Two Earth Team Interns spoke at the Wildland Volunteer Network’s annual conference in Oakland. The conference dealt with ways to engage and retain volunteers interested in wild land management, and featured speakers from a variety of organizations.
The two San Lorenzo Earth Team Interns, Liza and Nayla, gave brief summaries of why they joined Earth Team and what they have liked about the program. This gave the other attendees a better idea of what they can do to engage youths in traditionally under-served communities.
The event was also a great networking opportunity for the interns, as they were able to connect with professionals in environmental stewardship. All in all, everyone came out ahead and the conference was a great success.
San Lorenzo High School’s Earth Team Internships are well underway this semester. Students started the semester with some team building and setting group agreements, and learning about the program.
Campus coordinator Ben McLaughlin has been helping the interns learn the tree species that are most common in their communities. Students have been honing their identification skills in order to be able to complete the Tree Inventory of San Lorenzo that our interns have been working hard on for the past few years.
We are excited to welcome our San Lorenzo Interns to the Earth Team Family!
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!
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.
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
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!
In 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!
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.
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!