Conn Creek Restoration on Linda Falls Preserve

While one part of our mission is to permanently protect land, another is to carefully manage that land. One of our many ongoing stewardship projects is a multi-year streamside habitat restoration along Conn Creek. Conn Creek flows through our 177 acre Linda Falls Preserve near Angwin on Howell Mountain. The creek is a perennial tributary of the Napa River and also feeds Lake Hennessy, the key water source for the City of Napa.

Invasive Himalayan blackberry used to run rampant along a half-mile focal point of the creek. Thanks to grants from the Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Land Trust has been able to hire American Conservation Experience (ACE) crews to remove them. ACE is a non-profit that provides practical restoration experience for young people from all over the world who want to have a conservation experience in America. They help with projects that run from trail construction, to wildfire hazard reduction, to wildlife surveys, to riparian restoration.

Once the blackberry was removed, ACE crews and LTNC volunteers laid down biodegradable erosion control fabric to help keep sediment from running into the creek.  Next, our friends at Oaktown Native Plant Nursery in Berkeley propagated 2,950 native plants over the course of two years from seeds and cuttings collected on our Linda Falls Preserve. Volunteers and ACE crews then planted these along the streamside where the blackberry was removed. In addition, other native plants like wild rose, ninebark, mugwort, nettle and native grasses are starting to re-grow on their own.

While we’ve made impressive headway in the time since we started, there is still more to do. In fact, the Land Trust set a goal of completing this project within five years, as it can take three to five years to remove blackberry and other invasive species, as well as for new plants to establish.