2010 SRT Accomplishments!

December 20, 2010

Sequoia Riverlands Trust is proud to boast the following accomplishments that we made for conservation in the southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley in 2010:

 

James K. Herbert Wetland Prairie Preserve - vernal pool tour

  • Completed a 5-year vernal pool restoration project at the James K. Herbert Wetland Prairie Preserve! Project funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board, Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • We secured funding for 814 acres of new ag conservation (3 easements in 3 counties) and look forward to closing the deals in the early part of 2011
  • We are actively negotiating the conservation of 5,000 acres of ranchland, with grants pending on two properties. These conservation properties are part of a 43,000 conservation plan that has been developed by the Southern Sierra Partnership (The Nature Conservancy, California Audubon, Sierra Business Council, Tejon Ranch Conservancy and Sequoia Riverlands Trust
  • 342 volunteers gave more than 1,300 hours of their time to the cause of conservation (380% increase over 2009 – Great job to our dedicated volunteers!).

Students participate in a restoration project at Dry Creek Preserve

  • 868 underserved Tulare County students (grades K-6) attended curriculum-based field trips to Kaweah Oaks Preserve
  • 148 students (grades 7-12) participated in service learning projects for a total of 608 volunteer hours of habitat restoration on SRT preserves
  • 226 teachers of local at-risk youth were trained in curriculum-based environmental education (with a potential to reach more than 6,500 students!)
  • 125 nature-themed lesson plans posted to SRT website
  • 13 nature events took 476 people on guided hikes of SRT conservation land
  • 61% increase in new SRT membership (thank you to our new donors!!)
  • Brought 3 new events (5K Earth Day Trail Run at KOP, landscape photography contest, Kaweah Land & Arts Festival) to the community to collectively engage people in the importance of SRT’s mission to conserve the beauty and productivity of the southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley

 

Runners participate in the first 5K Earth Day Trail Run/Walk at Kaweah Oaks Preserve

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!


The Story of Eric White Elementary School’s Field Trip to Kaweah Oaks Preserve

June 8, 2010

by Laura Childers, Environmental Education Director, SRT

The school bus squeaks to a halt, and a class of fifth grade students hesitantly piles off, looking around shyly at the vast expanse of meadows and woodlands surrounding them. I can sense that most of them have rarely left the agricultural landscape of Selma, their home town, and are slightly nervous about exploring this mythical “Nature” that they’ve heard so much about from the Discovery Channel. The students divide into small clusters of friends and giggle nervously about the field trip that’s just begun, speculating quietly about whether or not anacondas, tigers, and Big Foot are lurking in the darkness beneath the trees.

Before they know it, the kids are divided into two separate groups and will not be seeing each other again until lunch time. Volunteer Naturalist Steve Ny leads one group of students and heads straight for the Sycamore Trail, a favorite hiking trail at the preserve. I take leadership of the second group, and away we go!

My eyes open wide, and I whisper urgently to the kids, “Okay guys, the first thing that we are going to do today is look at animal bones!”

At first, their expressions morph into affected adult behavior, namely feigned boredom, cartoonish revulsion, and — underneath it all — the pure, child-like curiosity that fifth graders ultimately cannot suppress in themselves, though they would like to think they’re already grown up (and thank goodness they are not!).

If there is anything I have learned about children through my position as the Education Director, it’s that they love the macabre. Learning about the dialectic between life and death in nature, the cycle connecting all things, is an essential part of not only learning about how nature works but also learning about life itself. 

We gently handle the bones of real elk, wild hogs, cows, coyotes, and foxes, turning them over and over in our hands to see that, yes, that is where the eyes went, that is where its ears were. I ask them, “Why do you think its teeth are shaped the way they are? Why are its eyes where they are on its head?” It’s a game of exploration, building familiarity with wild animals by handling them in a way they never could otherwise. We feel the snakeskin, wondering about what it would be like to have to change your skin and not just your clothes when you grow bigger. It allows the children to relate to the creatures who share our world with us.

