MRT’s “Flora and Fire” Program

People shopped for native plants and garden guidance from the experts at the Mountains Restoration Trust plant sale under the oaks at Golden Heart Ranch. Photo by Suzanne Guldimann

Wildflowers, native grasses, oak saplings, perennials of white sage and wild currents, and fire-safe succulents were all available at the recent Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) plant sale that was part of a weekend of activities related to safety and rural lifestyles. 

The event, which took place under the oaks at Golden Heart Ranch in Triunfo Canyon, included expert advice on creating a drought tolerant, firesafe garden. Rattlesnake aversion training for dogs was also offered at the event. 

MRT project manager and restoration expert Amy Yuelapwan told the Messenger Mountain News that the event is part of the MRT’s new Flora and Fire outreach program designed to provide garden guidance and inspiration. 

The program, which seeks to make local gardens more fire resistant, less water dependent, and friendlier to wildlife, was developed from firsthand experience; MRT’s headquarters at Headwater Corner in Calabasas was destroyed during the Old Fire that burned 516 acres in 2016. 

“We want to reach out to people to let them know about fire-safe and native plants,” Yuelapwan said. 

The next MRT event is a Calabasas Garden Tour on April 7, co-sponsored by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants. The tour features three Calabasas homes, each landscaped with at least 50 percent California natives. Docents will be on hand to discuss design and maintenance techniques that minimize danger to the home, including plant selection and home preparation. 

Participants must pre-register: Fee is $5 with a $1.09 processing fee.


To register or for more information, including upcoming rattlesnake aversion training sessions, native plant events and opportunities to volunteer, visit


Suzanne Guldimann

Suzanne Guldimann is an author, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She has worked as a journalist reporting on local news and issues for more than a decade, and is the author of nine books of music for the harp. Suzanne's newest book, "Life in Malibu", explores local history and nature. She can be reached at

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