2021 marks the 18th year of volunteers removing European beachgrass at Big Dune nan-ts’vn (mountain in Tolowa Dee-ni’) in Tolowa Dunes State Park, where state parks staff recruited Donna Thompson, John Mertes, Susan Calla and others to begin this habitat restoration so long ago.
More than 30 acres of rare native dune habitat have been restored by volunteers only. Looking at photos from a recent cleanup and to the south and west you can see the completed work.
To the north, some sparser beachgrass still lies ahead. Best of all, native dune plants are returning, showing the foundation of native life in the moving, living sand. Volunteer Roger Niesen walked much of the restored area on Sunday and found very few resprouts of the European beachgrass.
Amazingly, the presumably endemic/endangered Tolowa Coast Wallflower is spontaneously coming up everywhere the European grass has been removed. Please consider joining in March or April to see the dune covered with tiny brilliant points of blooming sunlight.
If you would like to support the volunteer work of Tolowa Dunes stewards, visit https://redwoodparksconservancy.org/tolowa-dunes-stewards.