Mountains Restoration Trust

Review of 2014 at MRT

Mountains Restoration Trust would like to thank you for all that you do to help protect, preserve, and restore the habitat of the Santa Monica Mountains.We couldn`t do it without your support.


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Our Volunteers:


Volunteers are an integral part of our organization. We would not accomplish all that we have done without the 2,664 volunteers who came out this past year to work on projects around the Santa Monica Mountains. Volunteers worked on Cold Creek Preserve, Malibu Creek State Park, La Sierra Preserve, Topanga Lookout, Leo Carrillo State Park, and here at Headwaters Corner. By leveraging 8,906 hours of volunteer power, MRT is able to remove invasive species, grow and plant natives, restore streams and riparian habitats, and transform weedy fields into oak woodlands. Our volunteers have helped remove over 40,000 invasive crayfish!


Our People: a special MRT devotee


Ed Pushich is a dedicated MRT volunteer and donor, retired from the city of Los Angeles, where he spent his career working in Griffith Park. Ed began volunteering in 1992 with MRT`s Commemorative Oaks program in Malibu Creek State Park.


"Invasives are my passion" says Ed, and he knows how to use a chainsaw to prove it. Much of Ed`s volunteer time with MRT is spent in the field removing invasive trees and weeds. Recently, Ed made a donation to support removal of Arundo donax, a giant bamboo-like invasive, which spreads rampantly in streams and is also highly flammable. Ed says he can`t take out all the Arundo himself, so he donated to MRT to help us keep on top of it.


Ed has decided to make a lasting gift to the preservation of the Santa Monica Mountains by designating MRT in his will. Why Mountains Restoration Trust? Ed says, "MRT gets the job done. They find a piece of degraded land - they restore it and they bring it back to life!" Yes, MRT does get the job done, with the help of people like Ed.


Our Work: 2014 Highlights


Land Acquisitions - The Topanga Connection & Cold Creek West Preserve
We celebrated two major acquisitions in 2014 expanding the preserve size by 85 acres. The larger of the two new properties is 80 acres on the east side of the Cold Creek Canyon Preserve. This key parcel, which contains two year-round streams, continues the effort to link the Cold Creek Preserve to the Topanga State Park, providing critical habitat connectivity for wildlife movement. The second property is five acres located in the Cold Creek West Preserve. Cold Creek meanders through half of the property, making it rich in riparian habitat.


Despite a drought year, planting season is now underway for MRT restoration projects at Headwaters Corner/Wild Walnut Park, Cold Creek, La Sierra Preserve and Malibu Creek. All plants are grown at the MRT restoration nursery complex from seed, cuttings, division, or salvage from the Santa Monica Mountains. The MRT nursery contains over 100 native species and has been in operation since 2010. The majority of the propagation and transplanting work is done by volunteers. In 2014 MRT planted 1,725 plants on 62 days!


Outreach and education is an important part of MRT`s mission in conservation. MRT offers outreach programs and events designed to educate children and adults about proper natural resource stewardship and passive recreation. Through the Cold Creek Docent Program, MRT held 48 programs, serving 2401 students on field trips, along with 426 adults accompanying as teachers and chaperones. Our education programs provide youth firsthand opportunities to experience the wilderness of the Santa Monica Mountains.


Fire Preparedness in Monte Nido
Mountains Restoration Trust continues a partnership with the community of Monte Nido to address both wildfire management strategies and the protection of the natural resources. In cooperation with California Fire Safe Council and several other agencies, MRT provided fire safety workshops and a home assessment tour to demonstrate what can be done to protect lives and homes from wildfire danger. Our goal in the coming year is to help remove several invasive eucalyptus trees that pose a biofuel risk in this beautiful mountain community.


MRT is excited to launch Adopt-a-Creek to enlist members of the community in restoring the Malibu Creek Watershed. Crayfish removal and trash clean up will focus on Las Virgenes and Medea Creek, streams hosting large amounts of invasive crayfish. The non-native crayfish are detrimental to stream amphibians and native fish including Pacific tree frogs, California newt larvae, and steelhead trout. Restoring these streams will help native species flourish in the Malibu Creek watershed. We are seeking sponsors to Adopt-a-Creek with either a financial commitment or by making a volunteer commitment to care for a portion of a creek. Look for workshops starting in January.



At Mountains Restoration Trust we couldn`t do all this work without donors and volunteers like you. Your support makes our work possible. With you, we can continue our educational programs, outreach to youth, planting thousand of natives, and removing tons of trash and invasives from our waterways. Will you join us by making a year-end gift? When you make a tax-deductible donation to Mountains Restoration Trust, you are helping MRT continue land acquisition, restoration, and preservation. In the large encroaching urban environment of Los Angeles, we are working hard to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources in the Santa Monica Mountains. Your gift will help preserve these natural lands for many future generations!


Thanks and best wishes for the New Year,


Debra Sharpton,      Jo Powe
Executive Director, Board President


P.S. Got stock? Making a stock donation to MRT gives you the chance to realize tax benefits while helping support our mission to preserve, protect, and enhance the Santa Monica Mountains. Please designate on your donation slip or call our office directly (818)591-1701.



The Santa Monica Mountains, a unique transverse range, running along the western edge of Los Angeles County`s LA Basin and the San Fernando Valley and ending in Ventura County, represents the collision of urban sprawl and the wild, producing enclaves that neither belong entirely to the city nor to the mountains.

For more than 30 years Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) has worked to preserve, protect and restore this fragile ecosystem by offering responsible preservation and restoration programs, acquiring resource-rich land, and offering educational and recreational activities to the public.