Stagecoach South Restoration Project
JCOS staff are collaborating with a team of highly qualified contractors to restore the former Elk Meadow Park Dog Off-leash Area (DOLA), now referred to as the Stagecoach South site. The restoration project began in April 2017 and will continue until at least 2020 to ensure native plants have successfully established. At the time of closure in April 2017, the 107-acre site had been heavily degraded by years of intense visitation. The goal of the restoration project is to reverse the impacts to the vegetation and stream channel so that the site can be reopened as a standard, on-leash part of Elk Meadow Park.
Restoration Progress Report
- The contractor team implemented drainage improvement, undesignated trail reclamation, and stream channel repair projects across the western half of the site. Work areas were seeded with native species, and woody shrubs and trees will be planted in late Spring 2020.
- JCOS staff partnered with Wildland Restoration Volunteers to plan and implement two large restoration projects focused on upland plant communities and undesignated trails. More than 150 volunteers participated, most of whom were from the local community. After decompaction, work areas were seeded with native species and protected with wood straw. Local seed collected from the surrounding area was included in the seed mix to improve success.
- Invasive species and forest management projects were also conducted by JCOS staff to support native species recovery and reduce wildfire risk. As in 2018, Teens Inc. assisted with forest management efforts.
- Water quality sampling results showed that E. coli levels remained low, similar to levels detected in 2018.
- A team of highly-qualified firms were contracted to develop a formal restoration plan for the site. JCOS staff worked closely with these contractors to ensure designs were compatible with eventually re-opening the site to the public as part of Elk Meadow Park.
- Invasive species management and forest management projects were conducted by JCOS staff to enhance priority areas in advance of 2019 restoration efforts. A local Youth Corps group, Teens, Inc., assisted with these projects.
- Water quality sampling results showed that E. coli levels were even lower than in 2017.
- After the site was closed in April 2017, JCOS staff initiated efforts to stabilize the site by installing erosion control material in priority locations. Site assessments were also conducted to inform initial restoration planning efforts.
- Invasive species were mapped and treatment, and game cameras were deployed to monitor wildlife.
- A Request for Proposals (RFP) was developed and advertised to solicit contractors to provide technical assistance for restoration planning and implementation.
- Water quality sampling results showed that E. coli levels were dramatically lower than in 2016.
- A report was developed by a contractor to summarize the impacts and trade-offs associated with managing an off-leash dog park, as well as the efforts made by JCOS over the years to try to develop solutions to the ongoing management challenges associated with the site.