Current Growing Solutions Projects

Santa Barbara Island

Growing Solutions students and volunteers have had the opportunity to participate in seabird habitat restoration on Santa Barbara Island since 2007. This long term project is part of the Montrose Settlements Restoration Programs. The specific restoration is targeted to the Xantus’s murrelets (a state threatened species) and the Cassin’s auklets by improving the native habitat. The island hosts a small temporary nursery to grow native plants which are outplanted in targeted areas.

Goleta Slough

This project will restore a five-acre portion of the 400-acre Goleta Slough in Goleta, California. Although the Slough has been heavily impacted by development and misuse over the last two centuries, great strides have been made in the last decade toward restoring the Slough to a functioning high-value coastal wetland. Due to its close proximity to city roads and urban development the project site is susceptible to weed infestation. By removing and maintaining a weed-free zone on the Slough’s outer perimeter, the proposed site provides a critical “thin green line” of biological defense against re-infestation for the rest of the Goleta Slough.The restoration site is home to several native plant species such as bulrush, cattail, pickleweed and saltgrass. Several native wetland bird species—including the Loggerhead Shrike, Red-winged blackbird, Snowy egret, Horned lark and Killdeer—frequent the site for roosting and foraging. Funding for this project has been provided in part by Southern California Wetland Recovery Project and Earth Island Institute.

County Campus Foothill Open Space

The County Campus Foothill Open Space is a 30 acre closed landfill located at the Santa Barbara County South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station on Calle Real.  In conjunction with the County of Santa Barbara, Growing Solutions is working to convert the land to a functioning native habitat and community open space. Restoration is being completed in sections as the land becomes eligible and funding is provided.A seven-acre parcel is currently being restored with funding by grants from the California Department of Parks and Recreation and matching funds from the county. The section includes a seasonal creek and multiple sage scrub zones. With the help of many dedicated community volunteers and Santa Barbara City College students, the project will result in the addition of thousands of regionally native plants, the creation of hiking trails and of interpretive signs to educate visitors on local ecology. To date, over 600 volunteer hours have been donated and 6,000 plants have been installed.

Malibu Lagoon

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Summerland Greenwell Preserve

Besides providing nesting space for migrating Cliff Swallows, the “barn” at the Summerland Greenwell Preserve houses our state of the art seed processing lab. The seeds are carefully cleaned, debugged, organized and weighed by our expert staff, visiting students, interns and volunteers.  We are always working to enhance and upgrade our processing facility to ensure top quality, viable seed which will grow into strong healthy plants.  As always, we guarantee the genetic integrity of our seed and always collect in a responsible manner.