San Diego Botanic Garden gets grant for Encinitas project


San Diego Botanic Garden representatives look over Ocean Knoll Canyon, located below Ocean Knoll Elementary School in Encinitas, earlier this year. (San Diego Botanic Garden photo)

North Coast Current

Encinitas’ San Diego Botanic Garden recently received a grant of up to $200,000 from the California State Coastal Conservancy toward restoring Ocean Knoll Canyon, located near Ocean Knoll Elementary School.

The grant, given in September and formally announced this month, will go to enhancement and restoration of more than half of the canyon, which is a key section of the Cottonwood Creek Watershed, garden officials stated in a news release.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to improve native plant habitat at Ocean Knoll Elementary School’s Canyon,” Ari Novy, the garden’s president and CEO, said in the announcement. “The only thing we get more excited about than preserving plant life in our region is educating kids about our amazing flora. This project allows us to do both.”

The project will include the removal of non-native, invasive plants that take in high amounts of water, are fire-volatile, reduce biodiversity and hamper Ocean Knoll school’s access to an outdoor habitat classroom, according to the group.

Meetings with community stakeholders will help develop a framework for the project, including the design of access for educational purposes.

Funding for the grant comes from the state’s Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, in addition to $125,000 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the city of Encinitas toward costs related to the removal and control of invasive plants.

Ocean Knoll Canyon is the latest such project for the San Diego Botanic Garden. The organization is implementing a plant conservation and native species stewardship program along the Cottonwood Creek Watershed in partnership with the city of Encinitas.

More information is available online:

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