By this time, the masks of adulthood they wore at the beginning of the field trip have fallen away. The kids squeal every time they see a squirrel pop out of its borrow or a bird fly overhead. We rally together and go search for insects, the tiny creatures that manage to dwell, mysteriously, in nothing but a parched, grassy field. We wonder at how the grasshopper’s shell  matches the color of the grass so well; even his eyes are a grassy brown.

The woods still loom large in the eyes of the children, and they question me repeatedly if we are going to explore them during our hike. I tell them that we are going on an adventure into the forest, the wildlands of Visalia, and that we must stick together to learn about everything hidden within it. The kids grow silent when I tell them that if we are quiet, we may see some of the shyest animals of all — the coyote, fox, or deer.

Together, we creep along trails veiled by grapevines and valley oak canopies, green light filtering through to the forest floor. Lizards dart across our path, and lady bugs fly around us, sometimes landing on a lucky student. We hear the acorn woodpecker starting his summer storage of acorns in the stag trees and see apple-colored galls filled with tiny, sting-less wasp sprouting from the branches. The kids explore vine caves and tunnels, climb a sprawling sycamore tree, and even swing from a real grapevine just like George of the Jungle, the kids’ version of Tarzan.

Exploration is the key element of scientific discovery and learning, and the urge to explore is cultivated during childhood. Benjamin Franklin spent his youth wandering the woods of New England. Jane Goodall spent her childhood climbing trees in England with her trusty dog as her only companion. Would Benjamin Franklin ever have discovered electricity if he hadn’t learned the thrill of exploration as a child? Would Jane Goodall have dared to enter the jungles of Africa if she hadn’t spent years walking through forests alone? Personally, I doubt it.

I believe that the urge to explore is the most valuable thing we can give a child. One of the best places to teach them that is in nature because there are endless possibilities for discovery.

This spring, thirteen naturalists taught over seven hundred children how to explore and discover in the natural world. They are incredibly valuable to this community and the development of our next generation of leaders.

SPECIAL THANKS TO NATURALISTS:

Rosie Bonar
Liege Garcia
Ken Greenspan
John Greening
Michael Harris
Russ Kehn
Hans Konrad
Jeff Medlin
Brian Newton
Steve Ny
Ken Olsen
Linda Peterson
Phil White

You all are incredible, and thank you so much for teaching kids about nature this Spring.

THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS FUNDERS:

Alcoa Foundation
REI
Sempra Foundation
Southern California Edison

If you are interested in sharing your love of the great outdoors with youth, please contact Laura Childers to set up a training date at (559) 738-0211 x103.


SRT in the News

June 3, 2010

Water flows in Johnson Slough through the southern part of Kaweah Oaks Preserve on May 10. Photo by Teresa Douglass.

Teresa Douglass, writer for the Visalia Times-Delta, recently researched and wrote an amazing and comprehensive article about SRT’s six nature preserves, as well as the wonderful bird sanctuary at the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge. Please take a moment to read the whole article, found here. She also produced an informative video about why Kaweah Oaks Preserve and other nature preserves are so important. Below is just a short snippet of the article…

Likewise, Sequoia Riverlands Trust, a regional, nonprofit Central California land trust, manages its six nature preserves to benefit wildlife.

Conservation techniques include cattle grazing, controlled burns, creating ponds and even constructing a network of stream channels.

“Sequoia Riverlands Trust is here to preserve pieces of our past,” said Sopac McCarthy Mulholland, executive director at SRT. The six different SRT nature preserves range from Valley property to sycamore alluvial woodlands to foothills.

“Like pearls in a string, they link up to each other,” Mulholland said.

Today, we take a look at all seven of the Tulare County nature preserves.

