Valley volunteers bring wildlife back to parks

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- These volunteers are taking action to make sure that plants that aren't native to California don't take over the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area.

"I started with just one volunteer over a decade ago and then we picked up a couple more volunteers and now we have up to six or seven people on a workday," said Steve Hartman, President of California Native Plant Society.

These volunteers work for three hours after sunrise to make sure that these plants are removed. The non-native plants are taking over the native ones, and aren't helpful to the wildlife here.

"It's imperative if we want to have birds and the rest of the wildlife that's part of our ecosystem that we have native trees and shrubs and annual wildflowers in order to provide the birds the insects they need during the breeding season," said Hartman.

The main plant that has taken over the park is mustard, and it's not just dangerous for the animals. Passersby like the plant because of the yellow flowers that bloom from them, but they do nothing for the wildlife and when they are dry can lead to fires.

If you want to learn how you can volunteer or help remove non-native plants in your area visit cnps.org.
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