Rose Ashbach, a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science program at CSU Monterey Bay, has left her mark on the campus while helping the university implement its master plan.

Volunteers helped to restore three acres at the south end of campusFor her senior thesis, she developed a Habitat Management Plan for 109 acres of open space located south of the library. Months later, Ashbach was hired to implement her plan for three of those acres along the southern border of the campus, at the corner of Lightfighter Drive and Colonel Durham Street.

She used a community-based restoration approach that tied together CSUMB classes, volunteers, the Watershed Institute and her experience working at the Bureau of Land Management.
Community events were organized where volunteers planted and watered 2,000 seedlings.

Japanese students studying English at CSUMB volunteered for a dayVolunteers – staff, faculty, university students and community members – also created a half-mile nature trail through the area, removed invasive species and collected seeds that were then grown at the Watershed Institute and later planted on the site.

Students in a service learning class created signs for the area. One advertised the restoration efforts; the other was an interpretive sign that describes the process and explains how people can get involved in community-based habitat restoration.

The project “has been a great way to build partnerships with local community members and organizations,” Ashbach said. “It has created opportunities for students to leave their legacy on campus, and has provided service opportunities for students to connect with the campus open space habitats, native flora and fauna and the local community.”

The project helped the campus implement another master plan principal which calls for integrating “natural and green spaces into the framework for development” and to “enhance outdoor learning, social interaction, recreation and the overall campus ambiance.”

Said Anya Spear, associate director of Campus Planning: “I’m impressed by the variety and color of plants that are now growing on a site previously dominated by ice plant. So many of the newly planted natives are doing well even during such a dry year; this is what is supposed to be growing here.”

Learn more about Campus Planning and Development and read the master plan

Top: Volunteers help to restore three acres on the southern edge of campus
Bottom: Japanese students who were studying English at CSUMB spent a day volunteering on the project