And here’s another great article, written by Sabrina Ziegler of the Porterville Recorder, that comprehensively sums up the rich, informative, beautiful Native American cultural celebration at Kaweah Oaks Preserve last Saturday, May 29. This piece is also accompanied by a short and informative video.

garcia-yowlumni-saturday-


“Go Native!” – Third annual Native American cultural celebration

May 21, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Basketweaving classes. Native arts. Native plant sale. Guided hike of Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

Join us for a fun and educational day spent learning about and celebrating the rich Native American culture, art and traditions that once flourished in this Kaweah Delta region. This festival of Native American life and culture will be held under the shade of the great valley oaks at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

Participate in a traditional native ceremony, sit in on a basketweaving class, make a deerskin rattle, eat an Indian taco for lunch, take a guided hike of the preserve and purchase some native plants for your home. Learn about the importance of baskets, the native plants that are used to make them, the challenges traditional basketweavers face with regard to land access and pesticide use, and much more.

Schedule of Events:

10:00    Opening Prayer – Marie Wilcox

10:15     Welcome/History of Gathering – Jennifer

10:30     Basketweaving Classes Begin – All Day

  • Milkweed Rope – Don Jack
  • Deerskin Rattles – Sandy Clark
  • Tule Decoy Ducks – Diana Almanderez
  • Pine Needle Baskets – David Garcia
  • Willow Rattles – Nicola Larsen
  • Coil Baskets – Lawana Jasso

10:30     Guided Nature Hike

All Day:

  • Indian Tacos
  • Children’s Activities
  • Vendors /Crafts
  • Raffle (Drawings and winners announced all day)
  • Native Plant Sale (if you have any questions about native plants, contact Andrew Glazier, 559-737-8637)

12:00 – 1:30       Teachers Lunch/Break

1:30 – 2:30   Continuation of Basketweaving Classes

2:30  – 3:00   Closing Prayer / Teacher Recognition

Who: Jennifer Malone, event organizer and master basketweaver, is a full-blooded California Native American whose family is Wukchumni, Yowlumni, and Tachi. In partnership with Sequoia Riverlands Trust, Jennifer has been transplanting soaproot and gathering sedge from Kaweah Oaks Preserve for years. This will be her second year organizing the “Go Native!” event, which teaches local weavers how to gather these plants for use in weaving traditional baskets. Jennifer carries on a long family tradition of basketweaving, having learned it from watching her grandmother Beatrice Arancis. Jennifer also serves on the Board of Directors of the California Indian Basketweavers Association.

Where: Kaweah Oaks Preserve is located on Road 182, approximately seven miles east of downtown Visalia via Highway 198. Drive north on Road 182 one-half mile. Park on the west side of the road; walk past the gate to enter and meet in the picnic area.

Donation: $10 for Sequoia Riverlands Trust members; $15 non-members. Become a member that day and attend the program for free. Memberships start at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family.



5K Earth Day Trail Run Photos

April 25, 2010

UPDATED 4.29.10: We’ve posted more than 250 photos to our flickr account. http://www.flickr.com/photos/srt-land-conservation/sets/72157623807220349/show/. Check it out! And we’ve also got race results posted on our website, so go ahead and check out the times (the course ended up being 3 miles, not the 3.1 of a 5K). Also, if you’re on Facebook, please join us as a fan… we’re trying to get over the 500 mark!

Thanks for supporting our first 5K Earth Day Trail Run. I hope you all had as much fun as we did! And thanks for supporting land conservation in the southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley. You’re helping to create a healthier, greener tomorrow for future generations.

Sunrise at KOP on race day

Building the balloon arch for the finish line

Getting ready for the race to start

And they're off... heading toward the Sycamore Trail.


Thank you to our 5K Earth Day Sponsors!

March 16, 2010

5k earth day trail runSpecial thanks to the following community businesses who are benefiting the environment with their earth-friendly services and generous investments in regional land conservation:

Earth Day Title Sponsor
Sempra Energy: Sempra Energy is working to provide clean power to North America, and developing and exploring generating electricity from energy resources such as solar energy and wind. http://www.sempra.com/.

