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.

The Mighty Mentors of SLEWS

SLEWS Program | Central Valley | January 27th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
The Maples

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

Mentors/Volunteers:
Jeanne Wirka, Alex Lintner, Beth DelReal, Heather Lyon, Morgan Caudill, Anna Tolle, Ric Murphy, Sara Lipschutz, Brandi Murphy, Nick Gallagher, Joaquin Pastrana, Grace Ferguson, Amy Williams, and Natalia (SLEWS Intern!)

Accomplishments: 12 native grasses and 86 shrubs/sub-shrubs planted with tubex, bamboo stakes, and fully mulched! 800 feet of drip irrigation installed.

Summary of the Day:
A total of 14 SLEWS mentors and volunteers came together to complete the east hedgerow on The Maples property. Despite the absence of students, we were able to kick off this field day “test run” in the typical SLEWS fashion. Volunteers got the opportunity to engage in a project from start to finish, planting a total of 98 plants complete with drip irrigation, mulch, gopher baskets, tubex, and bamboo stakes. Preparing for the day students return to the field in February, mentors had the opportunity to ask clarifying questions, get to know the partners they would be working with, and of course enjoy the famous SLEWS burritos at the end of the day rewarding all the hard work they had completed.

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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