Winters resident Martha Rocha plants willow cuttings in Winters Nature Park as part of an ongoing habitat improvement project. Courtesy photo

Local News

Celebrate winter solstice with planting party on Putah Creek

By From page A4 | December 19, 2012

Putah Creek Council will host a community planting day Saturday to celebrate the winter solstice, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Winters Nature Park.

Volunteers are invited to commemorate seasonal cycles and the beginning of longer daylight hours by planting native trees and shrubs for wildlife habitat improvements along Putah Creek. The new plantings will provide food and shelter to wildlife, and help protect water quality by preventing erosion and filtering runoff.

Volunteers will help plant cuttings of native cottonwood, mulefat and willow that have been gathered from the Putah Creek watershed.

“A lot of native plants which are adapted to living in the flood plain can reproduce from just a twig that gets lodged in the bank and starts to sprout,” explains Libby Earthman, executive director of the Putah Creek Council. “Planting cuttings is a quick and cost-effective way to plant large numbers of habitat plants.

“As more and more people visit the park, it is important to create safe, welcoming areas for humans to interact with the creek, as well as define spaces that provide food, cover and nesting for wildlife,” she added. “We can’t build permanent structures in the active floodplain, so the creek and the plants are really the main features of the park, and we’re using plants to create intentional spaces for various uses.”

Helpers of all ages are welcome, including supervised children. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Rotary Park, on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Main Street in downtown Winters. The Putah Creek Council provides all the plants, tools, gloves and other supplies.

Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather in clothes that can get dirty and closed-toe shoes. The planting will take place rain or shine; mud boots and rain ponchos will be supplied if needed.

Volunteers must register at www.putahcreekcouncil.org or by calling 530-795-3006.

Enterprise staff

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