WATSONVILLE — Thirteen members of the California Conservation Corps pitched in and worked with locals to help shape up the land at Hazelwood Park in Watsonville Monday.
Spreading mulch around, bolstering the main trail, stretching out drip irrigation hose lines, and covering the soil with erosion control fabric was on the list of chores.
Jonathan Pilch, Watsonville Wetlands Watch executive director, said the work and materials are being funded by a $180,000 grant through the California Natural Resources Agency's Urban Greening Program in 2016. Two years in the making, the park overhaul, among other things, serves as a major pedestrian conduit between Herman Avenue and Melwood Court.
“A lot of students from Rolling Hills Middle School use this path and we’re hoping more people from the community come here as well,” Pilch said. “What we’re hoping is that the community steps up and becomes the stewards of this park; that people help take care of it.”
Crews from Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the city are planning to plant 1,200 native plants, including 10 large trees.
To help with the monumental task, officials will be seeking volunteers from the community, with a public planting day set for Nov. 17.
Pilch said he was particularly excited about the project's benefits to the environment, which will improve water quality and storm filtration into West Struve Slough.