From Monarch butterflies and milkweed to alfresco musicians, Wildflower Day March 28 at Ulistac Natural Area was magical, as families with kids and dogs in tow dropped by the 40-acre preserve to view the wild flowers and flowering bushes on guided walks, and learn about California native plants and animals. Environmental nonprofit organizations such as the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, Our City Forest and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society shared educational information.
“It’s remarkable that a small group of volunteers could create this oasis in the park system of the city of Santa Clara,” says Dennis Dowling, Executive Officer of the nonprofit Ulistac Natural Area Restoration and Education Project, leading a 10:15 a.m. walk through the native plant habitat.
“[Recently] we’ve had an explosion of volunteer help. Every single day people come and want to help restore Ulistac to native California plants,” says Dowling.
Santa Clara resident Andres Perez has volunteered since November 2014.
“Although Ulistac is in the middle of a city, it’s not a barren land,” says Peres. “It’s full of life—more than a typical park. Bugs, snakes, everything is part of the system. It’s good having people involved so they know and value how nature works.”
Ulistac Natural Area, named after a village of the Native American Ohlone who once prospered in the Bay Area, was created on the site of a former golf course. Located at 4901 Lick Mill Blvd. near Levi’s Stadium, Ulistac opened in 2001. Visit www.ulistac.org for information.