The toyon bushes were garnished with bright red berries, newly hydroseeded grasses were already greening the slopes, clusters of black-tailed mule deer grazed the plentiful new food supply, and people were loving it all.
It was the first day of November, and the first in three months that a mid-section of the Sawyer Camp Trail was open again for weekday use. Some walkers even stopped to admire the straw-filled fiber rolls, which will naturally decompose over time. They are there to prevent erosion and keep stormwater from flowing into drainages, creeks and the reservoir.
The approximately 2-1/2-mile segment had been closed Mondays through Fridays for public safety during habitat restoration on nearby watershed lands. The job included the removal of about 22 acres of non-native invasive acacia trees that, over the decades, had choked out and displaced the original oak woodland forests.
Our workers will finish hydroseeding native grasses on the newly exposed slopes next week. Acorn plantings and healthy young forests will follow.