Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 30th
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

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual