Welcome to the California Native Grasslands Association
Celebrating and conserving the ecological richness of California's grasslands


The California Native Grasslands Association works to conserve grasslands throughout California through education, advocacy, research, and stewardship.  Is there a grassland near you that needs help? Let us know! Email: conservation@cnga.org.

Grasslands importance noted as Houston flooding subsides

As Houston residents began rebuilding their lives, residents, scientists and journalists are asking "why?"This one-in-many-hundreds-of-years flood is  attributed to a stalled storm, more heavily moisture-laden and made stronger by now warmer seas and warmer air, and made more damaging by building more than 7,000 units in the hundred-year floodplain since 2010 (https://projects.propublica.org/houston-cypress/). 

And, while no city is built to withstand a biblical rain, absorption by grasslands and wetlands helps moderate flood levels...and it is finally being recognized.   

A Slate article draws on a Pro-Publica report that "One underlying cause of Houston’s suffering is that developers and town officials in Harris County, which contains Houston, have for years advocated the development of the wetlands and prairies around the city—land that had long served to absorb the rainwater that now overwhelms the region’s sewers and streams every year. The flood-absorbent grasslands of the Katy Prairie have been cut by three-quarters over the past few decades as Houston sprawled west." 

The Katy Prairie is coastal tallgrass prairie in the northwest of Houston. Pro-Publica reports that it was estimated to once be about 600,000 acres of flood-absorbing land (check out the Katy Prairie Conservancy at: http://www.katyprairie.org/).

Recognized for taking up rainwater and other "ecological services," grasslands will need to be conserved to serve. 

-Jim Hanson, CNGA Conservation Committee Chair and landscape architect

On-Going Conservation Efforts

Conserving Knowland Park grassland prairie

In the Summer 2011 issue of Grasslands  we first wrote about the Oakland Zoo’s expansion plan to take 50 acres of Oakland’s Knowland Park for a three-story restaurant, gondola, and exhibits. The development is touted to be about educating kids and families about the importance of conserving California plant and animal life.

As of late summer 2015, the California native prairie at Knowland Park remains. However, the Oakland Zoo filed an application in July to remove over 50 protected oaks (and the native grasslands abiding with them) for this project. CNGA is still pushing for a sensible project.

CNGA is submitted a letter to the East Bay Zoological Society Board of Trustees in late July. CNGA Supports a "California Trail" Zoo project, but one that both celebrates and preserves the diverse plant and animal life present in the park today. 

Check back for updates regarding our conservation efforts!

Saving the UC Richmond Global Campus coastal prairie

UC is planning on developing this area which includes coastal prairie. Over the past two decades, Phalaris has been slowly taking over these prairie areas. CNGA is involved in advocating for smart and safe weed control in the prairie. 

Advocating for coastal prairie conservation at the City of Richmond's Pt. Molate property

Jim Hanson, chair of the CNGA Conservation Committee, was recently appointed to the Point Molate Community Advisory Committee. Discussion has recently begun on how this area will be developed. 

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument grasslands management and protection

President Obama created this new National Monument on July 9, 2015. CNGA will be involved in the publicity, management and protection of the grasslands contained within the new Monument. 

Protecting the Pt. Pinole-East Bay Regional Park District coastal prairie through adaptive management

CNGA has been advocating for better management of the grasslands at Pt. Pinole. In July CNGA met with the new Supervisor and Vegetation Manager for the park and learned that they are planning on hiring someone to educate staff on native grasses. In the past eucalyptus debris had been dumped on the native grasslands.  

© 2017 California Native Grasslands Association                                                                                                  501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
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