Restoration Projects: Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

Palo Alto's Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is a 622-acre open space preserve in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The expansive oak woodlands and grasslands house an abundance of wildlife, including deer, bobcats, coyotes, various species of birds, and increasingly more native plants.

Since 1998, Acterra has collaborated with the City of Palo Alto to act as stewards of the land. Thousands of dedicated volunteers, together with Acterra staff, restore the habitat, install native plants, remove invasive species, and work together to increase biodiversity on the preserve.

Join Our Efforts!

Workday Information

Who: Volunteers of all ages are welcome; minors under 18 require a signed waiver and children 12 require an accompanying adult unless prior approval is obtained from the workday supervisor. Groups can contact Claire Elliot at clairee* for their own special program dates/hours.

What: Volunteers help with habitat restoration work such as removal of invasive plants, installing native plants, and building habitat structures.

When: Regular workdays are held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

Where: Arastradero Preserve located at 1530 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. [MAP]
We will meet at the buildings next to the parking lot. Carpool, bike, or walk if possible.

Please bring: A reusable water bottle and dress for outdoor work (sturdy shoes and long pants recommended). We provide gloves and tools. Minors under 18 must bring a waiver form signed by a parent. [DOWNLOAD WAIVER FORM]


Project Highlights
Photo of Volunteer Planting Oaks
Winter planting season: We have planted over 3,000 native plants this winter to improve the biodiversity of our ecosystem! Volunteers above left plant 85 California Oaks and above right, Manzanita.
Photo of Brush Pile
Habitat Creation: We built brush piles, berms and corridors to attract our local fauna. Above is poop proof that birds, such as a Cooper's hawk in the left photo, are perching on the brush piles.
Photo of Mulching
Sheet mulching: Hundreds of volunteer hours helped transport wood chips (mulch) and spread them over cardboard to reduce weeds and decrease space and nutrient competition for our native plants!
Photo of Native Planting
Thanks to Acterra staff, the City of Palo Alto Rangers and volunteers, we finally installed the native plant demonstration garden at the Gateway Facility. Stop by to see how you can transform your yard by using eco-friendly landscaping.
Photo of Volunteer Removing Weeds
Invasive Species Removal: Due to the degraded state of the habitat and proximity to urbanization, Arastradero consistently battles a variety of weedy, invasive plants that threaten our native populations.