The Restoration Trust
95 Linden Street, Suite 3
Oakland, CA 94607

The Restoration Trust believes that restoring and preserving native habitats within our communities builds stronger neighborhoods while protecting important resources for our children and future generations. The acts of restoration and active stewardship engage neighbors of all ages in the land. The resulting sense of place and connection to these native habitats engages a community and promotes its integration.

The Trust does this work through development of community restoration and stewardship projects, organizing and supplying technical assistance, and providing help with monitoring and feedback. We have technical experts that can provide planting and irrigation design, help with plant selection and installation, and advise a community on likely stewardship needs.

A typical project will see the Trust work with a community through the year to complete a fall planting project and a spring clean-up and weeding session, both accompanied by educational forays and discussions on stewardship.

Our experience with restoration sites over the long term (some of our projects are more than 20 years old) allows us to predict and, if necessary, manage sites to ensure the promotion of native habitats. As well, our emphasis on community involvement and education gives us the skills to incorporate both students and volunteers in a positive fashion.

The Trust, working with the Friends of Alhambra Creek, Contra Costa County Public Works, and the US National Park Service, developed a restoration plan for a creek and associated meadow just upstream from the birthplace of John Muir. The Creek had been prone to flooding the downstream neighborhood but the restoration work has restored a flood-absorbing channel and adjacent meadow with the great majority of the physical work completed by the Friends and neighborhood residents.

The Trust has completed a series of projects with the University and the Stanford Management Group (SMG). With the university, the Trust has restored native grasslands for a variety of purposes including, creating a native grass dance floor for the annual Powwow, in association with Magic, a local non-profit. In addition, roadway edges and medians were created using community volunteers while testing a variety of native grasses. With SMG, the Trust has coordinated a series of community planting and education days centered on a native meadow SMG has restored at the Stanford Graduate student apartments. The community work was driven by the large number of children living in the apartments, an element that had not been projected when the apartments were originally designed. The meadow became a primary play area for the kids and SMG and the Trust joined together to involve and educate the families as to the importance and management of a native meadow.

The Shin Kee Marsh on the eastern edge of the California Delta was restored to native wetland, riparian and upland habitats by the A.G. Spanos Companies in 2008 and provides a continuing outdoor laboratory for student and community restoration efforts. Over the past two years, the Restoration Trust had worked with Kohl Elementary students to removed non-native species and trash, plant over 3000 native trees, shrubs and grasses, and monitor vegetation plots. 

The Trust has completed projects in several locations in Fairfield. With the neighbors of one subdivision, Trust staff completed several shrub and tree plantings to restore a native oak woodland habitat along the edge of their community. With the City's Parks Department, the Trust has been involved in a series of projects in Rockville Hills Park to restore native wetland, woodland and grasslands. The Park is a regional resource with significant rock outcrops, blue oak woodlands and grasslands. Several decades of intensive grazing had eliminated many wetland features, though, and the Trust, working with the City and local volunteers, restored important wetland habitats.

One of the first series of projects completed by the Trust was along Westridge Creek on the west side of Petaluma. Working with the neighbors of a relatively new community, we restored oak woodlands and riparian habitat around the Creek, working with Native American representatives to protect a local site, and integrating the restored creek system into the neighborhood. Today, the residents are strongly involved in stewardship of the restored habitats. We also worked with several schools in the area, especially Cinnabar Elementary, to establish an educational restoration program. One of the more interesting projects involved restoration of an oak woodland and meadow community along the banks of the Petaluma River to encourage stabilization of the banks; the Trust was awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for this work.

Working with the Friends of Orinda Creeks and Del Rey School, the Trust developed a 4th and 5th grade curriculum for creeks and creek restoration and implemented it on Moraga Creek. The curriculum focuses on rainbow trout, still extant in the Creek, and has been received with great enthusiasm. Work includes spring and fall creek education and planting days and has been the subject of local news accounts.

Working with the Dittmer family, long-time farmers and ranchers, the Trust developed a restoration plan and long-term management program for a portion of the Ranch in the Potrero Hills. The long-term focus has led to securing a conservation easement over important seasonal wetlands, furthering the Trust's long-term stewardship goals.