Land Lover
Key West Family Plaza: Key West Shopping Center at Goshen and Akers

Conservation Partner
Hobbs-Potts & Associates: Hobbs-Potts & Associates does all types of insurance from Auto and Home to Health and Life to Commercial and Agricultural insurance.  They have the ability to shop around policies to many direct carriers, so they can find the best match of price and coverage specific to the needs of their clients.  735 W. Oak Ave., Visalia, CA  93291. (559) 713-6000.

Preserve Guardians
The Laundry Lady: Laundry Lady uses wet cleaning to expertly care for your finest garments and household goods. Wet Cleaning is an exciting, break-through process that was developed to replace ordinary dry cleaning. It’s revolutionary in that it uses water as the solvent instead of toxic chemicals. In fact, the process is so safe and gentle, you could bathe in it yourself! 3533 West Noble, Visalia, CA, 93277. 559-733-3632.

Visalia Cyclery: Visalia Cyclery is a cycling outfitter specializing in all kinds of bicycles – from entry level to high end road and mountain bikes, catering to the causal ‘around-the-block’ rider, as well as the ‘seasoned racer’. They have the largest selection of BMX and Beach Cruiser bicycles in the central valley. 1829 West Caldwell Avenue, Visalia, CA. 559-732-2453.

5K Trail Stewards

Buck Stove Fan & Spa: For 30 years, Buck Stove has been warming up local family homes and and contributing to environmental protection with the largest selection of quality hearth products on the West Coast. 1830 W. Caldwell, Ste ‘B’, Visalia, CA. 559-627-2205.

Four Seasons Handy Market: Small grocery store and gas station located at the corner of Goshen and Giddings: 443 N Giddings St. Visalia, CA 93291. 559-734-4204.

Kidd Accounting Services: Barbara Kidd, CPA. 559-739-1375.

Idea Graphics: Whether it is stationery, sales presentation materials, a small or large trade show display, or the creation of a completely new corporate identity and marketing plan, Idea Graphics is ready to serve you. 1921 E. Main St. Visalia, CA. 559-733-4149. http://www.visaliaidea.com/

Natural Springs Pool Service: Residential specialists in pool services. 559-732-3014, cell: 559-972-7272.

Sierra Bicycle Werks: Sierra Bicycle Werks is devoted to making your cycling experience as enjoyable as possible. They pride themselves in genuine, friendly, customer service that lasts a lifetime. They offer sales, service and accessories not only for the seasoned pro racer or recreational cyclist, but also to the family looking for that first bike for themselves or their children.  http://www.sierrabicyclewerks.com/. 123 E. Main Street, Visalia, CA. 559-741-0700.

Dr. Gerald Schneider: Dentist. 100 N. Stevenson St, Visalia, CA. 559-627-0292.

Valley CTO: Valley CTO  provides a set of technology services for small firms and businesses.  They understand that many companies don’t have IT departments and executive level technology decision makers.  They also know that you still have technology decisions to make.  Valley CTO is here to help you make a better decision.  Contact: 650-239-0312 or ValleyCTO@ValleyCTO.com. For more info: http://valleycto.com/contact_us.html

Watson’s Nutrition Center: Watson’s is a small, family-owned business that specializes in products that are organic, all natural, wheat & gluten free, great vitamins & much more. They also have a deli that serves up a variety of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches & burgers that will delight your taste buds with a secret garden out back to escape your busy life. http://web.mac.com/watsonshealthfoods/www.watsonshealthfoods.com/Welcome.html. 617 W. Main St., Visalia, CA. 559-732-3866.


And special thanks to the Visalia Runners who will be running the race clock and finisher’s chute, and helping us organize this great event!


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES!

