April 21, 2018

Watershed Committee to Discuss Herbicide Use, May 24


The Topanga Creek Watershed Committee (TCWC) has scheduled its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at the Mountain Mermaid, to discuss the ongoing use of herbicide in Lower Topanga and along the shoulders of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and what we can do about it.

The group will also address new efforts to promote alternatives to toxic rodent control; landscaping with native plants; and other issues of interest and concern.RSVP to topanga.tcwc@gmail.com in case there are changes in the meeting place or time. The Mountain Mermaid is located at at 20421 Callon Dr., Topanga, CA 90290.


The TCWC has published its first newsletter, "The Cricket," and the Topanga Messenger is pleased to introduce two of the lead stories that may be of interest to our readers.

The mission of the TCWC is to preserve, protect and improve the health and well-being of the Topanga Creek Watershed by educating stakeholders to act in support of this valuable and fragile ecosystem. It actively promotes non-toxic and bio-friendly solutions to environmental issues, and opposes the use of herbicides and pesticides.

To donate, subscribe or volunteer: topangacreekwatershedcommittee.org.

Why Poison?

Amid ongoing concern over the use of herbicides in our watershed, we recently received confirmation from the local non-profit group Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) that in 2010, under the aegis of California State Parks, they used the herbicides imazapyr and triclopyr to kill invasive weeds (Arundo and Euphorbia) in Lower Topanga’s Rodeo Grounds. Despite these treatments, at this writing, the restoration area is completely covered, once again, in Euphorbia. Asked about plans for future spraying, the MRT responded that they have no specific plans, but they reserve the right to use herbicides as they see fit.

Over the past decade citizen mobilization against the use of Roundup (glyphosate) in Lower Topanga resulted in the formation of citizen volunteer Arundo-chopping teams, intended to demonstrate effectiveness of non-chemical methods of weed control. Unfortunately, the project was halted prematurely when much of the area was bulldozed for early stage lagoon restoration.

Do you want herbicides to continue to be used in our watershed? Shall we ask the organizations who favor herbicides and use them in our area — State Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, and Mountains Restoration Trust — to pledge to forego herbicides and embrace non-toxic methods instead? Let us hear from you!

Our Native Garden

The Native Garden at the Topanga Community Club, once a barren slope, is now planted with many of the beautiful, fragrant species that occur naturally in the Santa Monica Mountains. The purpose of the garden is to beautify the heart of our community and to demonstrate and encourage an eco-friendly way of landscaping among Topangans and TCC visitors.

The native garden at the Topanga Community House was created entirely by volunteers and donations; big thanks to all who have contributed! If you have not seen it lately, drop by soon and take a look. The garden is located down slope from the TCC driveway, between the ball field and the Community House.