Madrona’s Makeover: Madrona Marsh Receives Restoration Grant


Art/Photo by Hannah Vickers

The sapling nursery at Madrona Marsh houses young plants as they grow, before they are transferred and planted. With the grant, the marsh can now tend to more young species of rare and endangered plants.

Hannah Vickers, Staff Writer

  In light of the recent environmental movement, people have been more aware of nature and the importance of preserving it. What better way to recognize that than restoring Madrona Marsh, Torrance’s very own nature reserve?

  A recent grant of $470,000 presents the opportunity for restoration of Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center’s vernal (marshland) area, generously sponsored by Coastal Conservancy, a non-regulatory state agency seeking to protect and restore shoreline habitats and economies. According to The Daily Breeze, Madrona Marsh will “finally see the overdue restoration of its vernal pools, [a] critically important wetland habitat home to numerous rare plants and animals, including two species of fairy shrimp.” Coastal Conservancy explained the plan for Madrona in greater detail: “The City of [Torrance] will restore and enhance important wetland habitat by re-establishing the floodplain surrounding three vernal pools at Madrona Marsh. Contractors and Friends of Madrona Marsh volunteers will plant native plants and remove invasive, non-native plant species.” Their donation is well needed, considering the state of the reserve.

   West High Environmental Club event coordinator, Ty Urabe (12), recounted his own experience volunteering at the marsh: “I remember it was really dry, not really what you would expect from a marsh area…you could tell it was kind of dying, a lot of the plants out there were browning.” Urabe went on to address the project’s funding, lamenting the extra pocket money that could’ve been, but recognizing that times are tough. 

   He explained, “A lot of schools are cutting down on their stuff because the budget’s very low, so I understand that there’s not much money to go around in the first place.” Ideally, Urabe would have liked the grant to be more generous, but he was still happy about the restoration plans.

  Aishwarya Thakre (12), a previous volunteer of Madrona Marsh, offered her own take on the situation: “I think that any dollar that is granted to Madrona Marsh is warranted. Volunteers have been working on preserving the marsh and making sure that it is clean for as long as I can remember, and I can’t think of any environmental group more deserving.” 

   Thakre believes that the grant is especially needed, as “Madrona Marsh is imperative to the conservation of nature; it really prides itself on clean-up and restoration of land, and it’s huge for habitation of diverse species.” Seemingly little steps on paper can make a big difference for the nature reserve’s opportunities.

  “I think people will keep visiting in the future,” Thakre concluded. “Both volunteers and admirers. Madrona Marsh is a key part of Torrance, and it always will be.” Until then, Madrona Marsh can take this small victory in stride.