North Richmond Urban Nature Loop Point of Interest #3
Native plants and animals are well adapted to the unique climate, water regime, and geography of their environment. Here, we highlight a couple of the native plants and animals that also call this watershed home.
In our watershed, we can find grasses, shrubs, chaparral (drought and fire-adapted shrubs), riparian plants (found along riverbanks), and various trees, such as Willow and Cottonwood. These trees create shade for other plants and help them survive. One of these is the California Blackberry (scientific name Rubus ursinus) growing in vast areas along the banks for the creek. California Blackberries are a type of riparian shrub that has edible fruit. Many birds and wildlife depend on these blackberries for food. Humans can eat them too! Swipe right on the picture above to see if you can identify any California Blackberries…but be careful of any plant thorns!
We also often see mallard ducks swimming in Wildcat Creek, which you can see in the video below. If you’re lucky, you might catch a different bird flying among the trees: the Wilson’s Warbler (scientific name Cardellina pusilla). This small yellow bird has a beautiful chirping sound that helps remind us that we share this neighborhood with so many incredible plants and animals.
We selected 10 plants and animals of Wildcat Creek and worked with an artist to create unique illustrations for children along Giaramita and Chesley streets – check out Point of Interest #12 – Safe Routes to Schools. You can learn more about these plants and animals and learn some fun facts about them here.