A dedicated group of environmentalists have spent thousands of hours over the past decade trying to make a 40-acre patch of California look like California.
Want to see some of the Bay Area's great outdoors this weekend? Head over to Santa Clara to take part in Wildflower Day at Ulistac Natural Area. It will be a rare opportunity to take a walk back in the California of old.
The 40-acre park on Lick Mill Boulevard between Hope Drive and Tasman Drive is the last remaining open space in Santa Clara.
The parcel of land was a city golf course that was saved from development in 1997 in part because of the dot com bust. Developers had their eye on those 40-acres along the Guadalupe River hoping to build housing for Silicon Valley's exploding workforce. When the economy crashed, so did that need.
Since then, community volunteers have banded together to form the Ulistac Natural Area Restoration and Education Project or UNAREP.
The group has been working to restore the open space to its natural habitat when Ohlone native Americans lived there and formed a village.
The group included long-time Santa Clara Unified science teacher Dennis Dowling.
For the past twelve years Dowling and company have spent thousands of hours trying to restore native California plants to the area, and weeding out the invaders. They are, in essence, trying to make a part of California look like California once again.
To see their progress, watch Garvin Thomas' story above.
If you'd like to visit Ulistac in person, they are celebrating their annual Wildflower Day this Saturday, April 6th. You can find more information about the natural area, including the address here.
The event goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include park tours, educational displays, nature-oriented art and craft activities for kids, animals, and live music.