Years of drought have devastated our native oak woodlands. In an effort to combat such a heartbreaking ecologic loss, the RCD has been working to restore and replant hundreds of oaks throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. Our latest effort, however, encountered yet another major obstacle: COVID 19.
Monthly volunteer events have had to be put on hold in the wake of this global pandemic. Our newly planted oaks rely heavily on regular volunteer events to survive and become established in their beginning years of growth. Rather than abandon the 250 young saplings planted at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park, the RCD’s Research and Restoration team came up with an innovative approach to ensuring the continued survival of this vital species: The Adopt a Baby Oak Program.
The RCD launched this program in hopes of recruiting volunteers to help care for those trees most easily accessible in the park. Baby oak trees ideally receive 5 gallons of water a month, but in the dry summer, any water helps. Bringing an extra liter once a week while on a hike has been an invaluable service to these oaks.
To see the overwhelming success of this program, check out the interactive map on our website and marvel at all the trees that were successfully adopted.
This map also includes data such as the last time care was given, the condition of the tree, and pictures of each tree as we received them. Follow along and watch the success of these mighty oaks. Given a good start, these powerful trees can live for over 100 years and have strong positive environmental and cultural impacts on the area.
Even if you were not able to adopt one of our oaks, you can still help our Tree Care program. A small team of RCD employees and volunteers will be continuing to care for trees in the park but are limited by funding. If you would like to support these efforts and ensure the continued survival of these incredible trees, you can donate to the RCDSMM Oak Fund. It costs $25/month for us to grow the trees but all donations help!
In the meantime, please let us know if you are interested in volunteering at our watering events in Trippet Ranch and Lower Topanga Rodeo Grounds. We are hoping to continue larger volunteer events in the future when it is safe to do so and would love your help.