Happy New Year!

December 27, 2010

From all of us at Sequoia Riverlands Trust, we wish you and your family a very merry holiday season and Happy New Year!

We hope you had a very merry Christmas and are enjoying quality time with family and friends.

We designed this holiday greeting card to represent the gift that we provide to our community every day of the year. As you consider your year-end giving priorities, please reflect on the services that we provide: environmental education to thousands of Tulare County youth, more than a dozen family-oriented nature walks throughout the year, Kaweah Oaks Preserve (free to explore all year long), more than 11,000 acres of protected landscape in the region, community events like the Kaweah Land & Arts Festival and 5K Earth Day Trail Run, an ever-expanding native plant nursery and regional environmental leadership.

Join us in our efforts by making a donation before the end of the year. Be part of the change that will ensure this landscape remains beautiful, diverse and productive for generations to come!

Or mail a check to Sequoia Riverlands Trust
427 South Garden Street
Visalia, CA 93277
Conservation is a community effort. It is the duty of each of us who live on this land to take pride in its preservation and, more importantly, to take action! Let’s do this together! Please donate today and make an irreversibly positive impact on the beauty and livelihood of the region as well as the quality of life of future generations in our foothill and valley communities.Thank you for your support!

Soapy Mulholland, Laura Childers, Hilary Dustin, Andrew Glazier, Elizabeth Kraft, Scott Spear, May Stevens, Frances Tweed and Niki Woodard

Please note: Our office will have limited hours of operation until January 3, 2011. All donations received before the New Year will be recorded in 2010 for your tax purposes.


Tell Us What’s Important to You

December 23, 2010

Please take this 3-minute survey and tell us what you think about the programs and activities that we offer in the community and region. We’d like to serve you as best as we can, so please share your thoughts about how we can do just that.

Click here to take survey

Shop at REI and SRT Gets $50!

December 23, 2010

REIIf you’re planning on doing any shopping at REI in Fresno, either before or after Christmas, please use your smartphone to “check in” on Facebook and SRT will receive $50! Simple as that! One check in per person, so please tell everyone you know who might be shopping at REI. This offer runs out when REI distributes $100,000, so act fast.

It is a huge honor that REI selected Sequoia Riverlands Trust out of all the wonderful nonprofits in the area for this fun fundraising opportunity. Go ahead, what are you waiting for – shop, bring your phone, use Facebook, bring a friend and support SRT!

For more information about the program and how to check in on Facebook, please read REI’s blog: http://findout.rei.com/blog_detail/?contentid=6122300461815108746

And to see the other organizations, nationwide, who have received this REI distinction and opportunity, visit this REI blog post: http://findout.rei.com/blog_detail/?contentid=5422420959589023248
Thank you to REI and thank you to all of YOU!

Support the Southern Sierra and San Joaquin Valley… Today!

December 22, 2010

For $12, you can sponsor two elementary school kids on a curriculum-based field trip to Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

For $35, you become a member of SRT and receive individual discounts on all of our guided nature walks. You also help support important trail maintenance at Kaweah Oaks Preserve.

For $50, you become a family member of SRT and receive discounts on our guided nature walks for you and each person in your household. You can also feel proud to support the propagation of about 100 native plants at our Dry Creek Nursery.

For $100, you join SRT as a Land Steward Member. Your $100 contribution will help plant approximately 250 feet of native habitat on one of SRT’s six nature preserves.

For $250, you join SRT as a very important Land Conservator Member. For $250, you sponsor an entire service learning project, which empowers underserved middle and high school students to gain useful skills in natural resource management that could put them on a valuable career path in conservation.

Donate online via our secure, donation website Network for Good. Or send your checks into Sequoia Riverlands Trust, 427 S. Garden St., Visalia, CA 93292.

Thank you for your support!

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


Volunteers Restore Habitat at Herbert Wetland Prairie Preserve

December 8, 2010

Vernal pool at Herbert Preserve

Last Saturday, thirty five volunteers rallied at Herbert Preserve and gathered in the misty morning with shovels in hand, ready and eager to get to work. The group was diverse—mothers, babies, grandparents, teachers, students, adults—everyone had come to restore the prairie wetlands. All together, they planted 600 plants that day to improve the preserve’s streamside habitat.

Herbert Preserve is one of the last remaining pieces of the natural valley floor. The land there has never been leveled or farmed, though it is currently grazed to promote native plant species.  It is home to spectacular and rare wildlife, such as the badger, golden eagle, and burrowing owl.

Every spring, vernal pools turn the preserve into a vibrant wonderland. Colorful rings of flowering plants surround the pools, which provided habitat for fairy shrimp and frogs. In other parts of the valley, these pools were lost to us when the ground was leveled. Vernal pools only form in the low points of the landscape’s natural undulations.

Special thanks to all of our volunteers! We would also like to thank the teachers from Redwood High School, Pro Youth/HEART, Mission Oak High School, and College of the Sequoia who encouraged their students to lend a hand.

Eagle Scout Answers the Call of the Wild through Volunteerism

December 2, 2010

Tanner Christensen stands proudly before his Eagle Scout project

Volunteerism helps strengthen and improve our community. It is always inspiring to see our youth carry on the tradition. Tanner Christensen, a local teen, spent much of the past year constructing several bird nesting boxes at Kaweah Oaks Preserve and Dry Creek Preserve. The nesting boxes beautify the preserve for hikers and passers-by while also improving wildlife habitat.

The nesting boxes will help increase habitat for local raptors and songbirds, including the kestrel, screech owl, and swallow. These birds not only improve the scenic value of our landscape; they help minimize pests. Kestrels and owls play a key role in reducing the rodent populations of ground squirrels and mice, while swallows are vital to controlling insect populations.

Christensen’s project was so successful that he was presented with the William T. Hornaday Award at his Eagle Scout ceremony in November. The Hornaday Award recognizes Scouts who have made “outstanding efforts in natural resource conservation and environmental protection.” Earning this award is no simple task: only 1,100 of them have been given in the past eighty years.

Written by Laura Childers, Environmental Education/Volunteer Director