Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Oct 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Students Develop Green Skills, New Pogonip Trail

blog earthstewardsHigh school volunteers participate in a yearlong program dedicated to environmental job training

Many—particularly teenagers—find it difficult to wake up early on the weekends, but for 150 local high school students, recent Saturdays have been spent dedicating a total of 700 hours of manual labor to learn environmental stewardship.

These youth are volunteers through the Earth Stewards Program, which began in October 2012 and is a partnership between the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

The volunteers, who include students from Kirby and Ponderosa high schools, improve parks through trail development while receiving green job training. For the first project in the Earth Stewards Program, they are assisting with construction of the multi-use Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip.

The idea for the 1.5-mile trail was born about four years ago, and construction began last spring, once the community support, donations and permits had been acquired, according to Heather Reiter, the chief ranger for the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department.

The trail will connect Gold Club Drive with the Rincon fire road and the U-Con Trail, and beginning users should be able to navigate the trail easily.

The Earth Stewards Program has been working with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) to work on the trail every Saturday since the Santa Cruz City Council approved the recommendation for the project in March 2012, and, so far, the volunteers have cleared 500 feet of the trail.

"Students have been building rock walls, clearing roots and stumps, and clearing the way for the bridges on the trail," says Reiter. The volunteers have also learned to recognize which plants are native and non-native species, which is critical to the healthy maintenance of plants in Pogonip.

According to MBoSC, the project has accumulated more than $30,000 in donations.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History developed the idea for Earth Stewards about a year ago, after realizing that it was important to reach out to teens and connect them with nature.

"We recognized a need to help connect high school students with stewardship, and to help them develop green skills, like trail building," says Reiter. "We wanted to show them why it is important to preserve the plant and animal community in Pogonip."

Students were initially chosen based on their interests in nature, the environment, and sustainability, but the program has received several volunteer applications. Since the program’s implementation, many students have stepped up to apply for higher positions within the Earth Stewards Program, such as task management and peer leadership.

"It was a really great way to get them out to contribute to the community and to help build something sustainable," says Reiter. "We are trying to build on the educational aspect of green skills with hands-on work through this program."

The next workday session is this Saturday, April 6.

For more information, visit mbosc.org/local-parks/pogonip. Photo courtesy of MBoSC. 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Light Humor

College comedy questions a post-racial America in ‘Dear White People’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher