Blue Heron Trails Enhancement

Completion of Multi-year Project by an Incredible Partnership

In March 2012, the Sacramento Tree Foundation received a grant from the State of California Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program to work some botanical magic at the Blue Heron Trails area of Stone Lakes NWR. The project was started in November 2012 and finished in June 2016. It involved planting 920 CA Native trees, shrubs, forbs and sedges as well as weed abatement and seeding of 7 acres of grasslands. A 1,300 foot long Hedgerow was built along the west property line near the Refuge Headquarters. The Hedgerow concept grew out of a brainstorming session between the Refuge staff and Tree Foundation while trying to create a vision and wind barrier between the neighboring private property and a diverse native plant corridor creating habitat for small mammals, reptiles, birds and pollinating insects. The entire project includes the Hedgerow, native grasslands enhancement, seasonal wetland swales, and California Oak Savanna.

Drought conditions during this time have hampered the survival of some of the grasses, but irrigation put in place by Sacramento Tree Foundation for the first few years of growth have ensured the establishment of other Native plants. There was a major outpouring over the years of volunteer help in the plantings involved in this project. This volunteer involvement will continue to monitor irrigation, weed control and survival rates until the plants reach the stage where they can be “set free”.

The attached photos show just what a major enhancement this project has made to Blue Heron Trails. The Friends can’t overstate our appreciation for the planning and hard work that went into it. Our hats are off to everyone who made it happen. If you have never visited, by all means come down and walk the Nature Trail. The wildlife has been wildly enthusiastic about the improvements!


Spring 2012                                                                                             Summer 2016

 


Spring 2012                                                                                               Summer 2016

 


Spring 2012                                                                                               Summer 2016

 

Spring 2012                                                                                               Summer 2016

 

Spring 2012                                                                                               Summer 2016

 

Hedgerow 2014                                                                                           Hedgerow 2016