Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | May 3rd, 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

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: 119 shrubs and grasses along with tubex, bamboo stakes, and mulch!

Summary of the Day:
There’s no better way to end a SLEWS season than with some phenomenal productivity! Woodland High School students had their second and final field day at La Tourangelle completing 4 sections of hedgerows, planting 119 grasses and shrubs.

Re-introducing students to plants along the hedgerow we utilized our sense of touch and smell to identify plant cuttings within paper bags. Tasked with finding their assigned plant along the hedgerow students honed in on their identification skills. Following this activity students created plant ID cards using a variety of resources. Creating their own identification card for the plant of their choice they were able to share with others what they believed was crucial to know about a specific plant.

To round out the final day we concluded with a closing circle that gave students a chance to say one word that resembled their experience with the program. With words such as “inspiring,” “educational,” and “fun,” I left the field day appreciative of the community everyone was able to build.

We would like to thank all of our partners for their amazing work to support this project. Thanks to La Tourangelle for letting us work on their amazing property and 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.

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.

Woodland High at River Garden Farms

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | January 21st, 2021

Location of the Field Day:
River Garden Farms

Partners/Landowners:
River Garden Farms
Audubon California
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Participating School:
Woodland High School

Mentors:
Fanny Ye, NRCS
Jared Borba, UC Davis
Katy Dynarski, UC Davis Soils and Biogeochemistry
Laura McGowan, UC Davis Atmospheric Science
Ross Brennan, UC Davis Entomology

Accomplishments: 200 shrubs planted

Summary of the Day:
Twelve Woodland High School students accompanied teacher Jerry Delsol to a cool, foggy riparian habitat restoration site for their second of three SLEWS days at River Garden Farms. The goals for the day were to help staff from River Garden Farms, Audubon California and US Fish & Wildlife plant a variety of different trees and shrubs native to the area, and to learn about some of the bird and mammal species that will benefit from these habitat restoration efforts.

After an Opening Circle and planting demonstration provided by Matthew Danielczek of Audubon California, the students divided into four groups and focused on planting native shrubs and trees along two rows of drip irrigation that they had installed during their first visit in October. The Woodland high school students upheld their reputation of being hard-working as they planted about 200 trees and shrubs alongside their UC-Davis mentors in saturated clay soils. As they moved along the irrigation line, students got to choose which species to plant from a variety of 16 different trees and shrubs, and made sure to alternate shrubs and trees to reduce competition for sunlight. Once the plants were in the ground and quality control was completed, River Garden Farms staff were on hand to install the emitters that will deliver water to each of the plants during the summer dry season. The collaboration resulted in an efficient habitat restoration operation!

Students were rewarded for their efforts with some sunshine and a hearty lunch of burritos sunshine before the focus shifted from habitat restoration to learning about native species that will benefit from this riparian habitat planting. Everyone played a game of “Who Am I?” to learn about different bird, mammal and plant species native to the Sacramento Valley. Once they identified the identity of the species on the card they were given, each student shared a fun fact about their species based on the information on the back of their card. To wrap up the day, SLEWS Coordinator Matt Lechmaier shared some study skins and animal artifacts of some interesting wildlife native to the area.

During their third and final SLEWS day scheduled for Thursday, March 16th, restoration efforts will include finishing the irrigation system and installing wildlife nesting structures, and learning activities will include soil testing and learning from mentors about their education and work experience.

Thanks to everyone for everyone’s contribution to a fun and successful day. A special thanks to Jeremy Channel Ferree for documenting the day’s accomplishments and for representing River Garden Farms staff. His blog and Facebook posts can be found here:

https://www.rivergardenfarms.com/news/river-garden-farms-has-its-second-slews-day/
https://www.facebook.com/rivergardenfarms/

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