Pepperwood Foundation requests support to build a new native plant shadehouse propagation facility to replace the one damaged during the 2017 Tubbs Fire.
Two recent fires have significantly altered the ecological health of the native grasslands at Pepperwood Preserve and destroyed and damaged buildings on our property. Bulldozer fire lines created to stop the Kincade Fire in October 2019 resulted in significant disturbance to 15 miles of oak woodlands and native grasslands. In 2017, the Tubbs Fire burned our barn and shop to the ground, heavily impacting the nearby plant propagation facility. Our rebuild of the barn and shop is under way but requires moving the damaged propagation facility away from the shadow of the new structure. Given the extensive loss of native grasslands to the bulldozer lines, we want to double our native grass plug production numbers from 14,000 to 28,000 plants annually. This increase in production will require doubling the footprint of our propagation facility.
By increasing native plant propagation capacity and plantings this project will improve water quality by reducing erosion as well as improving stream flow by improving water infiltration and soil water holding capacity. Perennial grasses improve soil organic matter and provide better ground cover than non-native annual grasses. These grasses reduce impacts of hard rainfall, slow run-off, and increase water retention, thus reducing potential flooding downstream. Native plants favor healthy wildlife populations and support invertebrates including pollinators.