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LA Professor Helps Restore Nature
Douglas Kent, Landscape Architecture Professor, Cal Poly Pomona

Pictured, left to right, are George Basye, Doug Kent, Dan Spence (Turnkey Property Maintenance) and Rewdy Holstein. These skilled volunteers, committed to the revitalization of the Newport Banning Land Trust's degraded land, built a pro bono propagation shed for native seeds at the site located in Costa Mesa, Calif.ption

The Newport Banning Land Trust is one of Southern California's newest nature preserves. The trust will be responsible for restoring and maintaining 230 acres of an old oil field. The land located in Costa Mesa, Calif. is highly degraded.

Newport Banning Land Trust is working to preserve more than 230 acres of open space at Newport Banning Ranch. Programs provide public access for recreation and education, nurture natural habitats, and restore and regenerate the land.

The trust is poorly funded and lacks the people power for such a massive restoration. I chose to help them because their work will be vital to attracting and sustaining populations of essential plants and animals; populations that are rapidly declining in Southern California. An investment of time and resources truly grows with the Trust's work.

"The work we and Doug are doing will lay the groundwork for future restoration on Newport Banning Ranch," said Robyn Vettraino, executive director of the trust." "It will help engage the community and create the momentum we'll need when the Coastal Commission let's us on all 230 acre. We are currently restricted to just 25 acres."

Landscape architecture graduate students from Cal Poly Pomona took a day off to volunteer. These students, under the guidance of professor Douglas Kent, designed the propagation shed and a new Ocean Friendly Garden around the Trust's office.

Edith Espejo, a second grader from a local school, said: "I've loved planting seeds and starting new plants. We are helping the future."

We also recruited volunteers, who aided in building the structure, installing the irrigation system, collecting seeds from native plants, and starting and tending the seedlings. The nursery was designed to accommodate 2,500 plants and currently more than 1,200 plants are growing.

Other people and organizations contributed to the propagation shed. Robert Canfield from Rainbird helped install the irrigation system for the propagation shed. He has donated design, construction expertise, a controller and valves.

Cal Poly Pomona's landscape architecture graduate students, class of 2016, designed the shade structure. They were part of my class, LA 603 Ecosystematic Design. They also helped design the new Ocean Friendly Garden in front of the trust's office.

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May 26, 2019, 3:10 pm PDT

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