FARMS Leadership Program at Cresta Ranch - February 3, 2011

On February 3rd, local high school students planted 80 oaks, bay, toyon and other native trees and shrubs along Porter Creek at the Cresta Ranch alongside former landowner and long-time rancher Bill Cresta, Supervisors Shirlee Zane & Mike McGuire, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District (SCAPOSD) General Manager Bill Keene, and Caryl Hart, Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks.

The property, recently acquired by SCAPOSD, boasts preservation of 340 acres of oak woodlands, riparian habitat and grazing land. Students learned from many partners and organizations about the role of creek restoration in attaining water quality goals and the role of seasonal grazing in land management. The restoration project compliments the working landscape with plans for future management by Regional Parks. Under a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant with funding from Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and education funding from SCAPOSD, Southern Sonoma County Resource Conservation District partnered with Sotoyome RCD to host the FARMS Leadership Program on the Cresta property. High school students together with Friends of the Mark West Watershed volunteers planted trees as part of a riparian restoration project to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat. Other accomplishments included the installation of 36 protective cages to keep grazing cattle from harming the new seedlings.

We thank our partners for a successful field day and commend the students from Windsor Oaks Academy, Sonoma Valley HS, Casa Grande HS, and Carpe Diem/Sonoma Mountain HS who worked hard! Special thanks to Greg Damron from Pepperwood Preserve for the great photos below …

We value the support from The Nature Restoration Trust as well as PG&E, which provides for community-based conservation of California's natural resources.

To learn more about the FARMS Leadership Program and read about our other field trips for the current and past school years, check out the Center for Land-Based Learning's website at: www.landbasedlearning.org

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