On September 30th IERCD staff participated in the National Public Lands Day (NPLD) events at the Mary Vagle Nature Center (MVNC) in Fontana and at the Holcomb Fire Restoration in the San Bernardino National Forest. At the Mary Vagle event, IERCD continued its tradition of supplying $300 worth of California native plants for continuing the expansion of the Center’s native plant demonstration gardens. While at the NPLD event at MVNC in Fontana, IERCD educators interacted with partner agencies and local elected and appointed officials, including 47th District Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes. Assemblymember Reyes covers District cities including Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, San Bernardino, and Colton, and was excited to participate in NPLD activities alongside other volunteers including raking leaves, trimming trees, and cleaning out the Center’s pond. National Public Lands Day is an annual event facilitated across the United States by the National Environmental Education Foundation, and has been observed at the Center since 2009.
IERCD provided staff support at a second National Public Lands Day event in the San Bernardino National Forest, where they assisted United States Forest Service personnel and volunteers in restoring forestland affected by the 2015 Holcomb Fire. Volunteers contributed to a number of projects, including removing invasive weeds and reseeding burned areas with California buckwheat. The Southern California Mountains Foundation, a 501c3 organization headquartered out of the Big Bear Discovery Center, also contributed significantly to the success of the event through performance of outreach for volunteers and provision of work crews and seeds for restoration efforts.