Helping a Forest Grow

The Oaks of Lower Topanga State Park need your help on Saturday, January 20, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Join the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP), the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM) and partners to plant and care for the baby oak trees at the old Rodeo Grounds. We are asking community members to help us achieve a greener and more tree-filled future when we water and plant young oak trees, as well as remove surrounding invasive vegetation.

Since 2014, the RCDSMM, TreePeople and many different community groups, families, and individuals have planted more than 200 oak trees and other native plants in the old Rodeo Grounds in lower Topanga State Park. This was done to help restore the area after the removal of a berm almost ten years ago.

Historically, Lower Topanga State Park was made up of riparian, wetland, floodplain, and coastal sage scrub communities surrounding a braided creek with multiple channels. Since development began in the 1920’s, the creek, floodplain,and associated vegetation were negatively impacted. This in turn negatively affected the ecological health of the area by allowing for the spread of invasive species and stopping endangered southern steelhead trout from migrating upstream by breaking the connectivity of the creek.

Restoring a floodplain forest is not easy and we can’t do this without you. This is an excellent opportunity for scout groups, students needing community service hours, or anyone who wants to help a forest grow!

Location and Schedule:

Meet at Topanga State Park, Old Rodeo Grounds Lane, Malibu, CA, on Topanga Canyon Blvd. about 500 meters from where it intersects with Pacific Coast Highway.

  • From 9-10 a.m., help move some hoses and prepare the tree cages while snacking on bagels.
  • 10 a.m.–1 p.m., plant, water and mulch young native oaks.

Wear clothes you are willing to get dirty and close-toed, durable shoes. We will have to cross Topanga Creek so come prepared to get slightly wet if there is any rain between now and January 20. We will provide gloves and tools, but if you have your own, please bring them. Hoe cultivators and shovels are especially welcome!

Find this event on Facebook at Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and RSVP if you plan on attending!

If you have any questions please e-mail the RCD’s Watershed Stewards Program Member, Brianna Demirci, at

The mission of the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) is to conserve, restore, and enhance anadromous watersheds for future generations by linking education with high-quality scientific practices. A program of the California Conservation Corps, WSP is one of the most productive programs for future employment in natural resources. WSP is administered by California Volunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.


By Brianna Demirci


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