TGIF Spotlight: Coastal Prairie Project Restoration

This month’s TGIF Project Leader Spotlight features Sarick Matzen and Zeltzin Angon for their incredible work at the Restoration Field Station (RFS).

The Coastal Prairie Restoration project is a continuation of the Sustainably Remediating UCB Soils project that aims to restore the soil quality at the RFS by planting native prairie grasses and removing invasive species. The project is led by Sarick Matzen, a sixth year graduate student in ESPM and Zeltzin Angon, a fourth year undergraduate with a double major in Society and Environment as well as Geography and minoring in City Planning. Sarick has been a community farm manager and is particularly interested in soil contamination and remediation in addition to working with underrepresented communities. Similar to Sarick, Zeltzin intends to use her experience at the RFS to remediate brown lots and increase green spaces in underrepresented and low income communities using the nearby Bay Trail.

This project is important to both Zeltzin and Sarick as a way to create a public place available for everyone, including the indigenous communities who originally managed the prairie, as well as the lower income neighborhoods nearby. Their project is a contribution towards creating open, green space for everyone to enjoy nature at the RFS while maintaining an endangered native plant ecosystem.

For future project leaders, Zeltzin advises to “expect the unexpected.” Zeltzin and Sarick agree that projects will not always go as expected, but it is important to stay true to the original goal of the project even though roadblocks will be encountered.

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