Heron Bay. A Clean Beach Finally!

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Yes!  A Clean Beach… Finally!

Last week, our SLZ interns made their way to Heron Bay in San Leandro to participate in a litter clean up by the shoreline. We were happy to be led by Amy Evans of the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, who gave us a brief history of the area then helped us pick up litter.

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Heron Bay is a housing community and marshland situated at the end of Lewelling Blvd., only about 10 minutes from San Lorenzo High’s campus. There are beautiful walking paths that wind through the marshlands and near the shoreline and connect as part of the Bay Trail. As we walked along the path, students took note of wildlife in the area, including egrets and feral cats.

When we reached the shoreline, students split into groups with gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and ipads to record our data using an app called the Marine Debris Tracker. The app allows you to record type and GPS location of all trash, which is then uploaded to our own website and map.

In about an hour, we collected 624 pieces of trash! Unsurprisingly, 75% of the total trash we cleaned up was plastic materials. (**Plastics contain toxic materials, are unable to biodegrade, and pose a strong threat to wildlife, who often eat the materials thinking the are food.**) On the pie chart below, you can see the breakdown of different trash categories:

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Check out our more detailed map HERE!

By participating in the clean up, interns learned that not only is it satisfying to pick up trash, but it’s also FUN! Here are some things they had to say about the day:

It’s really nice knowing that you’re able to make a place more beautiful. It surprised me that new waves of trash wash up every time.                                – Tony Vuong

I really enjoyed going to Heron Bay. It was a fun experience. I was surprised to have seen all the trash that our shore is surrounded by.                              – Ariana Umildad

I wasn’t very surprised about the fact that there was a lot of trash. It’ kind of disappointing because you would expect people to be better            – Akiyah Jones

Lastly, we want to give a big thanks to Amy Evans for inviting us to work with her and providing inspiration to our interns in such a beautiful location!

Thanks for reading!

LEADERSHIP . STEWARDSHIP . SERVICE

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Interns attend Brower Awards

IMG_0646In mid October, San Lorenzo High interns joined Oakland Tech and Antioch High at the Brower Awards ceremony in San Francisco. This annual event highlights the work of youth around the country who have achieved many great things while working on a variety of environmental projects. Our interns listened to the winners give speeches and were inspired by many of the projects. Here is what one student had to say about the event:

I really like the girl who started the program of below 2 c°. That one stood out the most because of its ability to easily implement in school. I also love how she was able to influence the other schools around here and the student there. All of the awarded individuals made me feel empowered to make a change but this one made me want to apply her idea in my school. I Also really enjoyed the presentation of the group that took part in stopping projects that harm the environment. I know my fellow interns felt inspired because I could hear them cheering the loudest.

  • Charlie Pereda, SLZ Earth Team intern

The fun night out reinvigorated the interns and brought about an increased sense of purpose in the fight against climate change. Another cool point is that many of the winning projects were very similar to projects Earth Team has worked on and we hope one day our interns can apply for this award as well!

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SLZ Interns hit the street for their first day of inventory!

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At the end of September, interns went into action conducting their first of many tree inventories in the unincorporated Alameda County area in a project for the Alameda County Public Works Agency.

Why inventory our trees?  Tree inventory is important because it helps cities gather information about their urban forest. Conducting an inventory helps cities know what species are where, how many of them are there, their size, and so on. This data can be beneficial to create tree-maps or even target areas that need more diversity or maintenance. It can also be used to calculate the environmental benefits of our urban forests. Tree inventory is usually done through the city, often by hiring an arborist or consultant – but for San Lorenzo, interns are stepping up to the challenge! 

Interns geared up and worked in teams of 3-4 on specified routes in San Lorenzo. Each team had safety vests, diameter tapes, tree ID binders, and iPads. For each tree, they recorded the trunk’s diameter, species, GPS location, and took a picture. All data was put into an app on the iPad called Open Tree Map.

