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.

An Ode to the End of Winter

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 17th, 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
Stephanie Douglas, University of California Master Gardeners

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: Planted ~130 native pollinator plants and installed 900 feet of irrigation with 130 emitters for the upcoming hedgerow.

Summary of the Day:
On our final SLEWS day of the winter season, we had a very special opportunity to work with University of California Master Gardeners assisting in the planting of a pollinator habitat at La Tourangelle. With the support of the Yolo RCD, Woodland High School students installed the entire irrigation line with emitters for the upcoming hedgerow project followed by planting and mulching of the pollinator garden.

Learning about the property of La Tourangelle and the great products they produce students got to engage with a local farm that impacts their personal ecosystems. One student even mentioned they could see the farm from their back yard, if that isn’t farm to table, I don’t know what is! Learning about pollinator habitats through play-based activities students were able to model a basic ecosystem of a bee and relate that to the habitat they had just planted.

We are looking forward to our second and final field day at the end of April when we will have the opportunity to plant the hedgerows and engage in reciprocity by weeding the previously planted pollinator garden!

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD, the La Tourangelle Foundation, and the UC Master Gardeners who made this site feasible for the SLEWS Program. Additional thanks to Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible.

We Are Nature Nuts!

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 8th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Good Humus Farms

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:
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 native plants along with tubex and bamboo stakes for each!

Summary of the Day:
Ever wonder what it’s like to play steal a native plant? If you want to get to know your native species and add a little competition in it, steal the native plant is the perfect game for you! For the second field day at Good Humus Farm students focused on getting to know that plants around them and those that they would actually have a hand in planting. Steal the native plant is very similar to steal the bacon, students get the opportunity to get familiar with all the plants first before they compete to the center to touch the plant and get back to the starting line. If you want to do a fun “play-based” activity then this is certainly one of the best!

Throughout the day students also had the opportunity to work with their mentor groups to plant natives species, install tubex, and bamboo stakes. Practicing proper planting techniques students were able to plant 100 native plants in total!

To get their senses flowing before the reflection activity students had the opportunity to “Meet a Tree.” If you are interested in what that activity entails check out one of our previous blog posts! This play-based activity geared students up for a 15 minute solo sit during which they were given the opportunity to draw what they saw, write down phrases of what they notices, or make a story. Some of the SLEWS students said:

“I wonder what this farm looked like when it was first purchased?” -Alejandra, Davis HS

“Many living things rely on the ground cover.” – Elijah, Davis HS

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.

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