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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Eva Brock shows the weed that turns to stickers and catches on dog’s paws. She and her partner, Linda Deos, in the background, regularly weed various areas around Davis. Jean Jackman/Courtesy photo

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At the Pond: Just do it

Have you noticed people quietly doing kind things in Davis and surrounds? Today I salute the weeders and planters. People in many organizations have great volunteer projects. Then there are individuals who just see a need and do it. I’ve become more aware of them as I have been biking and hiking around town and come across them in new-to-me areas.

365体育投注On the North Davis greenbelt near the end of Flicker Ave, I came across Eva Brock and Linda Deos, quietly weeding some sticky weed that gets caught in the paws of dogs. They had created piles of it. They wished they had a weed whacker.

365体育投注“Look at that whole area against the fence, mostly foxtails. Now is the time to cut them before they give off seeds.”

365体育投注Just then, I saw Phil Summers, working in his yard. “Hey Phil. We need a weed whacker.”

Phil Summers shows how high the foxtails were before he weed whacked many against the fence along the North Davis greenbelt off of Flicker Ave. He has adopted one section near the smaller overlook at the Julie Partansky Wildlife Area.
Jean Jackman/Courtesy photo

Phil jumped into action and cut down the foxtails in a large area. They will dry in the sun and not give off the seeds.

He then went over to an area between the two North Ponds and cut out the weeds in an area volunteers planted last year with natives. It is a section Phil has adopted.

Larry Snyder three years ago took it upon himself to flag and clear three-foot areas around 300 milkweed plants along the Davis Ditch. It is more properly called the North Davis Riparian Greenbelt, 17 acres along 1.25 miles of the North Davis channel between Sycamore Lane and F Street. It is a favorite place to walk because you can choose different ways — the north side, along farmland, down in the ditch path and on the south side on pavement. See this Enterprise article from June 2016.

365体育投注Public Works mows for fire suppression. The crew will avoid the milkweed as long as it is marked and weeded. Milkweed is the only host for Monarchs. The Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed leaves. Milkweed plants attract many butterflies, beetles, bees and wasps. The pollinators and insects feed on the plant’s copious nectar.

From left, Robert Weidenfeld, Eric Newman and Larry Snyder, along with Mark Woerner (not pictured), volunteer on Mondays, where they have been expanding the gardens on either side of the Bird Entry park overlook on Anderson Road between Peregrine and Flicker Avenues. Under Woerner’s direction, they prune willows and tend oaks along the channel.
Jean Jackman/Courtesy photo

365体育投注Snyder now meets up with Eric Newman, Mark Woerner and Robert Weidenfeld on Monday mornings. They have been expanding the gardens on both sides of the Bird Entry Park overlook, including adding several dozen milkweed plugs. Under Woerner’s direction, they prune the willows and tend the oaks along the channel between the park and the Kestrel Place Bridge, as well as north of the park.

365体育投注The four enjoy working together while doing social distancing. The Bird Entry Park is on Anderson Road between Peregrine and Flicker. On the ditch side of the bike path there’s a wood-fenced overlook on both sides of the new gardens.

A Mace Ranch resident, weeds foxtails to allow the ice plant room to spread.
Jean Jackman/Courtesy photo

365体育投注On a bike ride, I came across a woman weeding foxtails in Mace Ranch. She was clearing an area so that the ice plant could fill in along the bike path. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted her name on my phone.

I like to bike out past Cactus Corners. I noticed a man, Charles McGinn, mowing along the bike paths west of County Road 97. He lives across the road, so it is not his property, but he mows it. An unnamed farmer regularly mows a couple miles along the path.

Red California poppies, flannel bush and 28 other natives delight the eye thanks to Patricia Carpenter, who lives on Russell Boulevard, just west of County Road 97. She weeded the county land across from her house and planted more than 30 natives, mulched it and maintains it. Now she’s also helping plant the adjacent areas to the east with her neighbors using drought-tolerant plants.
365体育投注Beth Savage/Courtesy photo

One stretch has beautiful natives planted and mulched by Patricia Carpenter, an avid gardener. For years, she tried to keep weeds at bay across the road because they blow into her yard. Then she started planting. She put in all natives in the area across the road from her house, 30 species and she mulched. The showiest native plants have been the red California poppies, the flannel bush with big yellow flowers, the silver bush lupine covered in purple flowers, yellow annual lupine and California ranunculus. Later will be more flowers — the desert willow tree, yellow goldenrod and California fuchsia.

Neighbors to the east of her have joined in the effort along the bike path across from their house and they have helped with weeding, wood chipping and planting. The plants come from Carpenter’s garden. She did some hand watering to get things started but they are drought-tolerant plants. The new areas will have plants from all over the world. We cyclists and walkers can be grateful for these volunteers.

Our city and county now have financial pressures. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been so many areas that need work and can benefit from volunteers. It has been my experience that I had to jump through many hoops for our Friends of North Davis Ponds to have planting days. The city prefers to work with contract groups and that can be costly. I hope that the city will make plans to embrace volunteer efforts and make it easy for us to get approval.

I also urge people to just do it when they see something obviously undesirable like foxtails or sticky plants. Protect those doggie paws. And create beauty locally for much-needed eco-therapy during troubled times.

— Jean Jackman is a Davis resident. Her column appears on the third Wednesday of each month. Got a story, comment, correct? Contact her: [email protected]

 

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