Even though the interns were challenged by tree ID and navigating the app, they did a great job with their first inventory day, logging just over 100 trees! They are looking forward to many more days out in the field.

Thanks for reading! 

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2017-2018 Earth Team internships under way!

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Earth Team is back at San Lorenzo High for another exciting year of hard work and fun! San Lorenzo High Campus Coordinator Natalie Escue presented with fellow Earth Team staff members to 22 classes and reached over 550 students for this years program recruitment. After receiving over 50 applications we narrowed it down to 14 hardworking and ambitious interns!

Our team spent our first meeting getting to know on another, learning about program logistics, and created bios. Check out our team HERE!

Earth Team is looking forward to another awesome year at San Lorenzo High!

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Thats a wrap! The 2016-2017 Program Comes to an End…

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STUDENT BLOG *

In June of 2017, Earth Team internships for the 2016-2017 school year came to a wrap after a successful year.  With 158 interns from 9 different East Bay Area High schools interns were able to engage over 14,440 fellow peers and community members! Interns completed over 1,000 working hours, including plenty of field visits, conferences, public events, and more. 

Some of the completed projects Earth Team was able to accomplish were..

5,000 sq. ft Lawn Transformation Installation at Hayward City Hall

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 Litter March to Raise Awareness and Reduce Litter in Oakland

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Installation of a 3-Bin Waste System at Oakland Tech High School

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Urban Forestry Planting at Wanlass Park

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900+ Trees Inventoried in San Lorenzo 

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AND SO MUCH MORE! 

We had a great year and are looking forward for the ones to follow!

Written By: Anica, Albany High Intern 

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Interns take to Bodega Bay!

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On Thursday, June 22nd, Interns from San Lorenzo High, Antioch High, Alameda High, Oakland High, Albany High, and Alhambra High joined together for a Summer Camping trip to the beautiful Bodega Bay area! This trip was unique to some of our past outings, with a total of 15 participants creating a closeness and unity within the small group.

The day began with an intriguing visit to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Shelter in Petaluma, CA. To begin, interns received a short educational presentation about the organization and the variety of ways they strive to achieve their mission statement; the dedication to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, and the promotion of appreciation of wildlife through educational outreach programs.

Next, interns participated on a tour of the property, where they stood eye to eye with bobcats, cougars, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, learning about each animal’s story in becoming a permanent part of the Wildlife Rescue family. In addition, interns learned all about what types of environments these animals need to thrive, and how humans can help facilitate the protection of these wonderful creatures.

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In our Earth Team program, we try to emphasis the concept of leaving places “better than you found it”. Interns did just that as they closed up there visit at the Shelter by assisting staff with the pulling of weeds throughout the tour site and spreading mulch in the pathways. Out team was appreciative of the opportunity to give back to an organization that does so much for our beloved local wildlife.

After the Shelter visit, it was time to head to the beach! Interns camped out at Doran Regional Park and got the sweetest of campsites right along the shoreline. After working together to set up camp, interns enjoyed a few hours relaxing, playing, and exploring the coastline of Bodega Bay.

Soon after is was time for dinner! Interns worked together cutting up and preparing all the ingredients needed for “Tin Foil Dinners”, a camping tradition new to all of our intern participants. Once everything was ready to go, interns piled loads of veggies and whatever else they wanted into a tin foil wrap and placed it in the scolding coals of the bonfire. While food was cooking, interns played a variety of group games on the beach to past the time. Food was finished shortly after and it stood out as an unanimous highlight from the camping trip overall!

To end the night, interns enjoyed S’mores over the bonfire playing card games and other interactive games like Mafia. In addition, interns split up into groups where they came up with skits that had to do with our coast line, safe to say the skits were extremely entertaining! HAH!

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Interns finished off the trip early Friday morning after packing up all their goods and saying farewell to the beautiful view. Participants were asked “What do these trips mean to you?”, here is what our interns had to say..


