The Times They Are a-Changin’

Posted on by traviscelp

With the Spring 2016 Volunteer season coming to an end we thought it would be fun to take a look back in time and see how our landscape has been changing. With the help of the Colorado State University students as our current day models, we recreated some historic photos from volunteer seasons many moons ago.

Lets take a look at the Natives Trail. This is the trail that leads from the beach along the East side of camp back to the archery range. It then continues to meet up with the Fern Gully Trail. Currently we are continuing to plant natives along the route as well as continue the trail into the back of our canyon.

This first view is looking towards the beach from the beginning of the trail. You can see that the fennel has recently been removed and the path is being designated with stones. There is no vegetation growing along the trails edges.

Natives Trail Circa 2000

Natives Trail 2016

In this present day recreation you can see that the Bush Sunflowers have grown up past waist height, the Cherry trees have grown quite a bit and there is a large Coyote Brush thriving behind the people.


We are now looking down the trail from the trail head circa 2010.  You can see that some young Bush Sunflowers have been planted along the trail.

Trail Head 2010

Trail-head 2016

Look what six years of plant growth looks like on Catalina Island!

Lets take a look back at the Fennel. If you have ever been a student here you probably have heard us mention that the entire hillside was covered of fennel, well here is the proof.

The Hillside Covered in Fennel

The battle of the Fennel begins:

Looking Down at Boys Camp circa 2000

Looking Down at Boys Camp 2016

Now when we walk up the trail there is not a fennel to be seen. Notice how much the Palm Trees have grown up in the background!

Its amazing to look back and see the incredible transformation this small part of our island has gone through. Thinking of the hundreds of dirt covered hands, tired legs, sunburned noses and smiling faces that made this transformation possible is inspiring. Now days we have to walk 20 minuets into the back of our canyon to find fennel to remove. This spring we planted many native species along the trail. Our most recent planting success has been with elderberries and we hope to have a whole elderberry forest by 2026! Three cheers for conservation, volunteers and our beautiful Mama Earth!

Hip Hip Hooray!

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