Restoration Principles


Two students from Mission San Jose High School wrote this story.  It is about a young frog, Pacifica, who learns about the terrible conditions of  Mission Creek before the creek was restored.  This book is available on the internet as an “Electronic Storybook” (http://msnucleus.org/membership/index.html).  Below is a written copy of the text.  You may want to use the book as an introduction of restoration and how important it is to think of the water flow through a city and the affect it has on the smaller creatures of a stream.

The following are possible vocabulary words that may need more explanation for students to fully understand the story.

Coir logs - Roll of coconut fiber, often used in bioengineering systems to provide erosion control along a stream bank, also helps to  support the establishment of new vegetation, especially willow stakes.

Erosion -  Removal of soil particles by wind and water.

Eucalyptus tree -  A tall tree, whose outside bark peels and native to Australia.  Arrived in California in the 1800’s as a quick growing tree.  It produces chemicals that do not allow many native wildflowers and grasses to live in the undergrowth.

Lagoon -  A body of water that is not moving.

Meander -  When a creek moves into a “s” pattern, reflecting a slow down of water velocity.

Pacifica Frog –  The name of the character in “Through a Frog’s Eye” referring to the Pacific Chorus or Tree Frog (Pseuacris regilla) which is found in Mission Creek.

Restoration -  Bringing an area back to a specific time (before humans lived in an area; before the ice age,  etc).

Rip-rap  - A layer, facing, or protective mound of stones, randomly placed to prevent erosion or scour at a structure or embankment; also the stone so used.

Straw wattles -  Temporary large, woven mat  made of straw, that is placed over a steep bank and to hold back erosion and to act as a surface for seeding quick growing wildflowers and grasses. 

Sycamore tree -  Grows along creek beds and has a characteristic greenish-gray  smooth bark.  Native sycamores have large tree lobed leaves.

Tule -  This aquatic plant has long, green reeds.  Tules go dormant during the winter and grow rapidly during the spring and summer. Native to California wetland areas.

Turkey vulture -  A large bird with a characteristic red-orange, naked, small head.  The bird is a scavenger that feeds on the meat of dead animals.

Webbed feet -  An adaptation by birds, amphibians, and reptiles that usually use the water for swimming.  Helps capture water to help propel more efficiently.

Story - Through a Frog's Eye, by April Yang and Frances Kwong.

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