On Tuesday, March 13 Florin High School students and teacher Raven Castro returned for their final SLEWS Day of the school year. Though the weather dictated that most of the day’s activities were done inside, everyone was enthusiastic to tackle the day. On hand to mentor and assist were Matt Lechmaier and Leo Tuchman from SLEWS, Xeronimo Castenada from Audubon, Jacob Byers of US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Katy Dynarski and Ross Brennan, both grad students from UC Davis.
After a quick breakfast snack, the first project of the day was building birdhouses for our riparian restoration site. The three groups were supplied with all the supplies needed and a mentor to help them through the process. Once complete, the groups proudly signed their birdhouses for all future visitors to see.
Next up the groups were shown some pelts, bones, and skins from various local wildlife. Each team was assigned a pelt and an info card and presented interesting facts about their animal to the rest of the class.
After lunch, the class was given samples of various citrus fruits in an exercise to compare those purchased from a farm versus those purchased from grocery stores.
The last indoor event allowed the students to interview the mentors. Each group rotated to various stations and picked the brains of each mentor – interested (and sometimes surprised) to learn all the paths that led them to their respective jobs.
Finally, the students were issued rain gear and boots and headed to the restoration site. There, they installed their birdhouses and briefly checked in on plantings that were done during previous SLEWS days. Once done, everyone regrouped and reviewed everything that was learned that day before loading back onto the bus and heading back to school.
Much thanks to the Florin High School students, their teacher, and all of the mentors that made for yet another successful SLEWS school year. We look forward to the fall and another group of kids!