The task was for volunteers to help plant 1000 pine seedlings within a 12-hour timeframe. The result was that scores of eager, committed volunteers got the job done in just under four hours.
Greenspace – The Cambria Land Trust achieved this feat last weekend with the guidance of Richard Hawley, Greenspace’s first Executive Director, and the numerous organizational skills of Karin Argano, its new Executive Director. California State Parks once again asked Greenspace to grow and plant more of the area’s signature trees for an ongoing reforestation effort at Hearst San Simeon State Park just north of Cambria. Around town, folks grew the seedlings at home using seeds from healthy Monterey pine trees and, among the cultivators, stalwart grower Jason Anderson outdid himself.
According to Argano, the volunteer planters were “numerous and diverse, from seasoned volunteers to “it’s the first time I ever planted a tree!” Both the kids and adults were excited to return and see the maturing forest, knowing that they planted those trees. Brian Morgan of Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve brought volunteers. This was “a huge help and we love the collaboration with this other eco-org in Cambria,” Argano said. Other groups that were involved in the planting came from local churches, high school students from Arroyo Grande and Cambria, and students from Cuesta College brought by Jennifer Schriber, who teaches plant science there.
Young trees planted by Greenspace supporters in recent years are now highly visible northeast of the Highway 1 and San Simeon Creek Road intersection. Their 60 percent survival rate was tracked by volunteers from local high schools, Cuesta College, and California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly). That number is considered satisfactory given that the seedlings are not pampered like a crop but instead released to capitalize on the distinctive microclimate along the coast.
Reforestation is a key part of Greenspace’s mission, and additional seedlings are being grown throughout the year by volunteers. In anticipation of future needs, and in conjunction with Earth Day 2023, seeds and growing racks will be available for volunteers to nurture at home. It is reported that these signature “Pines by the Sea” (Pinus radiata) have grown along the coast for thousands of years.