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Central Coast Students Cultivating the Climate in Which We All Live!

Story by CCW staff, photos by teachers, parents, and staff

This May, Central Coast Wilds nursery (CCW) provided 100 CA native trees to Janet Stahl’s first grade class at San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The students planted these trees at their homes, many of which were affected by the CZU lightning Complex fires this past summer. A funny coincidence is that one of Janet’s students is Holden Hansen, our own Garrick Hansen’s son. And also a big shout out to Richard Gessner at Monarch Consulting Arborist for purchasing the trees...another great class dad! The students have named their trees and are keeping nature journals.

Nature journals from Janet Stahl's class
View the fourth slide at each link to see the students' work.
Anthony's tree
Iona's nature journal
Holden's nature journal

Time to plant some trees!

Iona digging
Iona planting an oak tree
Iona planting an oak tree.
Iona Iona watering her box elder
Iona watering her box elder.

Janet tells us:
I have my fingers crossed that next year we can figure out a way to do a field trip and maybe a service learning project to learn about and help with collecting or propagating trees.

Colby and his tree
Colby standing next to his newly planted tree.

Matt Marshall virtually visits Janet's class! (click play to watch video)

Shelby and Matt at the nursery with a truckload of trees
CCW’s Shelby and Matt at the nursery with a truckload of trees; Acer negundo, commonly known as Box Elder, and Quercus agrifolia, commonly known as Coast Live Oak for Janet’s 1st grade students.
student planting a native yarrow
Here is a picture of a student digging, planting, and watering Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow.

Sam Adelson with the Coastal Watershed Council runs an after school program at Bay View Elementary called Watershed Rangers in which 3rd and 4th graders learn about watershed science and advocacy. They do fun activities focusing on erosion, steelhead trout, native plants, water conservation, pollution prevention, and the list goes on!

plants near the school

The students will follow their growth by measuring plant height, counting leaves, and doing field sketches throughout the remainder of the school year. Sam creates opportunities for Action Projects so students can make a difference and implement what they’ve learned. They’ve made and posted flyers, passed out native seed packets courtesy of Central Coast Wetlands Group, and this time around, the students wanted to plant native species to attract more butterflies and ladybugs to their Life Lab garden and protect the soils!

Planting a bioswale at Bay View Elementary

Team Bioswale, go!
Team Bioswale, assemble!

Sam Adelson tells us:
I just facilitated another native planting of CCW plants at Bay View Elementary to close out the school year. This time wasn't with the afterschool program but with Kathy Chaput's 1st/2nd grade combo class who replanted the campus' new bioswale!

planting the bioswale
Students preparing the ground for new plants.
the finished bioswale
The replanted bioswale in its natural habitat.

Students growing plants at the nursery

Ellen C pair baiting
CCW’s Ellen C., who is also a UCSC student, pear-baiting plants to ensure that they are free from Phytophthora in order to protect native oaks from the disease.

Central Coast Wilds often works with UCSC students, giving them volunteering and employment opportunities so they can develop skills for careers in botany or horticulture while they grow the plants that will be used to restore habitats. Students can apply here for a volunteer position.


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