Online Membership Drive!

August 9, 2009

SUPPORT SEQUOIA RIVERLANDS TRUST

Please join us in our online membership drive: “EACH ONE, REACH ONE!”

thermometer 18To spread the word about our newly designed website, we encourage our loyal and devoted supporters to share the news about our organization and the work we do. Please recruit a member. Tell a friend. Tell a family member. Tell a co-worker. Heck, tell a stranger! Of course, you can also buy a gift membership for anyone, too! If each of us can reach a new member, then we’re well on our way to building a powerful community coalition of land conservationists.

OUR GOAL: 100 NEW MEMBERS!

All too often, we take our landscape for granted — from the fine symmetrical rows of our agricultural lands to the robust beauty of our valley oak trees to the wildflower fields of our foothills to the dramatic peaks of the Sierra Nevada. This is our land. And this is the land that Sequoia Riverlands Trust protects, with your help, so that our children and grandchildren can continue to admire and be inspired by the view.

Please join us in our efforts. Recruit a friend.

If you recruit two or more members, you will receive a Sequoia Riverlands Trust t-shirt. If you recruit 5 or more members, receive a t-shirt AND free family admission to one of our monthly walks. (Note: the online membership form will ask all new members if they were referred by someone, so encourage your friends to name you as a referral. Of course, if you’re a new member yourself, then you’re halfway to a t-shirt.)

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Some of the things that your membership supports:

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Looking Good: SRT Launches New Website!

August 7, 2009

flickr-farmland-vistas-200pxTo tackle the tough financial times challenging us all, Sequoia Riverlands Trust has been working harder than ever.  This website reflects one of the most recent and visible product of those efforts.  Welcome!  We encourage you to check back often for updates on SRT’s latest endeavors and accomplishments!

Please take a tour of the new site and let us know what you think. Better yet, show your support and join us in our online membership drive: recruit new SRT members and earn prizes!  Click here for more details.

Not only does the new website reflect an aesthetic makeover that better matches our “face” with our values and objectives, but the new site is also more informative, more up-to-date, and easier to navigate. We hope you agree.  Among the new features that you may find helpful are:

  • Comprehensive information about our main program areas:  Farmland Conservation, Habitat Conservation and Environmental Education. Learn more about conservation easements, land stewardship practices, standards-based school field trips and our community outreach projects
  • Many opportunities to get informed and stay involved:  You can sign up for our e-newsletter, become a Facebook fan and/or bookmark our blog
  • Related News Current events about conservation topics we all care about
  • SRT Blog:  An online collection of SRT-related news updates, stories, factoids and interesting links. Check back often!
  • Maps:  You will find a map detailing our entire working area—from Fresno County down to Kern County, from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to the Carrizo Plains—as well as an interactive map that highlights features, directions and photos of our six nature preserves
  • Photo Gallery:  Take a virtual tour of our stunning preserves and conservation properties, and check out images from past SRT-hosted events and nature walks

The Dirt on SRT’s Environmental Education Program

August 7, 2009

by Laura Childers, Education Coordinator

SRT’s environmental education program is moving along a path of rapid evolution, shifting and honing its shape to survive in a new economic climate that seems to be freezing rather than warming. Read on for the latest news about field trips, teacher trainings, and service learning opportunities.

Exploring the grapevine cave

Field Trips

Two dozen children popped their heads out of the school bus windows and shrieked, “I love you!” in unison, leaving a handful of mystified naturalists in their wake as the bus rumbled down the road exiting Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

It was a scorching hot afternoon, and SRT was on its way to completing the May rush of schools-almost-out field trips—introducing 800 elementary school children to the great outdoors in their own backyard. Kaweah Oaks Preserve is a mere 10 – 15 minute drive from most Visalia area schools. The preserve protects a pristine piece of the valley oak woodland that used to dominate this region.

The preserve is literally crawling with educational opportunities. Despite the heat, the enthusiastic students explored the preserve with gusto—creeping through secret vine caves hidden along the trails and examining grasshoppers they caught with colorful butterfly nets. These hands-on activities teach students valuable lessons that can be applied both in and out of the classroom.Catching grasshoppers

SRT offers a program of diversified subject areas that include Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies, which help prepare them for the STAR test. The newly revised and expanded curriculum teaches students about the region’s ecology while utilizing their written, oral, and mathematical skills.

Scientists have shown that students who undergo outdoor education programs improve their Science test scores by 70%. SRT believes that our environmental education program can facilitate students’ progress not only in science, but in other subjects as well by providing them an engaging, hands-on learning environment.

Teacher trainings

Teacher trainings are SRT’s new frontier, and we got our feet wet as a guest lecturer with Pro Youth/HEART’s summer after-school teacher training. Thanks to HEART’s good faith, SRT trained 250 teachers in environmental education, providing them with lesson plans to teach their students about natural resource conservation in the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada. The lesson plans will be made available on the SRT website and the HEART database.

Service learning

What’s better than habitat restoration? Habitat restoration with a service learning component. That means that the community’s kids are making SRT’s preserves fit for native species—like deer, foxes, and drought-tolerant plants—while learning about the natural landscape. SRT is working with local educational and youth organizations to get these much-needed projects off the ground. Groups are encouraged to inquire about the latest service learning projects we’re planning and dive right in. Contact Laura Childers, Education Coordinator, at laura@sequoiariverlands.org or (559) 738-0211 x105.


Newsstands for Nonprofits

August 7, 2009

SRT newsstandSupport Sequoia Riverlands Trust in a unique and fun way! Vote for our newsstand online or vote with your wallet (coins, dollars, checks).

In case you hadn’t heard, the Visalia Times-Delta is celebrating their 150th Anniversary, and as part of the fun, they invited 18 nonprofits to decorate old newsstands as a way of raising awareness for the great work that we all do here, AND to raise funds. It’s a competition, so please come out and support us!

This is the last week to vote! (Voting ends August 14.) You can find our newsstand at Suncrest Bank, located at 400 W. Center Ave. (cross street is Floral). To vote online, you must be registered. Please take the time to support us in this fun community activity!

Thank you!