Volunteer workdays continued on October 1, when a terrific crew of stalwart volunteers cleared cattails, bulrushes, and reeds from the northeast corner of pHake Lake. The little island there is a prime spot for viewing waterfowl and other wildlife at the lake, but the view had been completely blocked by the cattails and bulrushes. The volunteers also cleared overgrown vegetation from the island to improve the habitat for the native digger bees that nest there, and cleared the path to the island.
Sometimes cutting back cattails reveals other surprises, as this volunteer found when his cutting revealed a motion-sensing wildlife camera:
Once the cattails are cut, they need to be collected and piled in an accessible location, from where some were collected and taken to the Cooper Regional History Museum in Upland, to be used to refurbish a Tongva shelter. The rest will be collected and used for mulch. It turns out that gathering up the cut cattails and transporting them to the collection site is even more work than cutting them. Some are put in boats and rowed over the site…
…while others are taken by overland route:
After a morning of hard work, the volunteers were re-fueled with our usual pizza lunch. This lunch was a bit special, as it was the last one held in the old outdoor classroom, which will soon be demolished for renovation of the old infirmary for the new home of Pitzer College’s Robert Redford Conservancy of Southern California Sustainability. The renovation will include two new outdoor classrooms, but we will have many fond memories of this one, which was built when the field station was first established (see 1978 photo here).
At the end of the day, we could enjoy the restored view from the island.