Learn to Conduct Tree Inventory (Video)

Starting this upcoming week, Earth Team interns will once again be spending meetings surveying neighborhoods in unincorporated Alameda County for tree data! As a refresher, our team from San Lorenzo High has been inventorying as many trees as possible in these county areas using a map called OpenTreeMap. Not only does this map allow anyone to see the data we’ve collected, but it also has built in calculators that can quantify the large number of benefits the trees provide.

As part of their presentation at the YES Conference, some of the interns made a short video that shows how anyone can take part in tree inventory. Click here to check out the video and start logging trees near you!



Community Restoration Day at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline


Despite worries of cold, rainy weather, Earth Team’s community restoration day at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline went amazing! Interns from San Lorenzo High hosted this volunteer event March 24th, 2018. As you may already know from reading our blogs, Oyster Bay is a beautiful coastal park that used to be a landfill. Earth Team has been working on restoring the natural habitat at this site, thanks to the Alameda County Fish & Wildlife Commission. With the help of East Bay Regional Parks, our teams have been participating in public outreach and education, invasive plant removals, native plant and tree plantings, and vegetation monitoring.

To start out the day, our interns gave a short welcome speech to over 15 volunteers and split them up into two groups; invasive species removal and planting of native species. Those removing invasive species focused on 2 different plants: pampas grass and French broom. Both of these plants are stubborn and take a lot of effort to remove. The teams removed several large bags full of both species of plants.


The other group focused on planting native plants that will enhance the habitat here, including sagebrush and toyon. Time flew by as they planted quickly and efficiently. These efforts were incredibly successful and a total of 89 plants were planted! Way to go volunteers! We had individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages.


After all the hard work was over and the mud was scraped from everyone’s boots, it was time to come together and celebrate. Over a light lunch, interns and volunteers reflected on the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. East Bay Regional Parks was even nice enough to provide some awesome swag for our volunteers as well as information about summer job openings. (Click here for more information about seasonal employment with EBRPD). A big thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this day so successful and productive! See you next time.


Volunteering at San Lorenzo High School’s “Beautification Day”


Back in March, several San Lorenzo Earth Team interns attended San Lorenzo High’s “Beautification Day”. This event was hosted by the school’s environmental club called “Druids”, whose goal was to plant over 30 trees that day. It’s great to see that our group of Earth Team students go above and beyond in their roles as environmental stewards and attend events outside of our program. Here are some reflections from the day:

“On Beautification Day I joined other students, staff, and even parents to plant trees that will benefit our school campus. Altogether, we planted almost forty trees. There was already a plan for where the trees were going to be planted. Our job was to put the tree in the ground, making sure it was leveled, and mixing the soil and dirt. We also put wood chips around the tree and watered them. It was a fun event and we all worked together to do something that will benefit our school campus for many years to come.”

– Sarai Montes, San Lorenzo High Earth Team Intern

Beautification Day this Saturday was really fun. We learned how to plant a tree so it doesn’t get too much moisture but also doesn’t dry up. A lot of people showed up to help plant a total of 37 trees. We had to plant the trees while it was raining but I think that made it a lot funner. I had a lot of fun on Saturday and I would love to do something like this again.

– Ruth Montes, San Lorenzo High Earth Team Intern

On Beautification Day there was much rain and it made it difficult to work. During this event there were many people attending like QTSA members, 2 members from our board, and Druids/District Task Forces. It was interesting to see all the volunteers try to figure out what to do. There was a lack of tools and moments when people weren’t distributed efficiently. But over all we accomplished  a lot and did achieve our goal of planting all the trees.

– Charlie Pereda, San Lorenzo High Earth Team Intern

More Oyster Bay Restoration

Pamela Beitz (EBRPD) showing the interns how to clear a planting site.

Did you know Monarch butterflies are currently residing at Oyster Bay? San Lorenzo High interns got to see these beauties first hand this past weekend while engaging in more restoration work here at Oyster Bay. The butterflies were clustering in some pine trees, waiting for the day to warm up so they could go exploring for food and avoiding any photo opps.

After checking out the butterflies in the morning, the interns continued their work from last time: planting native flowering plants that can provide food for the butterflies. In just a short time, the team planted 2 monkey flowers, 4 blueblossums, 1 gumplant, and 8 goldenrods. After putting these plants in the ground, the group then pulled up broom and pampas grass seedlings (both invasive species). Some spots were challenging to dig in due to the large amount of rocks in the ground, but as it was their 3rd time out at Oyster Bay, the interns were able to work efficiently and with confidence.

The group ended the day with a discussion on plans for the future and how to get community members involved. Stay tuned for more information regarding an upcoming community event and a way to get active at Oyster Bay!

Interns digging a hole for their plant.


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!




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! 


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!


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

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

Written By: Anica, Albany High Intern 



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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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!