It’s hard to see what’s not there! As you drive along our coast, it’s easy to see Jubata/Pampas grass taking over hillsides and ranges. What’s harder to see is when it’s NOT there. Look along La Honda Rd. between the coast and La Honda. Also look along Stage Rd. between the General Store and Highway 1. You will not see Jubata/Pampas grass growing along the roadway (except for a few unsafe to reach).
That’s due to the efforts of the “Kick Pampass” team, a dedicated bunch of volunteers in the community interested in keeping invasive grasses from taking over San Gregorio Valley. The spread had become all too evident, particularly along Stage Rd., where over 430 plants were recently removed. On Hwy. 84 between La Honda and San Gregorio nearly 100 plants have been removed. On private property in Cuesta, La Honda and San Gregorio more than 100 plants have been removed. This was done entirely using manual methods, no herbicides.
Flowering plants (photo N.P.)
Most would agree these are beautiful ornamental grasses. Pampasgrass from South America was sold in nurseries for decades. Without nearby male plants, female pampas can be kept under control. Jubata grass, on the other hand, spreads like crazy on it’s own. This is the grass that predominantly populates the coast from San Diego northward. It’s an invasive opportunist, crowds out native plants, and affects the ecology and wildlife that depend on native species.
There are alternatives! Check out ornamental grasses at Yerba Buena Nursery or California Invasive Plant Council web sites, or search for non-invasive ornamental grass:
What can you do? The next phase for our Kick Pampass team will be to help landowners interested in removing plants from their property. If you have plants you‘d like removed, or have interested neighbors, feel free to contact us. In addition, this is the time of year that tall seed heads develop. If you see plants we've missed, please let us know. You may want to join us! You can reach Neil at: (650) 726-2499 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to our hard-working Pampass team: Liz, Gary, Ellen, Denis, Jane, Ellen, Hilary, Sasha, George and Neil – plus the many landowners who have allowed access to their properties or taken steps to eliminate the plants themselves! We also thank Cuesta La Honda, Caltrans, State Parks and the County of San Mateo for permission to remove plants on their property or right-of-ways.
Stage Rd. removal (photo N.P.)
Jamfest at Playbowl
by craig eddy
As our summer winds down there is one more musical event here in La Honda to report on. Jamfest is an annual musical get together held at Playbowl. This year it will be held on Oct 8th starting around noonish and going until late afternoon or early evening. Many of the local musicians gather and do mostly jamming. It is a chance for busy musicians to play with others they don’t usually get to play with. We don’t really expect a huge audience but anyone wanting to come by and enjoy it with us is welcome. If people want to set up volleyball, play frisbee etc that is encouraged. The volume level is always kept at a minimum as our goal is to be a pleasant musical experience with a high quality level. Jamfest is meant to attract the local performing musicians and is not an open mic. The Cuesta Guild has been great in underwriting Jamfest and it has become a wonderful annual event. It is a bring your own everything and pack out what you bring event. If you are a new member of our community and play music at a semi or professional level please come down and introduce yourself and connect with the other local players. Hope to see a lot of music lovers at Playbowl. If weather looks to be bad (rain, snow, tornadoes) then we would cancel, but have never had to cancel one yet. Jam on!!
La Honda radio club contacted more than 200 ham radio operators around the US and Canada the last weekend of June, setting up two radio stations, five antennas, food operations and shelter. They were ready to get on the air in less than a day.
First of all, a huge thank you to Charlie Catania for the use of La Honda Gardens again this year. His support of community activities and emergency preparedness goes above and beyond. It’s quite likely that in the event of a large scale emergency, central La Honda will be a gathering place for the community. It’s a real advantage to practice setting up communications, food and shelter when conditions are beautiful. We stand a much greater chance of duplicating that effort during a storm or at night, which is often when emergencies occur. Thank you Charlie!
You may have seen our mobile tower in the field by the Fire Station, but have you seen the newly outfitted Resource Trailer? This trailer, a donation from one of our members, has been designed to carry resources to any event or incident, as well as provide an operating station that's sheltered and self-contained. It will carry its own power and lights, radios and antennas, and provide a sleeping area for extended operations.
Another big thank you to our club members, who remain devoted to training and education in emergency communications. The La Honda amateur radio club (SC4ARC) provides an excellent way to get involved in community emergency preparedness. Many recent large scale emergencies including the South Bay and around the country have relied on ham radio operators for hours and sometimes days for communication until other infrastructure could be brought back online. Ham radio operators are trained to know available means of communication, and how to maintain their equipment and go-kits so they are ready to go in minutes.
Radio operator AF6IE in the Resource Trailer
For more information about joining the group or getting your ham radio license, visit sc4arc.org
Come away to a quiet place and rest a while. Mark 6:31
Our newly appointed Parish Administrator, Fr. Joseph Previtali, has proposed a monthly Holy Hour at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church.
Join us for an hour of prayer and reflection and songs of praise.
The first Holy Hour will be Thursday evening, July 21, from 8:30-9:30 PM. (The following months will be at an earlier hour.)
Traditionally, a Holy Hour is often held on a Thursday with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
Confession will be available.
All are welcome!
Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church is located at 146 Sears Ranch Road, La Honda
For more information call Mary at 650-559-9344
by craig eddy
Gary Gates band working the crowd last year
Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church is located at 146 Sears Ranch Road.