A few years ago, David Parrish, the owner of Parrish Family Vineyard, discovered his newly purchased property contained the headwaters of Adelaida Creek. Starting November 28th, 2016, the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District got the chance to restore these headwaters using funds from San Luis Obispo county.
Over the course of a week and a half, we worked with Watershed Stewards Program members and a California Conservation Corps crew to plant 400 native plants in the quarter mile stretch of creek. The goal is that these native plants will help prevent runoff and erosion during rains, instead slowing the incoming water and allowing it to percolate into the aquifer. We also used a new technology, called a cocoon, when planting many of the plants. These cocoons, created by the Land Life company, are designed to slowly release water to the plants over a period of 6-8 months, hopefully eliminating the need for irrigation during the summer months. We wrapped the project up in record time, taking a week less than scheduled to complete it. Now we’re getting ready to monitor our little plants, and see how well they do in the dry summer months.
This project is a valuable example of how private landowners and the RCD can collaborate to do great things for conservation. We’re glad to have had the chance to restore the Adelaida headwaters, and we look forward to implementing similar projects in the future.