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Riverbed Restoration Project

Post Date:01/22/2020 8:45 AM

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January 22, 2020


Santa Maria Riverbed Restoration Project


Approximately 150 acres of City-owned property in the Santa Maria Riverbed are undergoing a native plant restoration project starting this week. 


From a point east of the Highway 101 bridge, the project will reduce overgrown shrubbery and invasive plant species.  This will help native plants and animals thrive in the upcoming spring season, allow for easier walking access, and help mitigate any potential fire risk. 


The Recreation and Parks Department will increase the enjoyment of the outdoors to youth, teens, and adults so all can experience and learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the area surrounding the Santa Maria River Trail through its new Ranch to River Nature Program. 


The program will include free bus transportation for school field trips, weekend docent-led nature hikes, and nature activities to help inspire visitors to learn about the local wildlife environments and teach responsible stewardship of natural resources.  These activities are made possible through a grant funded by California State Parks.


As preparation, the City posted signs notifying anyone residing in the riverbed to vacate the property.


These parcels were purchased by the City in 2009, utilizing grant funds from the Land Water Conservation Fund, as an additional effort to preserve plant and wildlife, filter storm water runoff and replenish the Santa Maria River Valley Groundwater Basin. During 2010 and 2011, 35 interpretive nature markers were placed for the public to walk in the riverbed while learning about the native flora and fauna. 


Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks administrative office, (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.




Department:                           Recreation and Parks

Contact Person:                     Dennis Smitherman, Recreation Services Manager

Telephone Number:                (805) 925-0951 ext. 2260   

E-mail Address:             

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