Restoring the bluffs

People of all ages are invited to a volunteer workday in Trinidad

Pictured is Trinidad State Beach, looking south with Trinidad Head in the background and the bluffs on the left. (Nancy Spruance photo)

The scenic bluffs at Trinidad State Beach will be getting a little tender loving care Saturday morning.

From 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will be working with folks from California State Parks and the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust to restore the bluffs. They’ll be removing invasive, non-native plants like English ivy, Scotch broom, Spanish heather and periwinkle off the Marine Lab Trail and surrounding bluff to make room for native flora, including coyote brush, coast silk tassel, shore pine, salal, Douglas iris and wild strawberry, to thrive.

“Multiple invasive non-native plants have infested the coastal bluff terrace at Trinidad State Beach,” said Michelle Forys, environmental scientist, North Coast Redwoods District, California State Parks.

“An invasive non-native species,” she said, “is considered a non-native species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human, animal or plant health. These species displace or eradicate native species, reduce available habitat and forage for wildlife, alter fire regimes, reduce water availability for native plants and wildlife and damage infrastructure.”

According to Trinidad Coastal Land Trust board member Steen Trump, “One way to look at the problem with invasive species is that, unlike the part of the world where they originate from, in our area there are no native animals (snails/slugs, insects, grazers) or diseases that act as natural controls which would prevent them from taking over and causing the loss of biodiversity we are seeing here. Thus, we as humans who are responsible for introducing these species, are now tasked with trying to control them and protect our native ecosystems.”

This is the first time that California State Parks and Trinidad Coastal Land Trust have partnered on a volunteer habitat restoration event, Forys said. More joint volunteer events will be planned throughout the year.

Volunteers of all ages are invited to meet this Saturday morning at the Trinidad State Beach picnic area parking lot just north of Trinidad School, off Stagecoach Road. Work locations are less than a half-mile hike from the trailhead. Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes for walking off trail. Gloves, safety glasses and tools are available for volunteers to use. All volunteers will receive a free one-day use pass to Patrick’s Point State Park.

For more information about the Trinidad workday, contact Katrina Henderson or Michelle Forys at 707-677-3109 or email or


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