Fairfax Open Space Committee partners with SEA-DISC to combat invasive species


Charlie Fee

Invasive English Ivy has protruded onto the bleachers adjacent to the football field.

On May 20, Archie Williams’ SEA-DISC will host an invasive ivy pull on the Archie Williams campus. In collaboration with the Fairfax Open Space Committee (FOSC) and the San Anselmo Open Space Committee (SAOSC), SEA-DISC (the Archie Williams environmental science academy) works to combat the growth of invasive English ivy near the baseball and football fields. The ivy pull, which will be supervised by SEA-DISC leader, is largely a youth-led project, and all Archie Williams students are encouraged to participate.

Archie Williams SEA-DISC students participate in four major projects per year. Students work with community members and local experts on issues such as creek revegetation, alternative energy, river health, sustainable agriculture, endangered species conservation, overpopulation, and marine biology.

The FOSC worked with many volunteers, including SEA-DISC members, to protect disturbed environments in and around the Fairfax area.

Michael Ardito, Co-Secretary and Youth Member Liaison of the FOSC, helped coordinate the event. 

“The FOSC exists to preserve ​​the visual and environmental values of our community through the purchase of undeveloped land in and around Fairfax. The goal is to provide sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna for future generations,” Ardito said. 

Invasive English Ivy protrudes onto the track adjacent to the football field. (Charlie Fee)

As Youth Member Liaison, Ardito will supervise the coordination of the ivy pull on May 20.

“[The FOSC, SAOSC, and SEA-DISC are] combining efforts for youth to lead a stewardship project which we’ve delegated to the youth members… This is the first time that FOSC youth members have led an effort on [Archie Williams] campus,” Ardito said.

Youth members of the FOSC serve for one or two years and often attend Archie Williams. Archie Williams junior Teddy Catrini decided to join the FOSC. 

“[The FOSC] was originally planning on doing a broom pull but we decided that we would do an ivy pull around the Archie Williams football field,” Teddy said.

Teddy believes the upcoming ivy pull will be of service to the Archie Williams community and student body.

“We wanted to clean the school up and we knew that the school was a very big deal in the community…I feel like [the ivy pull] is definitely doing something for the community and the school,” Teddy said.

All student volunteers at the May 20 ivy pull can receive credit for their community service hours if permitted by a SEA-DISC instructor.

The Archie Williams Garden Club will provide tools. The FOSC advises volunteers to wear long pants, a long-sleeved top, and closed-toed shoes.

The upcoming ivy pull is set for May 20 at 9:30 a.m. SEA-DISC looks forward to hosting the first ivy pull on campus in collaboration with the FOSC and SAOSC.