Friends of Ballona Wetlands Volunteer Work

A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, Andrew Jares Oldfield works as a construction superintendent for Georgia-based Holder Construction. When not at the jobsite, Andrew Jares Oldfield maintains an interest in the environment and volunteers with the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve in California.

Established almost 40 years ago, the Friends of Ballona Wetlands operates with the help of more than 95,000 volunteers to restore and protect the area. It also advocates for the area and educates others about the wetlands.

One of the organization’s primary initiatives is its award-winning volunteer restoration program. This program gives volunteers a chance to restore the coastal ecosystem while learning about its importance. Volunteers work to remove plants, animals, and microbes that encroach upon the wetlands.

From 1999 to 2007, volunteers removed more than 8,400 cubic yards of trash, debris, and invasive plants. This equated to more than 450 tons of material. They also planted more than 800 native plants along the coastal sand dunes. Each month the organization continues this goal of keeping the habitat restored, and those age 7 and older can help. The organization provides gloves and equipment.