Like most Santa Barbara County residents, we're on high alert this summer. Downed trees and limbs blocking Reserve roads and smoke lingering on the horizon from local fires serve as reminders of the ongoing drought. Although concerned, we're optimistic that water saving measures we've adopted in recent years have helped conserve the precious aquifer that supports many majestic Valley oaks around the field station. You might notice the pond looking more like a marsh this fall, and that most of the native plants around the field station have gone dormant. The natural world has adapted to years of drought... and we are learning how to adapt as well.
We are very grateful to the donors who enabled us to install water saving drip irrigation on our landscaping in 2015, and to the docents who do so much to keep the plants and oak seedlings in our restoration areas alive... for fixing water lines to keep a trickle of water going into wildlife ponds...and for doing less than enjoyable tasks such as pulling weeds for fire safety. Thank you Sedgwick volunteers and docents!
Meanwhile, it has been a busy summer of project planning at the field station...
- The renovation of the ranch house is underway, with an estimated completion date of March 2017. A second residence, being built by IronTown Homes in Utah, is slated for delivery this winter.
- We've just received a solar powered in-vessel composter and are looking forward to actively composting at all building locations and events on the reserve. Our gardens and nursery will be nourished by the proceeds!
- To deliver non-potable water for landscaping around buildings as well as the farm and pond, we will be installing new (leak free!) irrigation lines this fall.
None of these projects would be possible without the steadfast support of Sedgwick donors - we appreciate you tremendously! Please see the side bar to the left for ways in which you can help us continue with our work.