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The Many Uses of Native Plants

Did you know that many of Pala’s native plants were traditionally used for more than one purpose? For instance, manzanita provided food, medicine, construction materials, and was used in rituals. The berries were used to make a tea-like drink; mashed into a jelly; or  dried and ground into flour for mush.  The seeds were  ground into meal for mush or cakes or used in turtle shell rattles. A tea from the leaves was used to treat diarrhea and poison oak. The trunk and branches of the bush were used for firewood, construction, and making broom, tool and pipe handles.
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Pala’s Big Cats on Camera

The Pala Environmental Department has been lucky enough to take part in several exciting wildlife research projects throughout the county. The newest project is aimed at monitoring mountain lions. Our wildlife biologist Kurt Broz has been assisting Dr. Winston Vickers, a veterinarian from UC Davis, and his crew with research that aims to track, and protect, our imperiled mountain lions.
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Xeriscape Your Landscape!

Spring is here, signaling for most people that it’s time to start your gardens.   As California enters its fourth straight year of severe drought, we should all think about landscaping with low water use plants, instead of water-hogs (like grass & tropical plants).
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Protecting Our Oak Trees

With the start of spring and warmer temperatures there will be a noticeable increase in insects and the diseases that they carry. One that is of serious concern is the Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB), which is a flathead borer that causes mortality to oak trees. Experts believe it was introduced into the Descano area of San Diego County by the transport of infested firewood from Southwestern Arizona in 2004. The GSOB mortality of oak trees has since spread to other portions of San Diego County as close as Julian and isolated areas of Idyllwild in Riverside County.
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Spring is Allergy Season!

Spring brings a variety of health concerns, including allergic reactions to airborne pollen and asthma.   Each spring, tiny particles known as pollen are released from trees, grasses, and weeds.  Pollen is transported by wind and when we breathe them in they can trigger an allergic reaction known as Pollen Allergy or Hay Fever.  During an allergic reaction you may feel a number of uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing; nasal congestion; coughing; itchy and watery eyes; runny nose; itchy throat; itchy skin; hives; fatigue; irritability; and allergic shiners (dark rings under the eyes caused from restricted blood flow near the sinuses).
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Facing the Drought Emergency

California is facing one of the worst drought seasons in recorded history, and with climate change and all of our thirsty lawns, it is only going to get worse. On January 17th, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency for the entire state, and requested that everyone voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. Last year was the driest year ever recorded for the San Diego area, and 2014 is looking to follow this record, in spite of our recent rain storm.
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