A Sense Filled Experience

A student massages the plant pot to release the roots from the base.

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 1st, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Free Spirit Farms

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Toby Hastings – Free Spirit Farms Owner

Mentors:
Morgan Caudill, Sacramento Valley & San Joaquin FARMS Program and Youth Internship Manager, Center for Land-Based Learning
Aaron Haiman, Senior Environmental Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Board
Sara Lipschutz, Soil Conservationist, USDA NRCS
Leigh Siracusano, Grizzly Corps Fellow

Accomplishments: Planted the remaining container plants and installed tubex, bamboo stakes, and mulch to all of the plants!

Summary of the Day:
This week students focused on keeping a slow and steady pace, working to ensure all the plants that went into the ground were planted at the proper depth, received tubex and bamboo stakes, and were topped off with a good helping of mulch!

Following the major accomplishments the students achieved in the first two field days we decided to hone in on our under-utilized senses by getting rid of our sight. Working in pairs students had the opportunity to “Meet a Tree.” Students were guided by their peers to a specific tree on the field site and asked to use their sense of smell, touch, hearing, and taste to become familiar with their tree. After a few minutes their partner guided them away from their tree moving in various directions. After taking off their blindfold they were they tasked with finding their tree and defending their claim with evidence they had collected when meeting their tree earlier.

Following the many rounds of “Meet a Tree” that unraveled, students had another opportunity to get up close and personal with the tree’s ecosystem by finally using their sight. Breaking down the ecosystem into three section (base, trunk, and canopy) the students recorded the abiotic and biotic factors they saw and worked to argue their decision based on evidence they had from their prior experiences and information they had collected throughout the day.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who helped with the implementation plan and took care of our plants before the long awaited planting day. Additional thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible.

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