At its April 2 meeting, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a grant of $1,500 to the Friends of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks from 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone’s community improvement funds.
Nature Center Park Interpreter Shelley Kibby said the grant would be used for both streambed restoration along Lily Creek in the county park and for lemon lily propagation.
Lemon lily propagation, a key goal of the annual Idyllwild Lemon Lily Festival, requires cultivation from seed to plant. It is a process, according to Kibby, that is currently being overseen by Deanna Eversole, as primary propagator. Eversole now has over 200 plants, some of which are three years old. Dave Stith, the visionary who developed the propagation plan, remains the inspiration for the effort, designed to restore the native lemon lily population to its prepoaching numbers of over 30,000 plants.
“The long-term plan for restoration is not and never has been to rely on commercially grown plants,” Stith said. “As a matter of philosophy and ecological concerns, we want to use plants from local seed stocks to restore the lily to its historical range in the San Jacintos.”
The Nature Center will hold two workshops on June 8 and July 20 to educate attendees about stream restoration efforts on Lily Creek and why locals should be ridding their properties of invasive species, such as vinca and heart’s desire, and using only native plants as ground cover. Part of those workshops will be removal of invasive plants along the Lily Creek streambed.
Grant funding will be used to further both projects — stream restoration and lemon lily propagation. “Supervisor Stone has been extremely supportive of these projects,” Kibby said.