Senior Program Associate Jesse Brown spent the day at Richmond High School speaking to the Health Academy classes about this year’s internship programs, Urban Forestry and Air Quality. This will be EarthTeam’s 14th year working in Richmond High School, and we are very excited to get started!
To sign up for an internship please visit the links below to access the applications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Planting at Wanlass felt like doing an actual physical contribution to my community and environment. 50 years from now Wanlass will be full of dense canopy trees that give shade and homes to many birds. A place where kids can go and play and run. These trees definitely will increase the birds in the park. Urban Forestry Internship has taught me that a community has many factors by which it is affected by trees. Including the positive impacts a single tree has in a community.” Shaneen Britton
“Planting at Wanlass makes me feel proud of myself for making a difference in our community. In 50 years I picture Wanlass really nice and green with lots of trees. By the trees we have planted we would attract many birds and other wildlife. Today I feel much more closer and confident towards my teammates ever since we had our first meeting.”- Perla Santana
“I feel good about our planting at Wanlass Park. 50 years from now I imagine Wanlass park being healthy and green. The wildlife that we brought to Wanlass is like squirrels, birds and insects. I feel confident talking about urban forestry now then how I did when we had our first meeting.”- Joanna Gudino
“I felt great because I felt like I was making a difference in my community. I picture Wanlass to be a beautiful place for future generations to be in. I believe there will be a lot of squirrels, butterflies and birds! I feel more comfortable than the first meeting we had. I feel like I can be myself, and I feel like I can talk to people I didn’t know.”- Fernanda Martinez
On February 13th, 2016 over fifty volunteers came out to support our Urban Forestry interns in their efforts to plant a demonstration forest in their community. Students designed the space and selected native tree species for their urban forest located at Wanlass Park in the City of San Pablo. In one day our interns educated the community on the benefits of urban forestry, the intentions behind their design and demonstrated the correct way to plant trees. We were able to plant and stake 20 trees on this memorable spring day! Read below interns’ reflections on their event:
“Our main goal for Wanlass Park was to bring out community close by showing love for our community. Our main job was to help out Wanlass Park the only we we could, by planting trees and strengthening the environment. The number of volunteers surprised us as well as how well we did. The whole event went by as smoothly as possible, thanks to our tree demo team, which I was apart of. We showed our volunteers the basics and steps about planting and how to plant a tree. My favorite memory was watching one of our little volunteers around the age of five help us out with the much spreading and stake holding. He was very brave and courageous. So I’d like to give a shout out to Cam! Hope he grows up and looks at trees he planted and feels proud of it.” –Luis Gonzalez
“Our goal at Wanlass Park was to build a demonstration forest. We choose this project because we wanted to be part of an amazing contribution to the city of San Pablo. We want our community to be able to have a place to go and hang out and enjoy nature. The event day went amazing. The volunteers were awesome and my team did such an amazing job facilitating. One thing I did to contribute was I was part of the demo team helping to do the demo to show people how to properly plant a tree. My favorite memory of that day was seeing the site once the trees were planted due to everyone’s help. Seeing how hard everyone worked and the outcome was the best thing ever.” – Itzel Gonzalez
“Our goal at Wanlass park was to build a demonstration forest. We choose to do a demonstration forest to bring awareness to the community regarding the benefits of trees. The day went great so many people showed up. The day was also really nice, it wasn’t hot and it wasn’t too cold, it was a nice day. One thing I did to contribute on this day was to help with the demo. My favorite memory of the day was holding the huge check that PG&E gave to us.”- Edwin Hernandez
“Our goal at Wanlass park was to plant trees in the city of San Pablo and keep our volunteers safe. We choose to do this project to spread the importance of urban forestry and to make our community a better place. The day went by pretty fast. It was very fun to work with other interns and get to know why they were interested in that event. That day, I made sure everybody knew what they were doing. My favorite memory was seeing the final results!”- Fernanda Martinez
“Our goal at Wanlass Park was to plant trees and work as a team. We choose this project so that we can help the community and show our support and leadership. The day went well it was actually fun. It was pretty hot but I loved working with other interns. I was digging holes and pounding the stakes. My favorite memory was that I got to meet new people and work with them and also eat pizza.”- Brian Alvarez
Last week Urban Forestry Interns hit the streets with their flyers and talking points about the importance of Urban Forestry. Their goal was to get 10 neighbors to adopt a tree to increase the tree density in their community. Even though we did not get a neighbor to agree- students were prepared, positive, and excited about the experience. Read more about their time canvasing in their reflections below:
“Last week, on Monday Jan 25, 2016, my group and I went neighborhood canvassing. We knocked on atleast 30 homes. It was really hard task because most of the time nobody opened the door or they would not be very nice. Our goal was to have atleast 10 residents sign up for a tree. However, we got only 1 ‘maybe’. I’ve never went out canvasing and I experienced it for the first time. I learned through this experience that I would not like to get a job where I would be canvasing. My favorite part, however, was experiencing this as a group because although it was tough, we managed to pull through and laugh about it and not take it to heart”- Fabiola Guerrero
“Last week I went out neighborhood canvasing with our group who helped while others stayed at Wanless park spray painting the areas where the trees will go. We went all around the neighborhood knocking on their doors with hopes of people adopting a tree. But many people did not open their doors. I’ve never done neighborhood canvasing it was my first time and really exciting. I felt like I was trick or treating. My favorite part was knocking on doors and giving a mini presentation.” Diana Rodriguez
“Last week we went out to the neighborhood at Wanless park to ask people if they would like a tree planted in their property. I have never done this activity before. I learned that you need to have a good attitude and patiences when dealing with different kinds of people. My experience went well. I did not get any ‘bad’ neighbors unlike some of my peers did. My favorite part about last week is doing something different and learning about how to do this kind of project.”- Joanna Gudino
“Last week at Wanless Park, 2 groups were assigned to stake the site and others to go neighborhood canvassing. It was my first time deciding and coordinating where trees went from a map. I learned that I was in deed good at it, and I believe we were quite accurate. Even though, we had our differences trying to decide where every tree went, we came up a solution that was successful. My favorite part was looking at the results of our work. It felt great.”- Sara Gurdian
“Last week we went to Wanless Park to mark an ‘X’ on the spot where the trees are going to be put. I have not done this before so I am excited to do this. I learned that choosing the most accurate spot where the tree goes is actually very hard, especially in a big piece of land. My experience was fun yet frustrating but I am happy that we got it done. My favorite part about last week was going to Wanless Park and view the before and after.”- Itzel Gonzalez