jeremiahbender's blog

NCOS - A Birder's Perspective

Thu, 12/08/2022 - 13:28 -- jeremiahbender

I recall the area of what is now the North Campus Open Space (NCOS) when it was a golf course. I would bird around the edges—at Devereaux, or Coal Oil Point, or remnant wetlands. What a difference vision, commitment, and a half dozen years of restoration make. This golf course conversion is pioneering what other golf courses in over a dozen states are trying—restoring lands and waters so that nature and its creatures may thrive. Read more here!

Realizing ecologically meaningful Restoration “Success” criteria for NCOS

Fri, 11/18/2022 - 13:22 -- jeremiahbender

When you walk around the North Campus Open Space you see a landscape dominated by locally sourced native plants and an on-going pattern of targeted weed-control activities by the staff. In the soon-to-be-finalized Year 5 monitoring report you will see that all of the nine monitored habitats have reached all or most “success criteria”, but not all criteria in all habitats. Click here to learn more! 

Trees of NCOS

Thu, 10/06/2022 - 14:19 -- jeremiahbender

As the North Campus Open Space nears the completion of year 5 of restoration the site continues to grow and change as plants mature and form distinct habitat areas. One of the areas where the site will change most in terms of plant growth in the coming years are the riparian corridors where oaks, alders, cottonwoods, and sycamores have been planted. As the trees grow, these riparian zones will become shady refuges for wildlife. Read more here! 

Herbarium Collection on NCOS

Wed, 09/07/2022 - 11:23 -- jeremiahbender

Over the past six months, staff and interns have collected over 140 plant specimens from NCOS in an effort to catalog the wide range of plant diversity on the project; everything from invasive non-natives such as bristly oxtongue (Helminthotheca echioides) to our rare or endangered natives such as Ventura marsh milk vetch (Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus). Read more here!

Environmental DNA: Assessing this new technology for documenting biodiversity

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 10:33 -- jeremiahbender

EDNA is a method of extracting and identifying fragments of DNA from sources that might otherwise be very time consuming to sample. The Cheadle Center is now getting results from an eDNA assessment funded by Steve Senesac and the Associated Students Coastal Fund designed to assess how valuable this tool might be for understanding biodiversity at North Campus Open Space. Read more here! 

Breeding Birds at NCOS

Wed, 07/06/2022 - 10:59 -- jeremiahbender

One of the main goals of the North Campus Open Space project is to provide habitat for a wide variety of bird species. During the spring and summer months, the value of the habitat on NCOS can be assessed by observing birds that are using the restoration site as their breeding grounds. Which species do you think nest at NCOS? Find out more here! 

Mesa Trail is Open!

Wed, 06/08/2022 - 16:07 -- jeremiahbender

The Cheadle Center is proud to announce the opening of the Mesa Trail at the North Campus Open Space! The trail was officially opened and celebrated on May 14th with a public event showcasing the history and biodiversity of the land. Visitors were invited to take part in a Mesa Trail scavenger hunt that led them along the new trail to various tables where Cheadle Center staff set up posters and displays offering information on the Mesa's past and present. These tables helped inform visitors on a range of subjects pertaining to the Mesa habitat, including its Ethnobotany, Ornithology, Hydrology, Entomology, and Botany. Click here for the full story!

Student Perspectives on NCOS

Wed, 05/11/2022 - 14:56 -- jeremiahbender

Student workers are an essential component of the NCOS restoration process and have been the bedrock of planting and weeding efforts since the beginning of the project. Through these intensive efforts they have gained great understanding of the ecological restoration in an impressively short time span. We’ve interviewed four student workers to see how their work at NCOS has increased their awareness of the key successes of NCOS and the remaining challenges. Read more here! 


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