In April 2015 Restoration Trust staff visited the Clayton Drain flood plain restoration site and determined that the site was making notable progress towards its goal of creating a native dominated flood plain.
In December 2013 and 2014, community members worked with the Trust and the Contra Costa Flood Control district to plant native grasses along the flood plain and adjacent slope. The native grasses planted are perennials that will remain green year-round, spread easily and will reduce maintenance costs and fire and flood hazards.
Lower than usual rainfall over the past two years has made it difficult for the native plantings to survive and establish themselves amongst their predominately non-native neighbors. However, the plants have proved to be durable and resilient and many are growing large and spreading across the flood plain and slope.
As pictured below, a large swath of creeping wild rye on the eastern slope is thriving, out competing invasive annuals and spreading across the slope. Large patches of field sedge, Santa Barbara sedge, and Baltic rush can be seen popping up and spreading along the terrace as well.
Over the next several years these plants will continue to grow, spread, and will form a native- dominated habitat that requires little to no maintenance and has low fire and flood risks.
As a result of this project’s success, a similar restoration project is planned for the opposite stream bank during the 2015-2016 planting season.