Twelve Woodland High School students (along with their teacher and a chaperone) participating in the Center for Land-Based Learning’s SLEWS programs braved the cold foggy morning and returned to River Garden Farms Wednesday, January 25 for the second in a series of three visits to continue work on our Riparian Habitat Project.

The goal for the day was planting a variety of sixteen species of shrubs, trees, and grasses that are native to the area. The day was headed up by Matt Lechmaier from the Center for Land-Based Learning, while Matthew Danielczyk from Audubon provided the planting layout and instruction. On hand to assist and mentor once again were Jacob Byers from US Fish and Wildlife Service, and UC Davis Grad Students Ross Brennan, Katy Dynarski, and Jared Borba.

The day started with breakfast and a huddle to get acquainted, establish the goals for day, and get in some stretching to get the muscles loosened and the blood pumping to face the cold morning ahead. After being educated on the plants and given a tutorial on the digging and planting process, teams were established, and everyone got started on the day’s work.  Small holes were dug and the small shrub and tree saplings were planted every 15 feet (the students measured and marked for spacing on their previous SLEWS day). Shrubs and trees were alternated, with the species for each planted randomly for variety. The students all worked with enthusiasm and determination. By mid-morning the fog had lifted and the sun was out, and by the time it was time to stop for lunch, nearly 200 saplings over a near ¾-mile stretch had been planted! After the lunch break, the students reconvened for a few educational exercises covering local native species and to recap what had been accomplished and learned.

We were once again very impressed with and appreciate everyone’s hard work and contribution to the restoration project. We are looking forward to having this great group out again in March for the SLEWS Day for this group, where they will install emitters onto the irrigation hose that they put down during their first visit, as well as check on the progress of today’s planting.

Thanks again to all that made this day a great success!