March 11, 2010

Spring Naturalist Training
Help Us Teach Kids about Nature! -
Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Thanks to a dedicated corp of volunteer naturalists, hundreds of children get to explore the valley’s ‘wildlands’ through the Kaweah Oaks Preserve Field Trip program every year. Volunteer naturalists lead students on educational nature walks, teaching them about the beauties of the valley’s native habitat.

If you are interested in sharing your love of the great outdoors with youth, please join us for the Spring Naturalist Training. You will learn about the preserve’s unique habitat and how to teach kids about it.

The training will convene at the Kaweah Oak Preserve’s picnic area.

Please RSVP with Laura at 559-738-0211, ext. 103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Preserve Ranger Training
Be a Ranger on one of SRT’s Six Nature Preserves! -
Thursday, March 18, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, April 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

Preserve Rangers get exclusive opportunities to make one of SRT’s nature preserves their own. Rangers visit the preserve of their choice for 1 – 2 hours every month. During each visit, the ranger records what they observe on the preserve, monitoring its wildlife, plant life, and overall status. This position is very special because five of SRT’s preserves are not open to the public, so Rangers get to have the entire preserve to themselves when they visit!

All Rangers are required to go through a training with SRT. Trainings will take place at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve picnic area. The training will cover plant and animal identification, Leave No Trace ethics, and current conservation issues. Plus, you will learn how to record and report your observations to SRT.

Please take note that dogs are not allowed at any of SRT’s preserves. We love dogs, but unfortunately they disturb the wildlife.

Please RSVP with Laura Childers at (559) 738-0211 x103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org to find out more details.

Milk Thistle Removal
Help Us Remove Invasive Species -
Wednesday, March 17, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

We need volunteers to help us remove milk thistle from the Kaweah Oaks Preserve. Milk thistle is a small, prickly plant that is not a natural part of the preserve. It crowds out native plants, it’s a nuisance to hikers, and it just needs to go.

Requirements:

- Ability to bend and stoop repeatedly

- Ability to walk on uneven terrain

- Bring a long-handled shovel

- Bring heavy work gloves

- Wear pants and close-toed shoes

- Bring drinking water


Time:
March 17th, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Kaweah Oaks Preserve

Please RSVP for this volunteer position to receive more details. Contact Laura Childers 559-738-0211, ext. 103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Seed Collecting Crew
Help Us Collect Seed from Native Flowers -
Date and Time TBA, Sign Up for Further Info

The Seed Collecting Crew will help us propagate native wildflowers by collecting seeds. The first seed collection day will focus on bush lupine, which produces a beautiful purple flower. Volunteers will learn how to identify bush lupine, its seeds, and how to effectively collect its seeds. It will take place in the Three Rivers area. Plus, it will be a great opportunity to meet Andrew, the newest member of SRT’s stewardship team.

The first seed collecting date will depend on the weather and, consequently, when the lupine starts producing seed.

Rogue seed collecting by knowledgeable persons is encouraged. SRT will use any donated seeds for habitat restoration projects and during its famous plant sales.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Laura Childers at (559) 738-0211 x103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Nursery Construction Crew
Skilled Builders and Handy-people Needed to Re-construct the Native Plant Nursery – On-going Position

SRT’s nursery houses many of the native plants that are used for habitat restoration. Unfortunately, the nursery was heavily damaged by a recent wind storm, and it needs to be fixed up.

Volunteers are needed to work with Andrew, our newest land steward, to start the re-building process. If you’re good with tools and experienced in building large wood and metal structures, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

If you are interested, please notify Laura Childers at (559) 738-0211 x103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Nature Day Planning Committee
Help Us Plan Our Summer Nature Day Event Series –
On-going Position

SRT is going to start planning its summertime Nature Day series in April, and we want your input. Nature Days are small educational events that can cover a broad range of activities and topics, such as Wildflower Walks, Star Gazing Parties, and Bat Talks.

Committee members will meet once or twice a season to plan the following season’s Nature Day series. We will discuss ideas for possible topics, activities, and lecturers.

