On a mid-October morning, 34 Colusa High School students participated in establishing critical monarch habitat in an oak woodland restoration site. These CHS seniors are apart of the Environmental Science Academy, a program spearheaded by Biology teacher, John Wirt, which aims to create and prepare the next generation’s science leaders. The students were not afraid to get their hands dirty and brought a keen awareness that their choices today and tomorrow have an impact on the world around them. Within a couple hours over 500 monarch beneficial plant species were trasplanted, 1/3 of which were milkweed. The monarch plants for this project were awarded to a 2018 CHS graduate, Chloe Ferraiolo, who applied for a “Pollinator Kit” from the Xerces Society as apart of her senior project. Read more about that here.
With extra time and helping hands, additional irrigation line was rolled out on the next phase of the restoration project that is apart of the Farm 2 School grant the Colusa County Office of Education received in 2018. The Farm 2 School plan for the Education Village in Williams has set aside 3 acres to be restored to native California flora as a demonstration of what the Sacramento Valley once looked like. Craig Richards, retired CHS biology teacher and ESA lead, is the project manager for CCOE’s Farm 2 School plan and implementation. Within this last year, irrigation infrastructure was put in, raised beds were built for the market fresh garden, and the greenhouse was put into full use to grow transplants (both native and garden variety plants).
The biggest take away from the morning monarch habitat planting is that there is on-going ecological care happening in Colusa County and those who came before are passing the baton to good and able hands. The CCRCD looks forward to more restoration projects with both CCOE and the 2020 ESA senior class so stay tuned!