples, buckeye, coffeeberries, and toyons planted by the Conservation Corps add to the alders, ashes, and willows that were already growing along the creek. Smaller plants installed by the Conservation Corps, including vine honeysuckle, sedges, rush, sticky monkeyflower, snowberry, woodwardia, and ceanothus, are also doing well. Volunteers continue to maintain the site.
Funding was provided by MCSTOPPP, State Water Resources Control Board Proposition 13 Bonds, and Ross Valley Sanitary District. The Town of San Anselmo provided water for initial irrigation.