Welcoming our Newest Director

We are pleased to announce that Mary Bianchi is the newest member to join our Board of Directors. Her experience and connections to our agricultural community make her a valuable addition. With the appointment of Mary, we now have a full 9-member Board of Directors for the first time in over 5 years!

More about Mary:

Mary Bianchi is a retired University of California Horticulture Advisor from San Luis Obispo County and was the Program Advisor for the UC Master Gardener Programs in San Luis Obispo and in Santa Barbara Counties.  She also served as County Director for UC Cooperative Extension programs in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties from 2013 to 2017.  Mary holds BS and MS degrees in soils and agricultural sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  During her career, she worked with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Santa Cruz, Tulare, Napa, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center.  She transferred to San Luis Obispo County in September 1992.  After 26 years in SLO County, Mary retired in June 2017.

Mary is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society for Horticultural Science, the California Avocado Society, and the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy.

You can meet Mary and all of our board members at any of our upcoming meetings, which are always open to the public.

Volunteer Opportunity-April 6 & 7

The Watershed Stewards Program is excited to announce an opportunity to participate in an ecological enhancement project at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (the Ranch) in Cambria, CA. All are welcome to this two day event, taking place on April 6th and 7th from 9am – 1pm each day. The purpose of this project is to protect the population of steelhead trout in Santa Rosa Creek by reducing the threat of a large wildfire on the Ranch. A large wildfire could result in increased sediment entering the creek through the erosion of exposed soils, negatively impacting steelhead habitat. This project also aims to improve the current condition of steelhead habitat by enhancing the ripararian corridor along Santa Rosa Creek.  

On Saturday April 6th, volunteers will mitigate the potential for a hazardous wildfire on the Ranch by creating a fuel break in the understory of a Monterey pine forest. This will involve hiking a short distance off trail to collect dry woody debris from the forest floor, and hauling it to a staging area to be chipped into mulch for use around the Ranch.

On Sunday April 7th, volunteers will improve the plant community along the riparian corridor of Santa Rosa Creek by removing invasive weeds and planting 100 native trees and shrubs! Volunteers will also spread mulch created through processing dry woody debris the day before.


Volunteers are invited to participate on either day for any length of time, though they are encouraged to arrive by 9am to receive an orientation regarding the day’s work plan. Be sure to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, pants, and a long sleeved shirt. Tools and equipment will be provided, as well as personal protective equipment including gloves, hardhats, safety glasses, and tyvek suits (disposable coveralls). Refreshments will be provided including water, coffee, and snacks. Volunteers are asked to bring personal water bottles and coffee mugs.


From San Luis Obispo head north on CA-1 N to Cambria, after intersecting Burton Drive, in 0.8 miles park on the large pull-out located on the left (west) side of CA-1 OR pass through the gate at the pull-out and park on the side of the gravel road. Follow event signs from the trailhead.

Saturday April 6th

Sunday April 7th

For any questions, please contact David Lopez-Portillo by email: David@us-ltrcd.org or by phone: (805) 434-0396 ext. 3196