Corner Blooms With Native Plants

Water, elbow grease and grants bring to life a neglected corner.

At the corner of Laguna Canyon and El Toro Roads, near Anneliese’s Willowbrook campus, the Greater Laguna Coast Fire Safe Council is transforming a portion of Aliso and  Wood Canyons Wilderness Park from a  weedy lot to native plants.

This project is intended to reduce fire hazard as well as the need for weed control.

Two years ago, the Greater Laguna Coast Fire Safe Council received a grant from the California Fire Safe Council and U.S. Forest Service for its community-based proposal to mitigate fire danger and educate the public about the hazards of wildfire.

Since then council founder David Horne has worked with officials from county parks,  fire departments, Anneliese’s Schools, landscape architect Ann Christoph and biologist Trish Smith to design and implement the plan. Landscape contractor Nakae and Associates, Inc. took responsibility for the work.

Though the project’s initial goal was to reduce the threat of wildfire, the partnership’s spadework transformed a scruffy park corner into a place of beauty.

The Anneliese School provides irrigation and maintenance of the area adjacent to their property. Students also learn about the native habitat that surrounds their campus.  Native oaks have been replanted to replace trees removed by Caltrans for road widening.

With fall seeding of native plants, the landscape should be established in time to make a positive difference for next fire season.

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