In the heart of San Diego's coastal beauty lies Cabrillo National Monument, a sanctuary for diverse native species struggling against encroaching invasives. Last month, Parks Project rallied their team and partnered with the Conservation Legacy and Cabrillo National Monument National Park Service to remove the invasive plants along the Coastal Trail. This collaborative effort wasn't just about clearing paths; it was a passionate endeavor to protect our ecosystem, preserve endangered flora like the Sea Dahlia and Shaw's Agave, and cultivate a deeper connection to this coastal beauty in order to leave it better. 

Nestled amidst the vistas of Cabrillo National Monument's Coastal Trail, our volunteers, the  "Weed Warriors" of the day, converged with determination and purpose. Armed with knowledge, enthusiasm, and an unwavering commitment to conservation, they embarked on a mission to uproot invasive species that threatened the delicate balance of this coastal ecosystem. With each meticulous pull and careful identification, they meticulously removed invasive plants such as ice plants and clover, reclaiming territory for the native flora struggling to thrive.

The impact of our collective efforts reverberated through the landscape as bags filled with invasive plants accumulated. With every bag representing 36 cubic gallons of cleared invasives, our team's dedication translated into tangible progress. In total, our collaborative effort resulted in the removal of 288 cubic gallons of invasive plants—an impressive testament to the power of collective action in conservation.

Moreover, this volunteer event wasn't just about physical labor; it was a testament to our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship. Through our partnership with Conservation Legacy, we donated $10,000 to help continue to leave this space better than we found it. This investment in conservation reflects our enduring dedication to preserving natural spaces and fostering a deeper appreciation for the wonders of our planet. Take a walk on the trail with us and watch the impact unfold.

Parks Project's team learning about the project for the day before hitting the trails.
Heading out to leave it better than we found it on the coast of San Diego.
Setting into our places to tackle the invasives.
Sifting through the coastal terrain to find the plants we are looking to remove.
Parks Project's marketing director, Taryn Olsen, prepping for the next location to get her hands dirty.
The more hands you have, the more work will get done. Marketing Manager, Nancy Ayala, filling up her bucket with pulled invasives.
Cabrillo National Monument and its' stunning views.
Parks Project's co-founder, Keith Eshelman, ending the day with a volunteer job well done.
288 cubic gallons later, the team at Parks Project, gets to go home for the day knowing they left this gem of a place better than they found it.

As we reflect on the success of this volunteer event, we are reminded of the profound impact that community-driven conservation initiatives can have. Together, we not only cleared trails but also sowed the seeds of environmental awareness and stewardship. Our journey at Cabrillo National Monument serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring us to continue our efforts in safeguarding the treasures of our natural world for generations to come. Follow Parks Project on Instagram to stay up to date with all future volunteer events. 

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