The City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division and the Watershed Stewards Project’s AmeriCorps members are seeking volunteers to help restore the native vegetation at Oak Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday.

Community members are invited to help remove invasive English ivy and revegetate the area along Mission Creek with native plants and shrubs.

English ivy is often planted in residential areas, where it creates a fast-growing groundcover. Because of this plant’s rapid growth rate, it has developed a prominent presence in local creeks and parks.

While many like the look of English ivy, it is problematic in riparian zones (along creeks) where it limits biodiversity by outcompeting natives. Replacing the ivy with native plants and shrubs will not only improve plant biodiversity, but it will also help provide more habitat and cover for fish, birds and other creatures in and around Mission Creek.

Mission Creek offers spawning and migrating habitat for endangered Southern California steelhead trout. Recent efforts by the Creeks Division have helped improve this habitat by adding a series of riffles and pools downstream of the Tallant Road Bridge. Invasive removal and revegetation help further enhance and restore the creek.

Volunteers will meet at the Oak Park tennis courts parking lot on Tallant Road at 9 a.m. and are encouraged to bring comfortable shoes, sun protection and a reusable water bottle. Free parking is available on-site, and snacks, water, tools and gloves will be provided.

The mission of the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project is to conserve, restore and enhance anadromous watersheds for future generations by linking education with high-quality scientific practices. A special project of the California Conservation Corps, WSP is sponsored by CaliforniaVolunteers and administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

— Tessa Reeder represents the City of Santa Barbara.