First Field Day Fun!

Davis High School at Good Humus Farms SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | February 8th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Good Humus Farms

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

Mentors:
Beth DelReal, Caring for our Watersheds 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 100 plug plants (Mugwort, Goldenrod, Verbena, and Evening Primrose) and installed 2,050 feet of irrigation line

Summary of the Day:
The SLEWS program has long awaited the day that students would be able to return to the field and it finally came on Thursday when 20 Davis High School students had their first field day at Good Humus Farms.

To start off the cold day we circled up and got to know each other through a group dancing game where students get to pick their own dance to match their name. Shortly after students got to gain perspective as to what this project means in the large scheme of things. We discussed different types of models and got the opportunity to act a model out as we discussed population dynamics and human impact.

Eager to get to the restoration activity, students met landowner, Annie Main. Annie introduced students to the history of the farm, the importance of organic farming, and the impact prior hedgerows have had on the farm due to the extreme winds they experience. Wanting to make a positive impact, students got started on their hedgerow project by installing 2,050 feet of irrigation and planting 100 plug plants (Mugwort, Goldenrod, Verbena, and Evening Primrose)!

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. A final thanks to the owners Annie and Jeff for allowing us to assist with the planting of hedgerow on their farm.

Follow Good Humus Farms Here: https://www.goodhumus.com

Ice cream in the Capay Valley

Woodland High School at Pharm Schaer
SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 14, 2019

Participating School
Woodland High School

Partners/Landowners
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Candice Schaer

Mentors
Fanny Ye, Soil Conservationist, NRCS
Gina Radieve, Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources
Miles Daprato, Environmental Steward for UCD Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship Department

Summary of the Day
For our last field day out in the beautiful Capay Valley (Guinda, to be exact) Woodland High students arrived as they always do – ready to WORK! Our task for the day was mulching around the 170 native plants on the perimeter of Candy Schaer’s property. Mulching will give these plants a better chance of survival as it will reduce weed growth and moisture loss around these young plants.

Before we could get started, we gathered for opening circle and a few rounds of PVC golf. Then Alex Tremblay of Yolo County Resource Conservation District showed students how to properly mulch, putting cardboard around the base and then spreading nearly a wheelbarrow full of mulch around each individual plant. This was quite the task, as the irrigation line was 1400 feet long – meaning full wheelbarrows needed to be carted all that way, over and over again!

Luckily Woodland students were eager to tackle this ambitious project and quickly settled into an efficient routine. Some students took on the task of laying down cardboard and spreading mulch, while others loaded up wheelbarrows, while others volunteered to be the “muscle”, pushing heavy, full wheelbarrows all the way to the end of the line. Students switched tasks when they got tired, but many students enjoyed the hard work and wanted to be wheelbarrow-pushers for the entire morning. One student kept everyone entertained by speaking in a southern accent and giving herself a funny nickname!

After a well-deserved lunch, Candy had a fun surprise for the students – ice cream she had made, leftover from the Capay Valley Almond Festival! This was a wonderful treat for our last field day, and was especially delicious after such a busy morning.

After lunch students had a chance to interview mentors to learn more about their education and career paths. Since many of these students are about to graduate and start their own journeys, interviewing mentors is a fantastic opportunity to learn about careers in the environmental sciences, and get advice from professionals in the field. To close the day, we gathered to reminisce on our favorite memories from the past three Field Days. Thank you to the small but mighty crew of students from Woodland High!