Clearing Sagebrush for a Cause
September 8, 2018 – Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) Volunteers at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy to Help Restore a Valued Natural Habitat in California
On Saturday, September 8, approximately 30 members of Team SBGA volunteered at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands to remove trash and clear non-native plants for one of Orange County’s most valued nature preserves.
“It felt rewarding to have the opportunity to give back to the beautiful beaches we enjoy on a regular basis,” said Jolie Hales, chair of the SBGA Volunteer Leadership Council. “Spending time with coworkers outside of the office and working together for such a great cause was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.”
SBGA volunteers spent a few hours digging up and pulling out non-native sagebrush that had overcome a quarter square mile of the nature preserve, jeopardizing the ability for native plants and animals to continue to live there.
“Clearing the sagebrush may seem inconsequential, but it really isn’t,” said Hales. “Without volunteers to help restore the landscapes, the non-native plants would overrun the wetlands and could change elements of the ecosystem. What we do not only keeps the wetlands beautiful, but it prevents them from being altered.”
Clearing sagebrush is no easy feat. With its prickly bristles and stubborn roots, each bush required a solid amount of effort to remove. Many volunteers walked away with bristles in their gloves and a few scratches on their arms, but that didn’t stop the smiles on their faces.
“That brush was tough, but we were tougher” said SBGA volunteer Rhonda, “And after a couple hours, we could really see a difference where we were working. At first the place was overrun with sagebrush, but once we were done, you could tell it looked as originally intended.”
“The Bolsa Chica wetlands are an important part of the Orange County natural ecosystem,” said Vice President of SBGA, Nathan Jurczyk. “It’s important we invest in protecting the environment.”
Established in 1990 by a coalition of government, community, business and environmental leaders, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy is a non-profit organization that oversees hands-on restoration and education of the wetlands.