Weed Warriors at the North Campus Open Space

Mon, 03/06/2023 - 11:23 -- jeremiahbender

Our NCOS weed warriors have been working hard! These community volunteers have been spending their time weeding and planting at the NCOS Visitor Plaza and North Parcel restoration site. Read on to meet some our enthusiastic volunteers.



Lee Ann began volunteering after she noticed there were less people weeding and planting at NCOS as we moved out of our most active restoration phase. She frequently goes birding at NCOS and has marveled at the transformation of the site from a golf course to functional wetland over the past several years. Although she doesn’t have a favorite plant or animal, she appreciates the Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus) and Western Bluebirds that frequent the Visitor Plaza area. She is hoping to get more involved in the greenhouse side of restoration in the future but for now she has her hands full taking care of the Visitor Plaza.





Rick has been visiting our restoration sites since his time as a teacher when he would  bring his elementary school students out to learn about ecological restoration. The photo to the left shows Rick with his class at the Campus Lagoon in 2005! He is also one of our longest running volunteers and started transplanting at the Cheadle Center Greenhouse and Nursery over 5 years ago. He took a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic but was back out at soon as possible and transitioned over from transplanting in the greenhouse to the NortParcel restoration project a few months ago. Rick’s favorite activity is planting as he feels that contributes something permanent to the landscape of native plants.




Jan moved from New York to the Santa Barbara area in 2020 and found herself missing home. When her sister in law brought her for a hike at the North Campus Open Space she was reminded of the wetlands she used to explore during summers on Cape Cod and felt right at home. After learning that the site was actually a restoration project that used to be a golf course she became interested in contributing to the project and heard about the weed warrior program via the newsletter. Jan has been tackling the invasive plants at the Visitor Plaza and learning to identify the many native and non-native species that can be found just in that small area. Her favorite animals to watch at NCOS are the egrets, herons, and black-necked stilts.




Many thanks to all our weed warriors for the hard work they’re doing! Community volunteers can get involved by working alongside our staff members at various restoration sites, targeting a specific invasive plant throughout NCOS, or adopting a specific area of NCOS to look after. If you’re interested in joining the program please email ncos@ccber.ucsb.edu.


California poppies, Purple Needlegrass, and Blue-eyed Grass are all thriving at the NCOS Visitor Plaza. 


Hummingbird sage at the NCOS Visitor Plaza. 


Monday, March 6, 2023 - 11:15