Interns participate in a Climate Cruise!

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*Student Blog*

On September 9th, 2017, Richmond High repeaters kicked off the 2017-2018 school year with a Climate Action Cruise in the San Francisco Bay. We departed on a Sailing Research Vessel that was constructed to aid in providing solutions for our changing climate and to promote the awareness and conservation of our oceans to the current and future generations.

Our team jumped aboard and learned about the effects of climate change on our oceans while simultaneously gliding over the beautiful bay. We participated in a variety of activities like fishing for plankton, testing water quality, setting up the sail and more!

In addition, we participated in interviews where we were asked questions related to how climate change directly effects us as youth and what solutions we think will work best.

 Our favorite parts of the cruise included connecting with educators, using scientific tools, and getting the chance to enjoy a boat ride (some of us for the very first time!).

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Interacting with adults who showed an interest in teaching us and what they were studying was a great eye-opener to the world that we are entering as young adults.

Special thanks to all that made this day possible for our youth! 



Urban Forestry Interns Compete to Identify Trees


In groups of two, the Urban Forestry Interns set out in the neighborhood around their school campus to compete against each other in identifying tree species. The Interns have been learning about different tree species, and each gave a presentation to their teammates a few weeks back. With some knowledge of local tree species and strategies for discerning the differences among trees, the competition was competitive. The Interns also made use of dichotomous tree keys and internet searches to make identifications.

The winning team, with a perfect score, correctly identified all the tree species including bonus points for providing the botanical and common name of the trees.

“One way to help identify the tree is by looking at their leaves and bark.” – Jessica C.

“One way to help identify the trees are if they [the branches] where alternate or opposite.” – Lizet M.

Urban Forestry Interns Plant an Earth Team Record of 26 Trees at an Event!

A Waldorf teacher (left) and Earth Team Interns (right) applying ties to secure the tree to the adjacent stakes.

On Saturday, December 3rd 2016, the Urban Forestry Interns at Richmond High School worked with volunteers and teachers at East Bay Waldorf to plant 26 trees on the Waldorf school campus. The event succeeded in breaking the record amount of trees planted in one day at an Earth Team tree planting event. (The previous record was 20 trees, which was set by last year’s interns in May 2016 at Wanlass Park in San Pablo, CA.)

This was the 3rd Urban Forestry tree planting event this year, and as tree planting experts, the interns led groups of volunteers to correctly plant trees.

Along with planting the most trees, the event included the greatest diversity of tree species. Please see below for a complete list.

4 – Quercus suber
2 – Quercus lobata
1 – Quercus douglasii
2 – Acer macrophyllum
1 – Lagerstroemia ‘Muskogee’
2 – Olea europea
5 – Arbutus ‘Marina’
3 – Pinus canariensis
4 – Nyssa sylvatica
1 – Pistacia chinensis
1 – Ginkgo biloba

“There were so many roots in my first tree I ever tired to plant.” – Carina C.

“The most memorable moment from the tree plant was working with the student’s parents.” – Jessica C.

“A total of 5 trees. This is the most I planted in a single day.” – Kevin H.


Urban Forestry Interns Map Their Trees


The Urban Forestry interns returned to a site above Pinole Creek where they planted 14 trees a few weeks ago. The interns took careful measurements of the new tree’s diameter and GPS location. The information will be added to Earth Team’s online map tool, Today, when you visit the map, you can see the location and species of the trees Earth Team interns have planted in the past.


Richmond Urban Forestry Practice Tree Data Collection

The Urban Forestry Interns at Richmond High School began learning how to accurate record important data for creating a tree inventory. The students measured the diameter of trees, recording the GPS coordinates, identified the species, and took a picture of the tree. This data can be used to track the number, growth rate, and health of trees in an specified area. It can also help determine when and where to add more trees to an area. Soon the students will use this tree data to calculate the amount of carbon the trees are sequestering as part of their air quality initiative. The skill of accurately recording and organizing data extends beyond just collecting data on trees. It is a valuable skill that applies across scientific fields and other non science specific disciplines.

The students will use their data collection skills to record data on the trees they are planting this year.

Richmond Urban Forestry Add Trees To Pinole Creek Ecosystem


On Sunday November 13th, The Richmond High School Urban Forestry Interns planted 14 trees on the upper banks above the Pinole Creek.

“We planted those trees there because it helps the creek, and helps prevent run off when it rains.” – Kevin Hernandez

The students planted Canary Island pines (Pinus canariensis), Blue Oaks (Quercus douglasii) Cork Oaks (Quercus suber), and Valley Oaks (Quercus Lobata).  The species will add more diversity to the local environment and shade. The trees will also help collect and filer rain water before it enters the creek.

As their second tree planting event of the year, the Interns are quickly becoming experts in planting and staking trees according to the proper methodology as prescribed by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Dr. Joe McBride Visits Richmond Urban Forestry Internship Meeting

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Dr. Joe McBride provides Interns with introduction to the topic of urban forestry.

On Tuesday, October 11th, Dr. Joe McBride, UC Berkeley Forestry Professor, treated the Richmond High School Urban Forestry Internship to an introductory lecture to urban forestry.

Students learned a broad range of information: from the benefits of trees in cities to paths in higher education related to urban forestry. Some of the most surprising facts were about how trees reduce air pollution. In Richmond where communities have statistically higher rates of asthma than the average in California, clean air is a topic of great interest for students.

A graphic from Professor McBride illustrates trees ability to remove air pollution (particulate matter) from the air.

A big thanks to Professor McBride! Next, the interns will be focusing on identifying trees in their community. Stay tuned for student tree sketches!


Richmond High Interns Plant Community Fruit Tree Orchard


On Saturday, October 8th, EarthTeam hosted an event to plant trees with the Richmond High School Interns. The Urban Forestry Interns were joined  by a few Air Quality Interns to create a community fruit tree orchard at Atchison Village in Richmond, CA.

Fruit trees can be a strategic approach to helping a community improve their access to healthy food. The Interns planted apple, plum, and pomegranate trees for a total of nine trees.

“Our planting provides fruit to the community.”Litzi V., Kimberly P., and Dashi R.


During the event, the interns learned how to properly plant a tree according to the standardized planting methods, which are laid out by the International Society of Arboriculture.

“I think digging is pretty fun after the event because it was hard work that you feel great about so you learn to appreciate it all more.” Jovany V. and Jose H.

“I learned how to plant trees and how difficult or easy it can be at the same time… At first we though it was going to be easy, but we had difficulties with the soil.”Brandi H. and Jessica C.

Atchison Village site before the tree planting event
Atchison Village site after the tree planting event

This was EarthTeam’s first tree planting event of the year and we look forward to planting many more trees by June 2017.

“I’m more appreciative of new trees planted in the community because I understand all the work and preparation done for one tree.”Esmeralda R. and Anthony S.


Richmond High School Interns Get Ready to Plant Some Trees

Interns practiced safe tree staking techniques outside of their school during an internship meeting.

The Richmond High School Urban Forestry Interns practiced planting trees this week in anticipation for their first tree planting event this weekend. In the front of their school, the students learned the proper International Society of Arboriculture methods for planting and staking trees. They practiced by readjusting some old stakes on trees that last year’s interns planted.

On Saturday, October 8th, the Interns will participate in planting nine fruit trees for a community in Richmond.