OC Parks and County of Orange are blowing the whistle on invasive species taking over parts of Aliso Creek. The primary culprit: Arundo donax, a giant reed that has overgrown approximately 25 acres in the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. Our crews were hired in September to help remove this and other non-native vegetation and return native plants to the area. Arundo donax has been growing freely in the area for decades – some areas are populated nearly 100% by this greedy reed, which means that the naturally-occurring ecosystem has been disrupted. The restored habitat will make Aliso Creek a healthy home again for “sensitive species,” such as the Bell’s vireo, the southwestern pond turtle, the California coastal gnatcatcher and the San Diego coast horned lizard. By January 2014, the goal is to have less than 5% non-native plants growing in the area.