Ten years ago, Sukey Parmelee initiated the Watershed Stewardship program at Green Gulch. Early projects focused on removing invasive plant species such as poison hemlock and cape ivy, planting native shrubs and grasses, trail improvement, and general upkeep. Green Sangha joined the project, working the earth, breathing the fresh air, and diving into silence in the Zendo at the end of the afternoon. Every February, we celebrated Arbor Day with tree planting and the other ongoing tasks of land stewardship.
By 2013, with grants and visions in hand, the Watershed Stewards began to chart out the largest project yet: restoring the meander to the stream flowing through the property to the sea. Here’s what Sukey’s wrote shortly before Arbor Day:
“Our new beautifully sculpted meander — complete with large woody debris, willow mattresses, gravels, rock work and inviting pools — is the centerpiece for this year’s Arbor Day/Restoration Day.
“We are so excited to be able to plant hundreds of perennials, shrubs, and trees along this 720-foot stretch of creek. These plantings will provide habitat for many creatures of water, air and land to come and settle into this jewel in our lower fields.”
Sixty volunteers attended Arbor Day. Twenty of them came through Green Sangha. We were honored to be acknowledged at the opening ceremony, and exhilarated to be part of this great day of planting.
As Sukey wrote after this radiant work party: “You made it happen! All of the work you put into the restoration site over the past year and a half helped make the space ready for the machines and heavy work of last summer. You came to work party days. You came to work week. You came and helped dig up alder trees last April, came and planted them in December and came back last Sunday for the big planting. What a blessing!
“A group of third graders came out yesterday and enjoyed racoon tracks, newts, crossing the creek in a variety of ways, and planting and weeding. Everyone is involved!”
Come to our next day of Inner & Outer Restoration at Green Gulch: Sunday, May 10, 12-6 pm. RSVP for lunch reservations and carpooling: firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 532-6574