A Day at the Commons

By March 3, 2023March 6th, 2023California, Native Plant Nursery
Written by: Melvyn Wright 
Hello SPAWN community,
Saturday was a special planting day at Roy’s Riffles.  Our objective was to plant a colorful native plant garden enhancing SPAWN’s restoration project and define pathways through the garden to the bridge.  Prior to the volunteer day, we shaped mounds of fresh soil and arranged plants for installation. Our Bringing Nature to School program partner Charlotte Torgovitsky, of Home Ground Habitats Nursery, donated many plants for the garden and other plants were given to SPAWN through the Xerces habitat kit program.

On Saturday morning, Audrey is ready for the day’s project to begin.

Audrey and Ayano greet first-time volunteers Tia and Christiana

At first we were apprehensive as the fresh soil was very wet; in fact, downright muddy.

Audrey gave a planting technique demonstration and some information about the plants before everyone got down to work.

Ayano’s job was to construct wire cages to protect the plants most vulnerable to deer browsing.

Audrey shares her enthusiasm as the work progresses. At this time, the photographer got into the work and didn’t make further images until planting was finished.

Facing south towards the bridge. Note Ayano’s cages and the path dissecting the mounds.

View facing north towards the entrance. The area to the left is planted with native shrubbery. Note the mulch added last.

So here’s the crew. A really good one, I’ll add. From left to right it’s Joel, Tia, Alejandro, Mel, Christiana, Audrey and Ayano. Thanks, Ayano, for setting my camera on timer and getting yourself in the photo.


A very successful planting day.  Everyone was very careful not to sink into the very wet soil.  With some maintenance and more rains on the way,  this should be an interesting native garden and attractive entrance to this part of the commons.
Anyone interested in joining us for projects like this just go to seaturtles.org and click on SPAWN, under Our Work, Our Programs. You can also find it directly at https://seaturtles.org/spawn/