To join the Nature Day Planning Committee, please contact Laura Childers at (559) 738-0211 x103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Native Plant Team
Help Us Grow and Manage Native Plants -
On-going Position

It’s the season to start propagating plants, and we need all the help we can get. If you’re interested in learning how to grow and propagate native plants, this is the volunteer position for you.

This position is on-going, and the hours are variable. Work will be based at the native plant nursery at the Dry Creek Preserve near Lemon Cove, but it may also extend to other preserves. When you join the team, you will periodically be notified by email when help is needed.

To join the Native Plant Team, please contact Laura Childers at (559) 738-0211 x103 or laura@sequoiariverlands.org.

Accounting Clerk
Experienced Accountant or Bookkeeper Wanted -
On-going Position

An Accounting Clerk experienced in Quickbooks, general office skills, AR, AP, and PR is needed. This position is on-going, and we need a person who can commit to volunteering with us regularly.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Debbie Bratt at (559) 738-0211 x106 or debbie@sequoiariverlands.org.

Development Department Clerk
Help Us Contact and Thank Our Donors -
On-going Position

Donors are SRT’s foundation, allowing us to continue conserving land and providing environmental education in this region. Help us give our donors the appreciation and attention they deserve.

As a volunteer, you would call donors, thank them for their support, and conduct a brief survey with them. Then, clearly write down their responses and return them to SRT.

We need a volunteer with excellent verbal communication skills, professionalism and comfort talking on the phone.

This position is on-going with a flexible time commitment. A brief training at the SRT office is required. Then, volunteering can be done at home, preferably between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Erica Tootle at (559) 738-0211 x104 or erica@sequoiariverlands.org.


Big Events for a Bright, Beautiful Spring

February 26, 2010

Here at SRT, we’re positively giddy about the bold beauty of spring that is about to dazzle our hillsides with vibrant life and color. As you’ve likely noticed, many trees are already blooming. And the green hills, freshly rained upon, glean a near iridescent green. Soon, the bright, young green oak leaves will begin to flourish upon sturdy branches that have stood as stark silhouettes against the winter sky. And of course, the radiant rainbow of wildflowers are preparing to make their annual appearance – brilliant purple bush lupine, radical orange poppies and coquettish yellow fiddlenecks, among many more.

For all of these reasons, ‘tis the season to celebrate nature.

And for all of these reasons, we have prepared a great menu of options to get you all outside to enjoy the season that makes our valley shine.

PHOTO CONTEST: “How do you view your landscape, through the seasons?”

SRT just launched a photography competition that asks all nature and/or photography enthusiasts to get out and express themselves through their own vision of the landscape.

We are interested in seeing the role that natural and agricultural spaces play in people’s lives. Each person has a different way of seeing the landscape, and we want photographs that exhibit your unique perspective. Ask yourself what you see when you look at an open field, an oak tree, a farm or a wild animal. What do you think about? What does that say about the role it plays in our community?

If this sounds fun and interesting to you, please send us an email at photocontest@sequoiariverlands.org to receive a full list of contest details, rules and prizes. More importantly, you’ll be signing up to receive periodic updates about exclusive photography opportunities on SRT preserves and photography workshops. Don’t miss out on the spectacular season of spring wildflowers! However, we also encourage photographs taken from all four seasons of our ever-changing valley and foothill landscape, even photos you’ve previously taken.

Competition winners (22 in all) will have the privilege of seeing their photos displayed as part of the Arts Visalia exhibit in November 2010, in conjunction with the 2nd annual Kaweah Land & Arts Festival.

Please send us an email today to receive more info.

