The Walnut Creek Watershed Council (Council), its sub-group the Arundo Removal and Replacement Team (ARRT), The Restoration Trust, and the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District are moving forward with two new creek restoration projects—one in Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette.
The two projects will eradicate invasive plants and restore 17,500 square feet of native riparian landscape. In addition to providing better habitat for native plants and wildlife, restoring these two sites will reduce fire hazards because the fire-prone invasives will be replaced with native perennials that reduce the spread of fire.
Restoration increases carbon flows in the local riparian systems, which helps fuel food webs in the San Francisco Estuary. Restoration also reduces pollutants in the creeks by sequestering nutrients and sediments. The Council’s ARRT has been engaged in efforts to eradicate the highly invasive giant reed (Arundo donax) from the Walnut Creek Watershed and restore local creeks since 2018.
The Walnut Creek project site consists of about 10,200 square feet. The site is bounded on the south by Lincoln Avenue, on the north by private property, on the west by the Walnut Creek Library parking lot, and on the east by the water’s edge of Walnut Creek. Contracted crews finished clearing this site of all invasive plants and a considerable amount of trash on August 21st. In late fall, the site will be planted with native sedges, grasses, trees, and shrubs, restoring a diverse and functional riparian landscape.
The Lafayette project site consists of about 7,300 square feet. The site is on the north bank of Lafayette Creek near the pedestrian bridge off Mt. Diablo Boulevard near the “Las Trampas curve” where the creek makes an abrupt right turn. The site is bounded on the north by a public/private parking lot and on the south by the water’s edge of Lafayette Creek. Contracted crews finished clearing this site of all invasive plants and trash on August 14th. Later this year, native sedges, grasses, trees, and shrubs will be planted at the site to restore the riparian habitat.
The restoration plans for both sites have benefitted from the support of the Cities of Walnut Creek and Lafayette, Friends of the Creeks in Walnut Creek, the Lafayette Creeks Committee, the Contra Costa Fish and Wildlife Committee, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There will be opportunities for members of the public to volunteer at the restoration sites in various capacities (examples include planting and site monitoring). Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Chair of the ARRT John Zentner at Johnz@zentner.com.
To find out more about the ARRT and to see the ARRT’s 2019 Monitoring Report, please visit https://www.wcwatershed.org/arundo-removal.html.