MLK Day of Service at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park

On January 25th, the Audubon Center at Debs Park celebrated the MLK Day of Service in our favorite way – building sustainable habitat for birds with our community! 37 community members, including students from Occidental College, joined us for a habitat enhancement volunteer event at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

We’ve been working at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park in partnership with California State Parks Foundation and the Gottlieb Native Garden to create bird-friendly habitat around the wetlands area of the park. The Rio de Los Angeles State Park has an active community that participates in active recreation (running and playing sports) as well as passive recreation (walking and birdwatching). Community members can also hike along the wetland habitat at Rio, and peek at what native habitat looks like along the LA River.

 During the MLK Day of Service event, we maintained California native plants that had been planted in December including Coast live oak and California black walnut trees. This included weeding and mulching around these plants, and watering (oaks and walnuts require lots of water in their first couple of years!). Thanks to the weather, we were also able to plant! Volunteers planted over 30 California native plants including black sage, California buckwheat, and California bush sunflower. These plants will grow and serve as habitat and food for the local bird population.

At the end of the event, volunteers were treated to the sight of Arroyo lupine growing everywhere. We’re looking forward to the spring when they’ll bloom and provide fragrance for the whole restoration site!

We’ve loved working at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park for the past couple of months and we’re looking forward to continuing our work there with the community!  Join us for community volunteer events every 4th Saturday of the month from 9AM – 12PM or for our upcoming events on February 15th and February 22nd.

Read more about the history of the MLK Day of Service here

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