5K Earth Day Trail Run/Walk at Kaweah Oaks Preserve – 4/24/10

What better way to show your appreciation for your local landscape than to get outside and take a jog or a stroll along oak and sycamore-lined trails at Kaweah Oaks Preserve? Please join us for the first 5K Earth Day Trail Run at KOP. If you’ve been wanting to try out trail running, but were afraid of the hills, then this is the race for you. The 5K course will take you along two of the four flat dirt trails (Sycamore and Swamp Trail) that make up Kaweah Oaks Preserve’s 322-acre oak woodland. Along the way, don’t forget to say hello to the several species of birds and critters that happily make the preserve their home. The course is primarily flat and will be mostly single-track with some double-track trails. Medals will be awarded to all participants. Refreshments will be provided after the race. The race will take place rain or shine.

When: Saturday, April 24, 2010, 8:00 a.m. The preserve will open at 6:45 a.m. for event-day registration.

How: Sign up by April 15 for early registration: $20. Early registration ensures that you will receive a commemorative KOP 5K Earth Day Trail Run t-shirt in your requested size, as well as a finisher’s medal.

Registration after April 15 and on event day: $25.

While supplies last, participants will receive a race t-shirt and a finisher’s medal. Age group winners will receive eco-friendly prizes made by local elementary school students.

Download your registration form today!

Who: Sequoia Riverlands Trust, in conjunction with local business sponsors and the Visalia Runners Club, is putting on this 5K fun run to celebrate the beautiful natural resources that define our little piece of Earth here in the southern San Joaquin Valley. If you’d like to promote your business or organization as a race sponsor (in the amount of $100, $250 or $500), please view this flyer and contact niki@sequoiariverlands.org.

Annual Wildflower Walk at Lewis Hill Preserve – 3/6/10

lewis hill wildflower walk

Join us for a Saturday stroll and wildflower immersion experience at Lewis Hill Preserve. We will be taking a guided tour of wildflowers including the rare striped adobe lily (Fritillaria striata), a wonderfully fragrant flower with one-inch, white to pink petals and narrow red stripes. This is a unique opportunity to access Lewis Hill Preserve, which is only open to the public once a year for this spectacular guided walk. Bring your friends, bring your family!

When: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Who: Fletcher Linton, botanist for the Sequoia National Forest, will present this program about the unique geology that creates just the right conditions for the rare striped adobe lily.

Where: The preserve is located just north of Porterville. From Highway 190 in Porterville, exit at Plano, one-and-a-half miles east of Highway 65. Drive north four miles to the crest of the first hill. The preserve is on the west side of the road. Park along the roadway at the top of the hill. Carpooling is encouraged.

Bring: Water, snacks, layered clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sun screen, hat, binoculars, wildflower book (optional) and a friend. Dogs are not permitted at the preserve.

Cost: $10 for Sequoia Riverlands Trust members; $15 for non-members. Become a member that day and attend the walk for free! Memberships begin at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family.


More spring events can be found on our website. Stay tuned, we will be adding other exciting events!


The Festival Was A Huge Success!

November 16, 2009

SRT festival information booth, staffed by a crew of dedicated volunteers

What an amazing event! If you made it out to the first Kaweah Land & Arts Festival, then you were privy to the gathering momentum of a glorious movement that is properly recognizing the natural and cultural virtues of the Kaweah watershed landscape – from the peaks of the Great Western Divide on down to the dried up shores of the Tulare Lake Basin, and all the artists that live on and tend to that land. If you didn’t make it out to the festival, please check out our slideshow and stay tuned to the announcement of next year’s festival dates.

The purpose of the festival was to draw our attention outward to the meaning and magnificent sights of the Kaweah watershed. It’s so easy to go about our days, focused internally on our tasks, destinations and responsibilities without looking up to notice the Sierra Nevada looming less than 50 miles away, as we travel down a street named Kaweah or Mineral King or Tulare—unnoticed names that, when recognized, are important reminders of our heritage.

Matthew Rangel leads a field-drawing workshop on the Grapevine Trail at KOP

The purpose of the festival was also to highlight the great work of the artists, writers, poets, farmers, musicians, scientists and historians who devote their lives to telling the stories of the landscape in addition to taking care of it so that others can continue to tell the story. Thank you to everyone who shared their story.

