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.

A Day of Reflection and Patience

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 3rd, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
The Maples – CLBL Headquarters

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 156 native plants (120 pollinator plants, 36 shrubs) along with tubex and bamboo stakes for each! Transplanted several hundred native grasses.

Summary of the Day:
Pioneer High School students kicked off the day with a fun game of “Mingle, Mingle, Mingle.” If you’ve ever heard of the tune that follows every conga line, then this is a game for you! Getting to know each other one question at a time students answered a series of questions while adjusting the size of their groups based on the number that was called out.

Following a fun warmup, students were asked to demonstrate the proper planting techniques they had learned a few weeks prior and introduced to an additional step with tubex and bamboo stakes. Splitting up into three mentor groups students planted a wopping 156 native plants along with the installation of gopher baskets, tubex, and bamboo stakes. Little did they know their day was only half finished…

After a much needed lunch, students were tasked with a reflection activity during which they had to be silent and utilize their senses to write down what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt. Students were pushed to think critically as we asked them to classify their “notices” and “wonderings” as abiotic or biotic. Introducing students to a smaller ecosystem (a plant) that was encompassed within the larger ecosystem they had just observed students were able to put their statements to practice and see how they related to all ecosystems.

To round out the day students engaged in a transplanting activity, introducing them to the cyclical nature of ecosystems and ways in which humans could make a positive impact on the larger ecosystem as a whole.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who has been instrumental in this field season. Additional thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible.

A Day of Reciprocity

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | February 17th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
The Maples – CLBL Headquarters

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

Mentors:
Beth DelReal, Caring for our Watersheds Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Amber Rosen, Senior Development Officer, 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 134 container plants with gopher baskets and installed ~1500 feet of irrigation line with emitters for each plant.

Summary of the Day:
For the first time this season we had students at The Maples, the Center for Land-Based Learning Headquarters, for a planting filled field day! Beginning with a discussion surrounding the act of reciprocity students ate breakfast and discussed how sharing food related to the restoration project we were about to complete.

Over the course of the day students reflected upon their impact on the environment by recognizing the peoples’ whose land we were working on (Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation) and discussing the dangers of a single perspective. Following the introduction to the space students laid out irrigation line and discussed the impacts properly installed drip irrigation can have on the survival of a plant.

Planting 145 container plants with gopher baskets and approximately 1500 feet of irrigation students got to see the impact of their efforts. Rounding out the day with a learning activity about ecosystems students further reflected on what they had learned and how they were positively impacting the environment.

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. Additonal thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible.

Subscribe & Share!