Geography 1 – Section 0410
7 May 2014
Physical Geography Field Project On April 7th 2014, I visited the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center located on 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, California 90593. This site that I visited is within the perimeter of Sepulveda Blvd. and Plaza Del Amo running from east to west, and Maple Ave. and Madrona Ave. running from north to south. The entrance is located on the south end of Plaza Del Amo between Madrona Ave and Maple Ave (closer to Madrona), with the parking lot and Nature Center being located directly on the other side of Plaza Del Amo. If you aren’t careful, you’ll miss it just as I did and you can’t conduct a u-turn, so you’d end up having to make another trip around the whole place. The setting of the Madrona Marsh Preserve was pretty basic in my opinion. Upon entering the gated area that actually contain the Marsh, you’ll notice two dirt walkways: one going left and the other to the right. Also, you’ll notice trees, tall & very dry grass, and high grass that looked very alive since they were near and inside of the water. For the most part, this site was mainly flat and leveled with exception to what appeared to be a massive and gated man-made pond in the southwest corner of this site that was about thirty yards deep. Within the first few steps I took from the entrance, I almost got ambushed by a group of fire ants and swallowed what I believe was a fly, so I got a feeling that this would be interesting. The elevation of the Madrona Marsh Preserve is roughly seventy-four feet above sea level, often gets flooded at different elevations, and covers between 2-17 acres when flooded according to one of the pamphlets. The Madrona Marsh also consists of uplands and willows where they’re occupied by different forms of wildlife.
The only con about this visit was the weather. It was at about 10:30 when I arrived and it was incredibly hot and the air was dry with a little bit of wind. The heat seemed to never go away, but luckily the shade that some of the trees gave off made this trip a little more pleasant. To be exact, it was 83 degrees according to www.wunderground.com. The weather that day was about average around this time of the year, since it usually hot during late April and early May.
The Madrona Marsh contains a vast amount of plant communities. For instance, there were ten different types of trees there such as oak, arroyo willow, black willow, red willow, eucalyptus, sycamore, cottonwood, mulefat, and elderberry. There were other plant families as well such as caper, sunflower, oenothera, pea, and amaranthaceae just to name a few. According to the website www.friendsofmadronamarsh.com, “Native trees (California Sycamore, Freemont Cottonwood, Red Willow and Coast Live Oak) have been planted in the drier areas away from the wetland. The cottonwood is in sites of higher soil moisture. The willow is in areas with prolonged saturated soils.” The cottonwood trees are more than likely the source of why there was cotton floeating around the air over by the west end near the ponds/lakes that were connected to each other by small channels. The plant species that dominated was the sunflowers since those were the most noticeable plant during this trip. I’m not quite sure if there’s a certain name for the high grass that grows out of ponds/lakes similar to those in the swamps in Florida, but those were all over the south and west portions…