Friends of Waterdog, a project of Humanity Through Education, is focused on restoring and protecting native habitat and the wildlife who use or live in Waterdog open space in Belmont, California.
Friends of Waterdog is the only all volunteer group focused on restoring Waterdog habitat by removing invasive plant species such as French Broom, Scotch Broom and Pampas Grass. Because these species are highly flammable removal also lowers the risk of wildfire threat in Waterdog open space. Since 2021, with the support of the City of Belmont, Friends of Waterdog has been removing invasive species years and has donated more than four hundred volunteer hours restoring habitat in Waterdog, and beyond.
On November 21, 2022, Parks & Rec Director Brigitte Shearer, in an email, suspended Friends of Waterdog’s volunteer invasive plant removal program by telling me to “hold off on any plant removal at this time.” Despite requesting clarification for the suspension, the City has not responded. Canceling the one and only volunteer program in the City that fulfills the City's General Plan's Goal, Policy and Action regarding invasive species in the open space is ill-conceived; not to mention the utter disregard, disrespect and unprofessional treatment of an all-volunteer effort.
Pampas Grass, French and Scotch Brooms and other non-native invasive species are presently ready for removal. Pampas Grass can be removed year round. French and Scotch Broom removal is seasonal; it has to be removed before it seeds to stop the spread. For more information on Friends of Waterdog click here.