Calero County Park Pond and Wetland Restoration and Monitoring Project
Funded by the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency, this project was planned, designed, and constructed to restore pond and wetland habitats at two locations in Calero County Park. This supported the agency’s conservation strategy of the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan. The pond mitigation site was heavily grazed by cattle, occupied by invasive aquatic predators, and had limited duration of ponding. The pond restoration objectives included restoration of breeding habitat for the California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander, restoration of wetland habitat functions including habitat for the Mt. Hamilton thistle, establishment of new seasonal wetland habitat, restoration of basking habitat for the western pond turtle, and provision of water for cattle that graze the surrounding Calero Preserve. The wetland mitigation site was heavily grazed and subject to sedimentation. The wetland restoration objectives included restoration of wetland habitat functions, establishment of new seasonal wetland habitat, restoration of foraging and dispersal habitat for the California red-legged frog, and the provision of water for cattle that graze the surrounding Calero Preserve. Pond and wetland site designs included water balance studies, improvements to water delivery systems and outlet structures, and grading improvements to increase water availability and retention time and enhance habitat for species of concern. Cattle water provision elements included ditch enhancements and sediment management structures, and piped diversions to new troughs and a cistern.
Working with project biologists and ecologists, a conceptual restoration plan for the project was formulated to meet the stated objectives which included stakeholder and agency support. Development of the conceptual plan was supported by preparation of detailed water budget calculations and baseline hydrologic monitoring conducted by cbec. Following refinement of the conceptual restoration plan, design plans and specifications were prepared by cbec (grading, water control) and project biologists and ecologists (vegetation, fencing) and put out to bid. Project construction was completed in summer 2016 and included construction monitoring by both cbec and project biologists and ecologists to adapt the designs to unique site conditions. Long-term species use/abundance and vegetation cover monitoring is underway by project biologists and ecologists, with cbec monitoring hydrology, geomorphology, and maintenance. This included reinstallation of hydrologic monitoring equipment.