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.

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.

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