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The California Department of Fish & Wildlife designated June 1-9 as “California Invasive Species Action Week“, and we at the BFS are doing our part! We teamed up the Sustainable Claremont’s Green Crew to remove invasive plants from an area currently undergoing restoration.

The area was bulldozed during the installation of a sewer line during the renovation of the old Claremont Colleges’ infirmary for use by Pitzer College’s Robert Redford Center for Southern California Sustainability. To restore the area, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, which is conveniently right next door, propagated plants from the BFS to preserved the genetics of the indigenous plant community.

We outplanted groups of new plants in November 2017 and December 2018, and we are pleased to see they are doing quite well. Nonetheless, those pesky invasive plants love nothing better than a disturbed area, and aided by this year’s heavy rainfall, the spaces between the plants had gotten filled in with a lot of invasives – mostly Short-pod Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana), but also Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) and Tocalote (Centaurea melitensis). We wanted to get them out to give the new plants a chance to establish – and get them out we did!

Here’s a photo of the north side of the work area before the crew commenced:

Before: Short-pod Mustard all over the north side of the work area. ©Nancy Hamlett.

And here’s what happened during the workday:

Time-lapse video ©Erica Pinal.

Until the volunteers declared victory over the mustard:

Volunteers declare victory over in front of the giant mustard pile! ©Richard Haskell.

And when they all left at the end of the workday, here’s what the area looked like:

After: The north area at the end of the workday. ©Nancy Hamlett.

Here are a bunch of other photos of the hard-working crew:


Meet the mustard! Nancy introduces the volunteers to Short-pod Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana). ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


A little mustard plant about to meet its doom. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Pulling up mustard. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Mustard into the can to be delivered to the big pile. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Jaime with his mustard.
©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Jackie and the giant mustard. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Carrie with a big load of mustard. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Another big load of mustard. ©Marcyn Clements.


Is that a tiny Tree Tobacco?
©Jacqueline Legazcue.


The area around the new plants was cleared, so the volunteers headed off into the surrounding scrub to hunt for more mustard. ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


Arrgh. All those tiny little mustard plants are really annoying! ©Jacqueline Legazcue.


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