The Proctor Valley Vernal Pool and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project is located east of Chula Vista near the unincorporated community of Jamul on a City of San Diego nature preserve that was previously heavily damaged by off-road vehicle users. Starting in 2010, TCLC formed a partnership with the City to restore the site and worked to obtain all necessary permits. Grading was conducted in 2012 to repair damaged vernal pools and install artificial Burrowing owl burrows followed with the planting of thousands of native plants and seeding, weeding, and watering.
The site has undergone an incredible transformation from barren, compacted soils and non-native weeds to a vibrant community of vernal pool wetlands and surrounding coastal sage scrub. During the winter, endangered San Diego fairy shrimp and Western spadefoot toad tadpoles swim and wriggle in the pools during a short period of ponding. Seeded endangered vernal pool plants like San Diego button-celery and vernal pool pincushion plant have colonized the pools where they germinate as aquatic plants but grow to maturity after pools dry. And endangered animals like the California gnatcatcher, Coast horned lizard, and Burrowing owls have colonized restored coastal sage scrub.
Both vernal pools and coastal sage scrub are endangered habitats with roughly 97% of these California native ecosystem lost to development, agriculture, and other impacts. Restoring these endangered ecosystems and species is part of the mission of The Chaparral Lands Conservancy and we’re honored by today’s great media attention and support from all of our project partners. Particular thanks go to the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department for supporting the project and providing access to the Otay Lakes Cornerstone Lands Preserve. Thanks also to our funders, the California Department of Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, California Natural Resources Agency, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego Foundation, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information please visit our Proctor Valley Vernal Pool Restoration page.