Audubon Youth Leaders

Audubon Youth Leaders Native Plant Giveway Project Reflection

Arianna Chitsaz, Maggie Jensen, and Eleanor Octavio reflect on their Audubon Youth Leaders project of growing and giving away native plants to the community.

Eleanor and Arianna with blue oak saplings they gave away

In order to combat natural occurrences that disrupt the environment and the planting of invasive species that cause significant damage to plant and animal life, we chose to grow California native plants for our Audubon Youth Leader’s project to give away at Wildcare’s Family Nature Day at Richardson Bay Audubon Center in April of 2022. 

In Marin County, the growth of invasive plant species has become increasingly prominent. Invasive plant species are defined as plants that have not originally evolved to grow  in a region are detrimental to the ecosystem such as by taking away resources  away from the native species. Native plant species, plants that evolved to grow in a specific region due to certain qualities and features that that region possesses, in Marin County have been overtaken by invasive species. We can even see these negative effects the invasive species have had on many Marin County ecosystems, as exemplified by the invasion of bull thistle, scotch broom, Bermuda buttercups (sourgrass), and wood sorrel. Building up native plants as well as limiting invasive ones will allow the regional wildlife to thrive once again, therefore benefitting and stabilizing the habitat as a whole. 

We started growing our plants in February of 2022 and they were ready to be given away by April of that same year. During that time, we researched information about our plants and continued to care for them when we visited the center every Thursday. Our goal was to educate our community about the importance of native plants as well as promote the planting of them in home gardens. At the Wildcare event, we were able to give away all of our plants to community members who then planted them in their own home gardens. 

Throughout this project, we were not only able to learn about native plants by researching them but also through growing them ourselves. It was so gratifying to see the progress our plants made week by week with water, exposure to appropriate amounts of sunlight, and repotting them when necessary.

How you can help, right now