Richmond High School Urban Forestry Interns Complete ’15-’16 Internship

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The EarthTeam Richmond High School Urban Forestry Interns recently celebrated their final meeting of the internship, completing a year of trees, dirt, and mulch. Interns spent much of the year learning dendrology and training as an arborist. How does a healthy tree grow? Where should you plant a tree? How do you plant a tree? And why should you plant a tree? Students were immersed in experiences that sought to answer all these questions. They spoke with experts like UC Berkeley Forestry Professor Joe McBride. They planned a demonstration forest in the City of San Pablo’s Wanlass Park. They also planted lots and lots of trees.

95 young trees, in total, now grow in the cities of Richmond, San Pablo, and El Cerrito, because of the hard work of the interns. Through their effort planting trees they even managed to break a few city records. At Wanlass Park in San Pablo they set the record for most volunteers at an event, and the record for most trees planted in one day. (They set the record with 20 trees.)

“Wanlass Park was my favorite event because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, having to lead strangers.”Enrique Alegria

The interns would later also tie their record for most trees planted at Davis Park in San Pablo.

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The East Bay is a little greener thanks to this year’s Urban Forestry Interns who together planted more than 90 trees over the course of the internship.

During their learning experiences, students learned many things about trees and how they are managed in the city. In one project they learned how to discern harmful tree pathogens and diseases.

“I learned about how trees are like human beings with health issues.” Brian Alvarez

The interns even had a chance to educate the City of San Pablo’s City Council about the presence of a fatal tree disease, bright blight, in some trees along San Pablo Avenue.

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Interns presenting their findings regarding fire blight in San Pablo.

When the interns were asked to reflect on their work during the year and why it was important, some students saw the value of the impact they made and the skills they learned.

“I felt like I was a part of something more than just planting a tree in the ground, but part of a revolution. We as a community are developing skills to improve our society and ourselves.”Sara Gordian

“Some of the skills that I learned was that begin organized is very important. In the future I’ll use this skill to help me organize whenever I ever host an event and have everything in order so that things won’t get chaotic.”Perla Luna

“I learned leadership skills and public speaking skills. I learned how to be a leader with my group.”Fernanda Martinez

Students also considered why other students should join EarthTeam in the future. Student’s suggested that the program provided valuable experiences and one student recognized their new appreciation for the outdoors.

“I learned to enjoy nature. Something I never did before.”Shaneen Britton

“They should join because it is a great program. They will gain lots of experience and skills for the future. The students and staff are amazing! This program is worth giving up every Monday and every other Saturday.”Itzel Gonzales

Thank you to all the student intern, partners, and volunteers that helped make this year’s urban forestry internship a success! Next year’s students will have the opportunity to plant more trees in new territory for EarthTeam, including El Sobrante. Students will also get a chance to help expand the demonstration forest at Wanlass Park in San Pablo. We look forward to the new interns urban greening efforts.

Interns Record Important Tree Data at Wanlass Park

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EarthTeam Interns taking GPS coordinates of a tree they planted months earlier in Wanlass Park

On May 9th, EarthTeam Interns returned to Wanlass Park in San Pablo to monitor the 20 trees they planted earlier in February this year. The trees were still standing, except for one, which unfortunately had died. Still, the students, were excited to see their trees that were now sporting new green leaves.

Interns also saw for the first time the new drip irrigation system and sign describing the intern’s tree planting project, both of which had been installed by the City of San Pablo shorty after the trees were planted.

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A new sign features information about the tree planted in Wanlass Park and photos of the Interns that planted them.

While visiting their trees, interns collected DBH (diameter at breast height) measurements. This data reveals the thickness of the tree trunk, and is used to measure tree growth over time. The students also collected GPS coordinates to accurately mark the location of each tree. This data will be important for tracking the future health, growth, and benefits the tree provide.

Interns Report On Fatal Tree Disease to San Pablo City Council

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Interns presented to San Pablo City Council about the presence of fire blight in San Pablo

On May 2nd, Interns provided a report and presentation to the San Pablo City Council about their EarthTeam Urban Forestry Internship and their project diagnosing the tree disease fire blight.

Fire blight is a fatal tree disease that has no cure, and while it can be managed by tactical pruning of the infected areas in the tree canopy, it will eventually kill the tree. Students provided an overview of the disease to council members, along with the susceptible tree species, how to identify infected trees, and a map marking the location of diseased trees along of stretch of San Pablo Avenue.

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Interns report on the tree species affect by fire blight and the consequences of losing street trees in the City.

The City Council thanked the students bringing the issue before them, and will decide how to manage the trees at a later date. They also recognized the students for their work planting trees in the San Pablo park’s Wanlass Park and Davis Park.

Interns Finish Planting Season Strong, 2 Events and 39 Trees

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Interns celebrated Arbor Day by planting 12 trees in El Cerrito.

The tree planting season in California goes quick, lasting only a little more than half the year. In the last month of the spring planting season, Interns finished the school year strong by participating in two EarthTeam planting events and planting 39 trees.

On April 16th, Interns joined City of San Pablo Staff and volunteers from The Watershed Project at Davis Park to plant 20 trees. The trees were planted along a stretch of Wildcat Creek that runs through the park. Mike Wood, an environmental consultant fro the City of San Pablo, selected the riparian species Box Elder (Acer negundo), and Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) for the planting.

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Interns, volunteers, and city staff, worked hard as the sun rose, turning a cool morning into a hot day at Davis Park, San Pablo.

On April 30th, Interns celebrated Arbor Day by planting 12 trees in El Cerrito at the Sunset View Cemetery and neighboring private lot, which is often used by the public as a park. This planting was the Interns’ final tree planting event for their program. Each student demonstrated a high level of ability to plant according to tree planting standards set by the Intentional Society of Arboriculture. The students will end their internship having planted a total of 95 trees in multiple cities across the East Bay.

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Interns with Sunset View Staff during the final tree planting event of the internship.