The Cambrian

Weeding party set at elephant seal viewing area

Gardening enthusiasts, ecologically minded volunteers and sightseers alike are encouraged to participate in a six-hour, drop-in-when-you-can weeding party. The works will remove nonnative plants and trim along the boardwalk at the main elephant seal viewing area from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 26.

There’s a reason the spot 5 miles north of Hearst Castle, is called a viewing area. Even if no seals are at the site, the oceanfront scenery there is spectacular, and there’s a lot of other wildlife, terrestrial and marine. The viewing area has become one of the Central Coast’s primary attractions for hundreds of thousands of people every year. 

Previous work at the site has made some progress in restoring native plants, but much more needs to be done, according to organizers who want to showcase native plants of the area. As any gardener knows, untended weeds win. 

Workers also will trim along the boardwalk. In fact, there’ll be a variety of chores to do. 

With no required work commitment, participants can arrive and leave whenever they feel like it within the six hours, said organizer Carole Adams, who gained national recognition for her volunteer terrain management program at Piedras Blancas Light Station and Outstanding Natural Area (the seal-viewing area is part of the latter). 

“Bring lunch if you like,” she said. “Tools will be available, but it might be a good idea to bring along a shovel, digger, or clippers,” plus water, sunscreen and gloves. “Wear old clothing and sturdy shoes. Bring gloves. We will be tackling mustard, fennel and other species. Experience is not required — just a willing heart.” 

For details, email Adams at Participants are to meet in the kiosk area at the south end of the parking lot.