There’s a lot happening in the 14 acre natural area bounded by Chestnut Street, Sessom Drive, Loquat Street and Canyon Road. The trail crew completed two trails that traversed the park in different ways. One rambled through the wooded space from the crossing of Sessom Creek at Canyon Road to Chestnut Street, above the Ella Lofts. The second was a departure for the crew, providing a transportation option for pedestrians along Chestnut Street walking to and from the campus area. Before the “Bamboo Chute” was built, walkers were forced into the street at a dangerous part of Chestnut Street. The City has since converted the “Chute” to a concrete sidewalk, convinced of the need by trail crew sweat and toil.
In the year-and-a-half that SMGA has been working on improving the steeply sloped natural area, parts of the park have been transformed. In close cooperation with the Habitat Conservation Plan Conservation Crew, one corner of the park has been cleared of glossy privet (Ligustrum). Efforts continue to reduce other invasive plants, including chinaberry and a large, dense stand of bamboo. Through careful cutting, girdling and herbicide application the invasives have been set back in the lower end of the natural area, and the bamboo is still under attack.
Critical to this area is the knowledge that Sessom Creek flows into the headwaters of the San Marcos River. The process continues into 2018 with more projects to re-vegetate the natural area and city utility projects to improve the underground pipe systems.