CSUS Students Unveil Bushy Lake Restoration Project

SACRAMENTO -- Researchers, students, and community members spent the day outside at Bushy Lake area of the American River Parkway to rediscover a Sacramento gem.

Every summer, dozens of fires rip through thousands of acres of the American River parkway near Cal Expo.

CSU Sacramento Environmental Studies professor Michelle Stevens said while the fires are often caused by people, the non-native plants in the area help it spread. This destroys wildlife habitat.

"The 6 or 7 foot plants like Starthistle and poison-hemlock catch fire like a match," Stevens said.

In the last two years, she and her team of students have experimented on bringing back native, fire-resilient plants in the parkway. Some of those plants include mugwort and Blue Elderberry.

"When the fire comes through, the top of the plants burn but there are all these underground stems and roots and so the plant will come right back," Stevens said.

She is sharing her work to the public, a week after Governor Brown signed AB1716. This bill authored by Assembly Member, Kevin McCarty, makes the American River parkway eligible for state funding.

"We are focusing on public access, nature interpretation, other active ways to bring out positive activity, and push out some of the negative activity," McCarty said.

With everything that is going on at the outside lab and at the State Capitol, many are hoping for better stewardship of the entire American River Parkway.

"We're really trying to promote community involvement with this place, so we want this to be a place where people to come and enjoy," CSUS Alumnus and research assistant Kayla Henry said.

For more information on the project, head to Bushylake.com