By Rachael Lloyd
Early one overcast Friday morning on October 14, 15 volunteers unfurled their “Fluor Cares” banner in front of the Wintersburg Channel for a group photo. It’s not uncommon to take a group photo at the end of an Amigos de Bolsa Chica sponsored event to commemorate the accomplishments of the day. In this case the photo was being taken before any work was done. The Amigos were able to predict in advance that volunteers from the Fluor Corporation would contribute an awesome effort to the upcoming task. This was the second time the Fluor volunteers had offered Amigos the benefit of their enthusiasm and dedication. Last year in the fall of 2015 Fluor volunteers showed up on a day where the temperature reached a high of 98 degrees to remove overgrown brush and build terraces as the kick-off event for the Bolsa Chica Headquarters Garden Rejuvenation. The group labored steadily throughout the sweltering heat to remove a forest of dead overgrowth. Not one volunteer quit or left. So this year when the Fluor group again offered to work on a joint ecological project with Amigos we were confident that the volunteers would complete the day’s work successfully.
This year’s mission was headed by Kelly O’Reilly, land manager of Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Kelly needed help clearing access trails to the Mesa Overlook which had become clogged with vegetation. The Amigos confidence in the good work that we knew to expect from Fluor volunteers was rewarded 3 hours later when the group stepped back to see 6 foot wide walkways where just hours before narrow passages had been. Unlike last year this year’s volunteers were blessed with cool weather and ideal working conditions. Cheerful conversation accompanied the pruning, transporting and delivery of the dry brittle vegetation to a gargantuan trash bin placed near the site. At the end of the day the Amigos de Bolsa Chica pledged to work with Fluor volunteers and Department of Fish and Wildlife staff again on future projects. Thank you to all who came out and donated their time and labor to the betterment of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve!!