Re-Plant Love Brings Mountains to Life

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Volunteers and Santa Monica Mountains and Mountains Restoration Trust volunteers plant more than 3,160 native flowers, shrubs and trees, making history for the number of plants put in the ground in a single day in the Santa Monica Mountains, at the Malibu Foundation and Clarins’ Re-Plant Love event held on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

The figures are staggering:

*Acres burned: 96,949

*Structures destroyed: 1,643

*National Park Service land burned: 21,000 acres—88 percent of all national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA)

*Notable national park damage: Most of Western Town at Paramount Ranch, the 1927 Peter Strauss Ranch House, Rocky Oaks ranger residence and museum, most of the UCLA a Kretz Field Station and the Arroyo Sequit ranger residence.

Now, here’s one new figure:

*Native flora re-planted following the fire: 3,160

Nearly one full year after the 2018 fire blazed its trail of destruction through Malibu’s national parkland, the mountainsides are coming back to life, with the help of a team of volunteers.

On Saturday, Malibu Foundation, in partnership with skincare brand Clarins, hosted Re-Plant Love at Paramount Ranch, one of the areas hit hardest by Woolsey last November. The all-day festival went on despite smoke from the Saddleridge Fire still burning in the San Fernando Valley, and spirits were up as hundreds of volunteers succeeded in planting more than 3,160 native trees, shrubs and flowers.

Information provided by organizers pointed to the impact the planting festival was expected to have in the area:

“Impacting the climate, these plants within a nine-acre radius will capture 40 metric tons of carbon in one year, and more than 2,000 metric tons in 50 years, according to the Mountains Restoration Trust,” information stated. The planting of native foliage was intended to help increase plant cover while battling non-native invasive species such as black mustard, which is prevalent in Malibu after Woolsey burned many native species.  

The effort—being called the “largest planting day on record for the SMMNRA”— is designed to leave a lasting impact on the Paramount Ranch area of the SMMNRA—the largest urban national park in the United States.

According to information from the SMMNRA, the park and its environs encompass “more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities.”