Sonoma State University student Justin Brown (pictured above with Resource Ecologist Julianne Bradbury) and Modini Mayacamas Preserves biologist Sherry Adams chatted recently about our Ferguson Spring restoration project.

Justin:
I loved being in a foothill wetland environment promoting the growth of native plants. I was changing the landscape, including propagation and transplanting into the wetland. I loved working with the camera trap to capture wildlife in an area that I was restoring. Through creating the Plant Guide I really got to know the plants' global history, cultural uses, and removal methods. I will continue writing this guide, it's the coolest thing I've done, it's moved plants to the forefront of my life.

I came to ACR and let you know about my disability. I know that many people claim to not turn down disabled people but I can tell you first hand there are a couple times where I could tell it was a factor; thank you for the opportunity. I'm involved and passionate because it fits my lifestyle. I was the right person for the position because I care about something bigger, something better, trying to set everyone up for success by just being honest about progress and failure. Without an honest effort, you can't count on an honest result.

Sherry:
Ferguson Spring is a special place on the Preserves. Here a natural spring feeds a small wetland site that is a magnet for wildlife during the dry summer months. The extant palette of native wetland plants, competing with aggressive introduced invasive species, made this an ideal spot for restoration. The parts are all here - native sedges, rushes and wetland forbs - but it needed some love and hard work. ACR's science staff approved the restoration project in 2016 and we had our first intern helping at the site in early 2017 when recent SSU grad Kelly Grieves helped conduct our pre-management plant survey.

Justin's hard work and enthusiasm have been a perfect fit for this project. He has really gotten to know the site, and each week he came with ideas and questions. We love his engagement and the passion he brings to his work. The wetland is looking fantastic!