It's no cemetery: Restoration project under way

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 00:52:21-05

It looks like a cemetery in the middle of nowhere, but a project in the South Bay is actually a place for new life.

"It is pretty striking imagery when you see it," said Dave Roberts, a restoration ecologist with River Partners. "This is a habitat restoration project."

River Partners is behind a $1.5 million project to restore parts of the Proctor Valley Natural Resource Area just east of Chula Vista. They're using empty cartons of juice and milk to protect 26,000 new plants, trees and bushes from hungry wildlife. The cartons are lined up over 50 acres like headstones at a military cemetery.

"No, but we do get that comment a lot," said Roberts.

The restoration project is expected to be completed in three years.

"You'll see plants out here that are probably 15 feet tall," said Roberts.

The habitat was stripped over the years by grazing and wildfires, and the nearby Otay Reservoir used to cover parts of the land.

The California Natural Resources Agency and California Water Resources Board are funding the $1.5 million project.

River Partners has restored more than 8,000 acres of natural habitat in California.