After the recent wildfires on the South Coast, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is trying to monitor the new plants that have started growing in the wildfire recovery area.
With so much land to cover, however, the new plan is getting citizen scientists how to identify, catalog, and protect the plants we rely on.
“Fires are getting larger, they’re getting more frequent. This is a standard way we can protect our ecosystems,” says Dr. Denise Knapp, Director of Conservation and Research at the Botanic Garden.
Knapp says that a basis in botany will help the volunteers pick out invasive species and identify other plants of interest, but even without any prior knowledge, everyone is welcome.
“We’re looking for folks who are willing to hike, first and foremost, and willing to learn the botany even if they don’t already know it," Knapp says. "If we can engage folks from the community in this, we can get more done faster.”
Classes start next week, and volunteers can sign up online.