Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | May 3rd, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
La Tourangelle

Participating School:
Woodland High School

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Christine Polycarpe, La Tourangelle Foundation
Nathan Leathers, Yolo Farm to Fork

Mentors:
Heather Lyon, West Sacramento Urban Farm Program Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Alex Lintner, GrizzlyCorps Fellow, Center for Land-Based Learning
Miles DaPrato, Environmental Steward, University of California Davis Arboretum and Public Garden
Carol Maxwell, Restoration Ecologist, GEI Consultants
Gina Radieve, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources

Accomplishments: 119 shrubs and grasses along with tubex, bamboo stakes, and mulch!

Summary of the Day:
There’s no better way to end a SLEWS season than with some phenomenal productivity! Woodland High School students had their second and final field day at La Tourangelle completing 4 sections of hedgerows, planting 119 grasses and shrubs.

Re-introducing students to plants along the hedgerow we utilized our sense of touch and smell to identify plant cuttings within paper bags. Tasked with finding their assigned plant along the hedgerow students honed in on their identification skills. Following this activity students created plant ID cards using a variety of resources. Creating their own identification card for the plant of their choice they were able to share with others what they believed was crucial to know about a specific plant.

To round out the final day we concluded with a closing circle that gave students a chance to say one word that resembled their experience with the program. With words such as “inspiring,” “educational,” and “fun,” I left the field day appreciative of the community everyone was able to build.

We would like to thank all of our partners for their amazing work to support this project. Thanks to La Tourangelle for letting us work on their amazing property and the Yolo Resource Conservation District staff for allocating time to teaching students proper planting techniques and providing the materials necessary to complete the project. Finally thanks to Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation for providing the funding to make this site possible through the Yolo Creek Community Partnership.

When a Project Comes Full Circle

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | April 14th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
The Maples

Participating School:
Pioneer High School

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Mentors:
Beth DelReal, Caring for our Watersheds Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Jeanne Wirka, Ecologist, Center for Land-Based Learning
Alex Lintner, Grizzly Corps Fellow, Center for Land-Based Learning

Accomplishments: Planted 180 grass plugs, mulched approximately 200 plants, and installed 15 blue bird boxes

Summary of the Day:
We had our third and final field day with Pioneer High School students and it was nothing short of incredible. Students had the unique opportunity to work in three different groups to complete tasks such as installing blue bird boxes, planting native grass plugs, mulching existing habitat, and even installing a “SLEWS was here” sign! Learning about the importance of each as they rotated through the activities students planted a whooping 180 plugs, mulched approximately 200 plants, and installed 15 blue bird boxes.

Following a filled day of restoration we were given the opportunity to listen to speakers from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Natural Resource Conservation Service/Point Blue Conservation, and the CLBL Incubation Farming Program. Laverne Bill and Sarah Morgan from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation spoke about the cultural and environmental significance of projects like ours, their positions within the tribe, and the processes they follow when it comes establishing hedgerow projects on tribal lands. To further connect students to the implementation process of The Maples specific project, Corey Shake from NRCS/Point Blue Conservation introduced students to the nature of blooming seasons and the importance of diversifying the plants to encourage pollination all year round. To bring us home, Paul Boulware, owner of Picnic Table Farm spoke to us about how he got his start in agriculture and why he chose to grow organic produce. He even gave us a taste of his produce handing out kale, swiss chard, and radishes!

With the Center for Land-Based Learning headquarters located along the edge of The Maples site it was truly rewarding to see this site come full circle. Showing students the hedgerows of years past we hope they can take what they learned and apply it to their homes and future careers in natural resources.

We would like to thank all of our partners for their amazing work to support this project. Thanks to NRCS & Point Blue Conservation students were able to see what goes into the planting decisions. Additional appreciation to the Yolo Resource Conservation District staff for allocating time to teaching students proper planting techniques and providing the materials necessary to complete the project. Finally thanks to Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation for providing the funding to make this site possible through the Yolo Creek Community Partnership.

Proud, Accomplished, and Inspired

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | April 5th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Good Humus Farms

Participating School:
Davis High School

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Point Blue Conservation Science
Natural Resource Conservation Science
Annie and Jeff Main, Owners of Good Humus Farms

Mentors:
Anna Tolle, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Erna Piper, Retired Science Teacher
Corey Shake, Partner Biologist, Point Blue Conservation Science, NRCS
Josh McCabe, Restoration Coordinator, ACRT Pacific
Joaquin Pastrana, GrizzlyCorps Fellow, Yolo RCD

Accomplishments: Planted ~110 native pollinator plants, emitters, tubex, bamboo stakes, and straw mulch

Summary of the Day:
After 3 packed field days students from Davis High School saw an end to their amazing work at Good Humus Farms. Overcoming massive piles of vegetation, bone dry planting sections, and the famous northern winds they planted the final piece of the ~220 native plant hedgerow. The knowledge students bring to the table never fails to surprise me. Acknowledging the difficult aspects of the work and pushing through it despite the difficulties, students taught me the art of perserverance. Seeing their accomplishments recognized with a “SLEWS Was Here” sign installation students walked away proud and inspired.

They showed the knowledge they had learned through the creation of a Path Map (shown above). Working to embrace the arts and writing in the outdoors students created an incredible and representative piece of art for their time in the SLEWS program. Working to connect their experience back to their homes and classrooms, students also discussed what they could do to support their community when it came to its environmental impact. With climate change at the forefront of our minds students had great ideas to assist in the carbon sequestration process. One student was even inspired to develop her own garden in her back yard starting with strawberries!

We’d like to thank everyone for their contributions to this project! A special thanks to Yolo RCD and Annie and Jeff Main (owners of Good Humus Farms) for providing us with a great site to work at and direction for the restoration project. We also like to give an additional thanks to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and NRCS whose contributions make this project possible.

Subscribe & Share!