Independence High Red Cross Club Mulches Picnic Area Bed

On Saturday, December 12, a small but incredibly effective team from Independence High School mulched the bed adjacent to the picnic area at the southern end of the lake.

Clinton Nguyen, board member of the American Red Cross Club, his friend Ju, and his father John flattened a high hill of woodchips and spread them evenly over the bed. They took care not to damage the native plants that had already been planted there.

One of the most aggressive weeds in this area is Russian knapweed, an invasive plant that dominates parts of Lake Cunningham Park, which is its only known occurrence in Santa Clara County. It comes up even through mulch, but is a lot easier to pull. However, it seems to weaken in deep shade. So our approach is three-pronged: mulch, pull, and shade it out with fast-growing groundcovers and shrubs.



Arvind and Clinton Nguyen from Independence High Red Cross Club on a bed of mulch


Other volunteers (Ashok, Susan, Xin) worked on a variety of tasks:

1. Planting 20 buckeye seeds along the main road between the Tully entrance and the native garden parking lot. Each is marked with a white flag so it is easy to see while weeds are being whacked.

2. Pruning up a large coyote bush so it looks aesthetically pleasing and promotes more visibility.

3. Pruning ceanothus and buckwheat off the accessible path.

It was a beautiful, brisk day to be working outdoors. The garden was full of birds feasting on the toyon berries. Thanks to all for a great workday.

About Arvind Kumar

Native plant gardener in San Jose, CA. I have been growing native plants since 2000 in a tract home lot front and back.
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