This 2018 Annual Report highlights the efforts of our very motivated friends groups and our local government, regulatory and corporate partners to improve the health of the Walnut Creek Watershed. The individual reports are important because they show the wide-ranging actions that are being taken to improve the watershed, the use of volunteers, and the progress that is being made in many areas. These reports demonstrate that there are several exciting things happening in our watershed. The Council was started in 2011, and I am proud to say 2018 was our best year yet! In 2019, our major focus will be on removing invasive species and planting native plants in our riparian areas. In March, we are co-hosting a workshop with the California Invasive Plant Council and the City of Walnut Creek. We are looking forward to learning about all the invasive plants in our watershed and how to treat them. In 2018, we received over $40,000 in mitigation funds to be used to target Arundo donax. We identified and mapped more than 250 Arundo infestations in our watershed. Arundo is a non-native, invasive species that uses a lot of water, displaces native plants and wildlife, and creates a fire and flooding hazard. We have already committed $10,000 of that money as a match with the City of Walnut Creek on a major project in Civic Park in the City of Walnut Creek. The project will not only remove the 11 stands of Arundo in that portion of Walnut Creek (the creek), but it will also remove the Himalayan blackberry and the ivy that is present, and install some native plantings. We hope to work with all our stakeholder groups to expand the effort to eliminate these invasive plants from our creeks. Finally, we are working with several others to plan the Fourth Quadrennial Contra Costa Watershed Symposium on December 5th, 2019. The last one was in 2015 and was outstanding. This one will be as well. I hope to see you in our creeks and at the Symposium!
- Bob Simmons