Nurturing Natives Project

Hi! I’m Chloe Fermin, a high school junior working on my Girl Scout Gold Award. What is

that you may ask? It is the highest earned award in Girl Scouts that has a goal of making a

positive, long-lasting impact on my community and beyond. Today I’ll be sharing a little bit

about what my project was and my journey to completing it. Let me just say, it hasn't been easy. When I first began this project, I had no clue what I wanted to do and it all seemed very

overwhelming. After brainstorming a few ideas for a few weeks, I realized that I had an interest in native plants and contacted a few people that I knew could help me with this project. That was over a year ago!


I first started my project by educating my local community about native plants through

workshops. For 2 months, every Saturday, I would inform people about what native plants are and why we need them around. They were a big success! It felt great to get people’s feedback that they felt inspired to plant natives in their own space now.



The second half of my project was focused on my planting, which is where I was able to

get Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s help. I was able to plant 7 different types of native

plants (14 altogether), plus teach some of my volunteers how to plant themselves. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. Although I still have tons to learn, I’m super grateful for the experience this project has given me and for the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation for letting me plant and contribute to supporting California natives (and for this blog post!).


I’m toward the end of my project now and couldn’t be happier with its success. As part

of my wrap up, I’ll be sharing a little information about the 7 different types of plants I planted at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation:


1. Black Sage (Salvia Mellifera) - This central/northern California and northern Baja native

is a part of the mint family. In fact, it is the largest type! It’s also part of the coastal sage

scrub and is one of the most common. This fragrant plant attracts bees, birds, and

butterflies. Their seeds are loved by quail.


2. Catalina Cherry (Prunus Ilicifolia) - The Catalina Cherry is a small, drought-tolerant tree

that’s native to the Channel Islands. Birds like the edible red berries that are produced

by this tree. Throughout the year, it attracts pollinators such as birds and bees. This one

was my favorite one to plant and I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like when it's grown!


3. Coast Sunflower (Encelia Californica) - This plant belongs to the coastal sage community

and is native to southern and Baja California. When blooming, it produces bright, yellow

flowers. The Coast Sunflower is also drought-tolerant, so it’s great to plant if you want

some color in your yard but don’t want to water constantly.


4. Apple Blossom Yarrow (Achillea Millifolium) - This type of yarrow produces light pink

flowers that are loved by butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It is often used as a lawn

substitute due to its large and fast spread.


5. Seaside Daisy (Erigeron Glaucus) - The seaside daisy (also commonly known as beach

aster) is native to the Oregon and California coast. It is often seen on seaside bluffs or

beaches and is loved by butterflies. Keep a lookout for these the next time you go to the

beach!


6. White Sage (Salvia Apiana) - White sage is known as an ancient herb, which has been

used by Native American Tribes for medicine and ceremonial purposes. This fragrant

plant is viewed as sacred and has a long history. It is native to southern and Baja

California and is loved by bees.


7. Foothill Penstemon (Penstemon Heterophyllus) - This plant is loved by hummingbirds

and is commonly found in coastal mountain ranges. During the springtime, its flowers

are a beautiful blend of blue, lavender, and purple.


Authored by Chloe Fermin