Acterra’s Watershed Program conducts education, outreach and restoration activities in the greater San Francisquito watershed area. The San Francisquito Watershed encompasses 47.5 square miles, including parts of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, and Woodside. The project hosts activities for and provides a wide variety of information to youth groups, corporate groups, local government agencies, NGOs, and members of the public.
The watershed project hosts volunteer work parties throughout the year. Volunteer activities include planting, weeding, watering, education and fun! To date, hundreds of volunteers have planted over 10,000 native plants and grass plugs at our various project locations, including the following (see map for locations and full list of project sites):
- Chaucer Site: This 2-acre site just downstream of the Chaucer Street bridge in Palo Alto was formerly a community garden. Most of the invasive ivy groundcover was removed in spring 2011. Approximately 4,000 square feet of the site are being sheet mulched and replanted with native species.
- Sausal Creek Daylighting & Revegetation Project: Sausal Creek in Portola Valley, tributary of San Francisquito creek, was daylighted in 2008. Acterra coordinated the planting of thousands of native riparian plants along the creek and shrub and grassland species in the upper, drier areas of the site. We continue to visit this project site to conduct maintenance such as weeding and pruning.
- El Palo Alto Park: This City of Palo Alto park is the site of El Palo Alto, the 1,000+ year old landmark redwood tree. This mature native plant garden was planted over a decade ago. Current work consists of maintenance activities.
- Matadero at Bol Park: Acterra recently partnered with the Barron Park Green Team to restore habitat along and near Matadero Creek. Volunteers removed invasive plants such as ivy and vinca in the Fall of 2011 and replaced them with native vegetation. Our enthusiastic crew sheet mulched a meadow area and replanted it with native meadow species in January 2012. We welcome and encourage your participation for future events!
- Pope and Woodland: This site was first restored in January 2009 with the removal of ivy, juniper, an acacia tree, a palm tree, smilo grass, and other invasives. The site has been mulched and replanted with many community helpers.
- Foothills Park: Acterra volunteers are helping to expand the riparian corridor of Buckeye Creek by replacing sections of existing lawn with native riparian species. Reducing the lawn area not only improves habitat, but cuts down on irrigation as well.
We are always looking for future restoration site opportunities, including working with neighborhood groups interested in improving creek and watershed health.
The watershed project hosts volunteer work parties throughout the year. Volunteer activities include planting, weeding, watering, education and fun!
We hold scheduled creek cleanup days twice per year, on the 3rd Saturday in May for National River Cleanup Day and on the 3rd Saturday in September for California Coastal Cleanup Day. We can also arrange creek and watershed cleanups for school, church or corporate groups by arrangement. Contact the program director for more information.
Should the Searsville Dam, located within the San Francisquito watershed, be removed? Acterra has drafted a position statement about this proposed project. [READ LETTER]