Girl Scouts and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy restore Brigantine basin with native plantings

San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy staff and volunteers
San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy staff and volunteers, Girl Scouts, and local residents gathered recently to plant natives.
(Sean Perry)

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC), a local Girl Scout troop, and local residents gathered recently to plant native plant species on what’s known as the Brigantine basin slope near the San Dieguito River mouth in Del Mar.

“The slopes that make up the Brigantine basin are in danger of eroding,” said Joseph Rivera, associate director of conservation for SDRVC. “This collaboration with the Girl Scouts will result in the stabilization of the slope, while also allowing us to prepare for sea level rise by planting hardy and drought tolerant natives.”

According to Rivera, the SDRVC and its volunteers have spent the last few years ridding slopes like those at the Brigantine basin of ice plant and other invasive plant species. While the slope was planted with mostly natives such as bladder pod, elderflower, and black sage, a select number of oaks were planted on the lower part of the slope—where they will not block coastal views—for increased stability. SDRVC will also take numerous oaks for planting in Gonzales Canyon.

The local Girl Scout Troop 3219 got involved in the planting after collaborating with Del Mar resident Richard Jamison, who has been busy propagating dozens of oak saplings from acorns from his 50-plus-year-old Coast Live Oak. The Girl Scouts were interested in propagating and planting trees in the area and Jamison provided instruction on propagation and supplied the girls with the acorns, which resulted in more than 50 saplings. The girls also produced a brochure to assist other troops in propagating oak trees.

According to Jennifer Perry, the leader of Girl Scout Troupe 3219, the girls’—who are middle school-age—efforts resulted in them achieving their Bronze Award. They are continuing to look for more local spaces to plant the trees.

“I am proud of the girls in our troop and their efforts to be a positive force in our community, “ said Perry. “They are learning valuable skills.”

Not only are oaks highly valued for their ability to absorb carbon emissions, but they also support more life-forms than any other North American tree genus, providing food, protection or both for a wide range of birds and other species, as well as countless insects and spiders.