Stewart Canyon Creek winds through Ojai, from the upper reaches of the watershed and through Ojai before joining into the Ventura River.  This waterway is a vital lifeline for local wildlife and a source of beauty and joy for residents.

Why Restoration?  Over the past 30 years, invasive and water-intensive trees have taken hold in many parts of our waterways.  In their abundant growth, they reduce flow in the creek down to a trickle and restrict the health and biodiversity of the plants and animals that would normally live here.  The non-native vegetation is also far more flammable than native oaks and other types – and every effort to reduce wildfire danger is potentially life-saving.

About the Project: In spring 2020, the City of Ojai was awarded a restoration grant from CA Department of Fish & Wildlife.  Restoration will take place along ½ mile of the creek and its banks, covering 10 acres altogether.  Over the next four years we will replace hundreds of eucalyptus and palm trees with oaks, willows, and over a dozen different types of native plants.  The project includes the installation of pathways and seating areas for visitors to enjoy, while also providing protection for wildlife.

Project Updates

Restoration activities in the Southern Project Area are complete.

  • Over 400 invasive non-native species removed
  • 2000 California natives plants planted
  • 200+ volunteer participants

Native Species Planted Include

  • Coast live oak
  • Valley oaks
  • California buckwheat (seeds)
  • Coyote brush (seeds)
  • Black walnut (seeds)
  • Creeping wild rye
  • Jimsonweed
  • Giant wild rye
  • Hummingbird sage
  • Purple sage
  • Mountain mahogany
  • Willow (cuttings)
  • Mulefat (cuttings)

Key Partners:

  • The C.R.E.W.
  • Pax Environmental
  • Channel Islands Restoration
  • California Conservation Corps
  • Crane Tree Service
  • Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
  • Once Upon A Watershed

What Are the Benefits?  We will remove trash and flammable debris from the entire 10-acre area.  Without the water-intensive invasive trees, flow and volume in the creek will increase and provide more abundant habitat for plants and animals.  The restoration area is already home to hundreds of native trees that will remain in place and protected during non-native removal.  Together with the newly planted vegetation, these trees will ultimately provide more shade and maintain the privacy of homeowners living along the waterway.  Educational workshops for community members, and field trips for school children are included as an essential part of this project.

This project is part of long-term work taking place throughout the Ventura River Watershed to clear invasive vegetation, which consumes more than its fair share of our precious, limited water supply and diminishes habitat health for the other plants and animals that call the watershed home.  Waterways overrun with invasives are limited in our access and enjoyment – and our vision is that through this cumulative restoration work, someday the water will again run freely from the mountains to the sea and allow steelhead and other species to live abundantly in our region.

Keep current as the project progresses at the City of Ojai info page.  You can also contact The C.R.E.W. at 805-649-8847 and we’ll answer any questions and keep you in the loop.  Be sure to sign up for opportunities to participate in planting events, educational workshops, and more!

Volunteer Opportunities!  Join us on our Volunteer planting and watering days,Volunteers will aid native planting and watering efforts of Native Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), California sycamore (Platanus racemose), Valley oak (Q. lobata), Black walnut (Juglans californica), and several other native species. Sign up today!( insert Stewart Canyon Restoration Project | City of Ojai ( )

Volunteer Day Information: 

  • 9am – 12pm, meet at parking lot West of City Hall – 401 S. Ventura St, Ojai
  • Wear long pants, sturdy shoes, work gloves
  • Bring water and a snack-light refreshments will be provided
  • All ages are welcome; under-18s will need to have a parent/guardian sign the volunteer waiver
  • All volunteers must sign the volunteer waiver ( insert Stewart Canyon Restoration Project Volunteer Agreement.pdf – Google Drive)
Volunteer Dates :
Community Watering Days
June 18th , 9-11
July 16th, 9-11
Volunteers can sign up  HERE