Years ago, ice plant was introduced to the dunes in an attempt to stabilize the movement of the sand. However, because ice plant is not native to the dunes habitat, it has had a damaging effect on the ecosystem. In an attempt to restore the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve to its natural habitat, Santa Barbara County Parks is continuously trying to pull the invasive ice plant from the dunes.
On February 23rd, the Dunes Center hosted a restoration project at Rancho Guadalupe Beach to pull this invasive plant. Participants started the morning off with an hour of free yoga thanks to Trevor Dieterle from Strength to Be Still. Once everyone was stretched out and relaxed, the restoration began. Over thirty participants put their hands to work in an attempt to provide the native plants and animals of the beach with their natural home.
Although the group cleared 36 bags full of invasive ice plant, there is still much to be done. County Parks Ranger, Melissa Kelly, stresses that the key is not to rush through the project, but to be patient enough to get to the root of the plant. By pulling the roots, sustainable change is created in the dunes that will one day lead to a restored and natural habitat. The Restorative Yoga and Beach Cleanup Day was a small, yet essential step in the restoration of the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve.