In January of 2010 the Pacifica Land Trust held its first Coastal Conservancy sponsored stewardship event on the headlands. Twenty volunteers eagerly hiked to the North Ridge above Grand Avenue and set to work removing Pampas Grass, French Broom, and non native Monterey Pines. At the end of the day our first stewardship location was transformed with native plants standing alone grateful already for the prospect of more water and nutrients. Our volunteers while sharing snacks, stood proud, happy, and almost even a little giddy with joy from the accomplishment and work outside in nature. That first workday had most of those volunteers hooked. Now almost 6 years later many of them still participate in the monthly workdays because each one is fun and exciting and working outside together as a team is just plain amazing!
When our work started, wild trails and offshoots trampled plants trying to grow and confused the weekend hiker. Uncertain of which trail to take many hikers trudged on only to find themselves facing a wall of coastal shrubs and no exit. Now, visitors find a clearly defined trail system with signs, widened trails mostly free of invasive plants and often, other people hiking to some of the most beautiful vistas in the Bay Area.
Six years of volunteer fun led to discoveries of hidden slides, Dusky Footed Wood Rat nests, downed trees blown by the wind, mountain lion kills, rare plants, birds in the bushes, and truly special friendships. Over 5,500 volunteer hours have resulted in maintained trails, pristine coastal scrub land, planted slide areas, restored erosion slopes, bird and native plant hikes, Charlie Brown tree and Escape to the Headlands events, and a pretty weed free Pedro Point Headland property.
Many thanks go to the Pacifica Land Trust for organizing the stewardship program, the Coastal Conservancy for financing this work and to the Pedro Point Community Association for providing treats and support along the way! And of course a HUGE thank you to the many volunteers who join the efforts and make lasting improvements every workday.