On Thursday, March 8, 2018, naturalists from WOLF School were invited to participate in one of their favorite activities--a local collaboration championing environmental stewardship within the community!
In honor of Arbor Week, which is recognized annually in California from March 7th through 14th, City of Watsonville Public Works staff, City of Watsonville Parks and Rec staff, Web of Life Field School environmental educators, the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, and 18 students from the New School teamed together to plant a total of 13 trees--3 black tupulo, 5 coast live oak, and 5 sycamore trees--at Seaview Ranch Park in Watsonville. The New School also selected one of the newly planted trees to honor their beloved, late, social studies teacher, Mr. LaFortune.
The tree planting was part of the City of Watsonville/Watsonville Wetlands Watch's larger Urban Forest Revitalization Project. The City and Watsonville Wetlands Watch, in partnership, received a grant from California Climate Investments and CalFire to plant over 300 urban trees over the course of two years to increase urban shade and decrease urban heat island effect, create habitat for local animals, wildlife corridors for birds, and to sequester carbon in a changing climate.
Arbor Week is intended to educate Californians on the value that trees provide to building successful, healthy cities and neighborhoods, and to encourage residents to take part in planting trees during this week. Trees are a valuable economic asset in our cities and towns and play a role in energy conservation, improving air quality, protecting water resources, providing habitat, and contributing to the overall health of residents. This is also the perfect time of year for a planting, where its typically not the thick of winter or the hot temperatures of late spring and summer.
WOLF School was thrilled to be a part of such a positive project for Watsonville, and to work with students from New School in the environmental betterment of their community.
"One of our messages, and main goals, as an organization is to encourage California's youth to incorporate acts of stewardship within their own communities. So to get the chance to participate in such a positive collaboration in our community was really meaningful, and to do it alongside local students with support from the City of Watsonville was a testament to the impact that occurs when we work together," said WOLF School Naturalist Marie (Seal) Wegrich.
Story contributions from Rachel Kippen, Environmental Special Projects Coordinator, City of Watsonville Public Works.