Hard-working Hands for Dry Creek’s Native Plant Nursery

Jack and Erika, of SCE, cross Dry Creek after a hard day's work

As many of you know, SRT’s Dry Creek Preserve has a nursery that propagates native species for all of the SRT’s six nature preserves, as well as other habitat restoration and stewardship projects in the southern Sierra Nevada. Delicate seedlings and cuttings need moisture and protection from the sun as they develop roots, so their constant care is critical beneath a shade structure.

In the last winter storm, however, the shade structure at the nursery was badly damaged by unusually high winds. SRT has made steady progress on the repairs, but with spring speeding along quickly and bringing with it dramatically warmer climates, the fragile seedlings and cuttings are in need of a fortified shade house more quickly than our team can work.

Last week, speeding the process along, SRT received help from some unsuspecting but very valuable volunteers. Southern California Edison’s Director of Corporate Environment, Health & Safety, Jack Sahl, and Environmental Project Manager, Erika Wilder, put in some serious sweat and hard labor for the reconstruction of Dry Creek’s damaged nursery. This was not a photo op for Southern California Edison, but rather an opportunity for them to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and contribute to the completion of a project that has meaningful, long-term environmental impacts for our community. SRT Board President, Scott Spear, and SRT Stewardship Technician, Andrew Glazier, guided the work.

Dry Creek nursery in July of 2009

After nearly four hours, the damaged nursery area was completely cleared of debris from the storm, a temporary shade structure was erected, an automated water system was installed and all the seedlings and cuttings were safe. Hungry for more work, Jack and Erika asked, “What’s next?” Unfortunately, we hadn’t anticipated such a productive day, so we didn’t have the supplies to keep them busy beyond their efficient day of work. Jack, Erika – thanks for your diligent work!

Sequoia Riverlands Trust is always looking for volunteers to lend a helping hand on a multitude of important land stewardship projects in the area. There is still much to be done to complete the permanent shade structure at the Dry Creek nursery. If you’d like to help us in our quest to continue populating our region’s open spaces with native plants that provide food and shelter for animals and insects, please call or email us. Spring is a critical time for planting these beneficial species. Please share in the fun and the reward of spending a spring day outside restoring the legacy of the land!

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