“These trips mean to me that I’m able to do things that I love. That means that I’m able to leave my crowded house and help my neighborhood and make the world a little better than I was given it. They mean that I can slightly change our world. “

– Jeremiah, Antioch Intern

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“This was the first time I ever went on a camping trip and I enjoyed it. I loved setting up the tents and cooking the food with a campfire. Overall, I had an amazing time.”

-Jessica, Alhambra Intern

– – –

“These trips teach me a lot. Before Earth Team I was not interested in the Earth. I thought it was dull and boring. But joining Earth Team I learned more about the Earth and it really opened me up. Also in Earth Team I learned to be more social and not shy anymore. I can actually talk to people.”

-Marco, Antioch Intern

– – –

“During these trips I can always go home and continue to tell stories , it’s a great way to communicate with people and come together to restore areas or even just enjoy each other’s company. These trips are definitely something I look forward to.”

-Gabby, Antioch Intern

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“These trips mean a lot to me because they show me that there really are other young people out there that care about environmental issues”

-Julian, Oakland High Intern

– – –

“These camping trips are incredibly important to me because it allows me time away from my chaotic life to appreciate nature. When camping I was reminded of the importance of protecting our precious ecosystem at all costs. Being away from city life and seeing nature in its rawest form along with a group of like minded people who are dedicated to environmental preservation and sustainability was very empowering.”

-Naliyah, San Lorenzo High Intern

– – –

“These trips give me the opportunity to take a break from all the stress I have at home. I also get to meet new people, and make a visible difference in the world (cleanups, restoration) while having a good time. Earth Team is a cool little niche that I like being a part of.”

-Anica, Albany High Intern

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“These trips are a fun way to get outside during the day and forget about the civilized world.”

-Jacob, Alameda High Intern

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“Being able to go on these camping trips gives me the opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I want to continue going on these camping trips because I truly had fun during the two days I went camping.

-Destin, Alameda High Intern

– – –

“These camping trips give every person who has gone or not gone camping the opportunity to meet new people. These trips also include new places to visit and help. Being able to go to these kind of trips are always a blessing. I wish I can always go to trips with everyone like this.”

-Glenn, San Lorenzo High Intern

– – –

“Earth Team camping trips are meaningful to me because the bonding activities allow me to connect/meet other interns. The Bodega camping trip is definitely a great way to disconnect on social media and enjoy the nice weather. I am impressed of how Jenna handles every situation efficiently and making sure that everyone feels comfortable. It was also nice meeting interns that I have not seen before as well as seeing familiar faces. My favorite part of this trip was trying new camping foods and playing new games”

-Julia, Alameda High Intern

– – –

“This final camping trip – without being dramatic – meant the world to me. This was an extremely fun trip that will be memorable in my whole Earth Team career. I joined Earth Team in my junior year and have had so many fond times and this was the perfect way to end it (unless there’s alumni events!). This is my 3rd camping trip with Earth Team and this is by far my favorite because of how little people there were. It was so intimate and I was able to talk to every person who came to the trip and have conversations/make jokes. Also the games were easier and less frustrating to play. Finally the food, o mah gahd, it was so tasty. Best dinner I’ve had in a long time!! It was so much better because it was an authentic camp fire cooked meal.

With two divorced immigrant parents, I never went camping growing up in the U.S. and never had the chance to set up a tent and sit around a campfire. This trip makes me feel more in touch and have a personal connection with the environment. I love Earth Team and I love Jenna!!!!!!!!! <3″

-Jessica, San Lorenzo High Intern

Thanks for reading! 

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Interns wrap up the year!

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On Tuesday, June 6th interns joined together for the last day of the year at a location that meant a lot to our group. Interns sat around some warm pizza (and some vegan goodness) as they gazed upon their lawn transformation site at the Hayward City Hall, one of their biggest service learning projects of the year.

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This was the first time visiting the site after the 80+ volunteer day. The blisters and sore backs have recovered.. and seeing how our beautiful garden grew gave us all the satisfaction we needed to wrap up the year.