And special thanks to Matthew Rangel who deserves so much credit for envisioning this project and carrying it to its fruition, which is really a much larger work in progress (for all of us). As a visual artist, Matthew’s vision is always being inspired anew and he is always anticipating how he can bring that growing inspiration to a larger audience. Matthew and the others on the Kaweah Land & Arts Festival planning committee (Bill Tweed, John Spivey, John Dofflemyer, Kevin Bowman, Laura Childers and Niki Woodard) are assessing the first festival and enthusiastically planning the second one. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please take a couple minutes to fill out this survey and send it in to Sequoia Riverlands Trust, Attn: Niki Woodard, 427 S. Garden St, Visalia, CA 93277 or fax it to 559-622-9477.

Bill Tweed reads historical interpretations of the Kaweah watershed

We’d also like to extend a hearty thanks to the dedicated crew of community volunteers who helped make all the events at the festival run smoothly: Tina Collins, John Greening, Dave Hobbs, Sally Hobbs, Joanne Hoyt, Ken Olsen, Shirley Kirkpatrick, Laurie Killian, Linda Roddick, Brad Schleder, Doug Snider, Don Stone, John Stowe, Phil White and Kay Woods.

Also, thanks to all the artists and vendors who set up their amazing work for everyone to enjoy: Steven Ball, Oshah Baxter, Cedrick Brown, Elsah Cort, Brandon Crow, John Griesbach, Michael Hansen, Shirley Keller, Anne Marks, Frances Pyles, Jane Zielger, Arts Visalia, California Native Plant Society, C & C Potters, Family Farm Fresh, Pleasant Valley Ranch, Sequoia Natural History Association, Seven Circles, Timothy Schweizer, Tulare County Citizens for Responsible Growth, Tulare County Historical Society, Urban Tree Foundation and WildPlaces. Also, thanks to John Crow of Crow’s BBQ for serving up delicious food despite the many mishaps of his morning (flat tires and broken trailer).

Sylvia Ross reads from a collection of Native American poetry, "The Dirt is Red Here"

And thanks to all of you for coming out and enjoying a special event with us. We look forward to making an even bigger impact in the years to come. If you aren’t already a member of Sequoia Riverlands Trust, please consider becoming one today and supporting such a worthy cause!

And, of course, thank you to all our sponsors and partners.

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Festival t-shirts are still available for a discounted price. You can purchase t-shirts, along with books and artist prints at Arts Visalia, which will be featuring Matthew Rangel’s innovative lithograph depictions of the Sierra Nevada, “a transect – Due East,” along with John Spivey’s vivid photography collection, “The Luminosity of Stone” for the remainder of the month of November.

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And don’t forget to check out the festival slideshow!!


Kaweah Land & Arts Field Day Line-up

November 4, 2009

The first Kaweah Land and Arts Festival is happening this weekend! Events begin on Friday with an artist opening at Arts Visalia, then the Land & Field Day on Saturday at Kaweah Oaks Preserve, followed by the Land & Arts Symposium on Saturday evening at College of the Sequoias. The festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with a sculpture exhibit at Designs by Arenas. For times, locations and more details, click here.

Bring the whole family to Kaweah Oaks Preserve for the Land & Arts Field Day on Saturday afternoon. Spend a beautiful fall day outside under the great valley oak trees while soaking up music, poetry and art from and about the distinct Kaweah River region. Children’s art and activities will help keep the kids happy. And delicious BBQ lunch (tri-tip, chicken, burgers, local organic vegetables from KMK Farms in Kingsburg) will keep your tummies happy. Check out the work of other non-profits in the area. And don’t forget to bring your wallet – books and art will be on sale from local writers and artists.

Land & Arts Field Day Line-up

schedule rev

Click here to view the PDF of the festival brochure, which has the full schedule of events for the weekend.

Click here to view the bios of symposium participants.


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