Field Days Everyday

I spent most of the week working with Great Tree Tenders (GTT) at Fort Baker this week. We experienced all types of weather from pouring rain to sunny skies. The main goal of the week was to sweep through a large chunk of Fort Baker at a site called wolfback bowl. French broom was the main target as well as Echium. French broom is a woody shrub that flowers little yellow flower pods. It is in the Fabaceae family like Lupinus albifrons.

I have heard a lot of good things about GTT and their ability to get a lot of work done no matter the weather or site condition. We hiked up to the site and started the removal with a trusty weed wench. The hike to the site is far from easy and when it’s not raining, it is home for many ticks. One of the sunny days when we were working I found 11 ticks on me. The most I have ever had on me. But we pushed through and continued throughout the week. We are removing the French broom to convert the area back to grassland. This restoration effort brings back habitat for the Mission Blue Butterflies which is federally endangered. GTT is so helpful when we do large site sweeps because they have a great work ethic and I love to work with them as their energy is contagious and pushes me to work hard as well. Below are a few images from our last day that week.

The site we were working at is one of the most iconic and scenic views I have ever worked at. We were able to see the most epic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angels Island, and even Tibberon. The work we did was difficult, hiking off trail in search of invasives and pulling them from the ground whether it was easy to get or in a dense shrubby area. But looking at the site after was so rewarding to see how the hills that were so densely covered with broom now have the space to be converted back to grasslands. I am excited to see how the butterflies benefit from this opening of grassland and hopefully, populations will be able to connect!

We had an NR treat this month which was helpful to get to know some of the people who I do not work with and get our whole team to connect and spend some time together outside of the office and normal sites we work at.

Fun side note: I was able to get my hands on some soap plant thanks to the SF veg intern Angie. This is one of the first plants I learned to ID and have always been curious about why they called it soap plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum). We took the root of the plant and used it the wash our hands like you would with a regular bar of soap! It suds up and everything, I was super excited and happy that I got to finally use it!

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