Construction of the Cardoza Creek Restoration Project was completed in August 2013 and trails that were closed for construction are now open. Sonoma County Regional Parks held volunteer workdays for removal of invasive plants and planting of natives for restoration.
The Cardoza Creek Restoration Project at Tolay Lake Regional Park included structural improvements to two pond dam spillways, removal of debris and invasive vegetation, and native plant restoration of the riparian habitat. The improvements stabilize the soils of the riparian corridor to prevent erosion, and increase the native vegetation of Cardoza Creek, dramatically improving wildlife habitat.
The project restored and stabilized the concrete and rock spillways of Vista Pond, Fish Pond, and the rock armoring of Cardoza Creek in an area just below both ponds. Large debris dumped and accumulated over the history of the property such as cars and appliances, and non-native invasive vegetation were removed. Over 800 plants, including 15 native species of trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses were planted along the creek corridor. The creek restoration planting is protected using cattle fencing, and the plants are periodically irrigated with pond water pumped by a solar powered irrigation pump.
Project funding was accomplished when Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma Land Trust co-authored a funding application to the North American Wetland Conservation Act program for the Sonoma Baylands Wetlands Restoration Project in 2007. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission awarded a grant of which $250,000 was set aside for Regional Park’s Cardoza Creek in 2008. The funding is administered by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
We would like to thank the Tolay Lake Regional Parks Team of Volunteer Birders whose invaluable bird monitoring data was instrumental in securing the Cardoza Creek Restoration Project Grant Funding.