Interns participated in a short reflection, recalling all the many moments that made up our year together. From Oyster Bay to Downtown San Francisco, Camping at Slide Ranch to Landfill visits, its safe to say everyone had a unique moment that they will hold onto.

After our bellies were full, it was time for certificates and stipends! Since our SLZ Team has so many returners (most of them graduating) Jenna decided to put a twist on the handing out process. Instead of her giving them all out, interns certified and congratulated one another, each saying what they liked about their fellow intern as they handed of their certificate!

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It was a bittersweet feeling to roll up, in the big white van, to San Lorenzo High for the final time of the year. So much so that most interns decided to just hang out in the van and refuse to accept that the year was over!

We have grown together so much as a team, all interns becoming environmental leaders in their own unique ways. Together we have accomplished a lot including; City Sustainability Interactive Board Game, Over 300+ Plantings, 5,000 sq. ft. Lawn Transformation, and 900+ Trees Inventoried for the Alameda Public Works Agency.

We are so proud of our interns for what all their hard work. Can’t wait to see what our Seniors accomplish, and hope to see some familiar faces back for next year!

Great job to the 13 San Lorenzo High 2016-2017 Earth Team Interns!

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Interns conduct Tree Inventory for the Alameda Public Works Agency!

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*STUDENT BLOG* 

For the past few weeks we have been working with Alameda County Public Works Agency to conduct Tree Inventory of San Lorenzo. Often times people will cut down trees on their own lawns not knowing they can be fined for it. By conducting the tree inventory we are able to give the county a better idea of and keep track of the tree species that inhabit the city of San Lorenzo while also informing residents of the regulations and classifications of their trees.

To prepare for our tree inventory we created tree identification binders and made ourselves familiar with the tree inventory app, Open Tree Map, created by Alameda County Public Works Agency. Each one of us was given a tree commonly found in San Lorenzo to do research on, draw the leaf then categorize it under the different tree. While we were out in the field we used the tree identification binder to classify each tree and enter it into the app to keep track of it. Each person was given a task; tree measurer, tree identifier/safety, and app operator. Once we identified the tree and count the diameter in inches the app operator entered it into the description and took a picture of the tree, as well as logged its location.

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The way that we did our work is by creating groups of three with their members having their own roles, which were mentioned above. After the groups are formed, these groups get to pick the routes for each zones in order to avoid collision of groups and ensure all trees in the right of way (8-10 ft off the curb) are recorded.

Going through the zones and collecting data’s of trees are grueling, but it is fun nonetheless. I get to see how some people in my group react to the environment and events happening around us, like the time when we encountered kids in the neighborhood who took interest with what we did. I had fun supervising my group because of their constant squabbles, which is funny to say the least. Another thing that I enjoyed a lot is my interactions with people in the neighborhood. Some are really nice, which gave me more energy to go do my work efficiently. Other than that, it is all a good experience for me.

 Written By: Glenn & Naliyah, SLZ Interns

Thanks for reading! 

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LEAF 2017 at Slide Ranch!

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On May 5-May 7th interns from all 9 programs were invited to participate in the 17th Annual LEAF (Leadership and Environmental Action Forum). This event is in celebration of interns leadership, stewardship and service throughout the year. Interns camped out for 3 days and 2 nights and got to participate in loads of activities with Slide Ranch staff including; goat milking, tide exploration, beach clean ups, garden tending, cheese making, and more!

We had a great time taking our youth out to the beautiful outdoors to continue to foster a deeper connection to our coasts. Here is what one of our SLZ participants had to say about the trip!

“My favorite part of the trip was having a whole day to do different activities like milking goats and making cheese. Because San Lorenzo is a food desert it was quite inspiring to be able to take matters in my own hands and make food in which I know exactly what is going in it. Going to this farm was very inspiring and made me want to someday own a farm or at least going Near-o/Zero Waste. I’ll take away new experiences, like building a tent. I’ve always had them made!” – Jessica, SLZ Intern 

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Thanks for reading! 

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