We’ve officially begun construction at Dry Creek Preserve and Homer Ranch!

March 3, 2011

The parking lot has been graded and lined with decorative perimeter boulders and gravel collected on site. Illustrated interpretive signage is in process, with concepts being developed by three talented local artists: Matthew Rangel, Kacey Fansett and Andrea Cooper. The first phase of planting the native plant demonstration garden is happening this weekend. Trails have already been designated and prepped and await further attention from volunteers (sign up for the Trailblazing Bonanza on 4/16)! Community Boy Scouts are constructing directional signs (there are still many more projects for aspiring Eagle Scouts). And construction on wheelchair accessible bathrooms begins very soon. We are very grateful for the pro bono work completed by the following generous friends of SRT:

  • Cliff Ronk at Quad Knopf  who designed the leech field and septic system for restroom
  • Thom Black, architect, who completed the design of the gateway pavilion and is working on the observation deck design
  • Manuel Olivera who has been consulting with us on how to make the preserve more accessible for individuals with special needs.

We hope you feel a sense of pride too about the fact that Tulare County is about to have two new nature preserves. But we need your help. We need your volunteer hands to help us plant gardens and blaze trails. And we need your financial support. We’re working on the details for a buy-a-brick campaign and hope you’ll factor us into your monthly budget planning in the next couple months. Please stay tuned for your opportunity to buy a brick with your name on it and leave an indelible memory on the establishment of these spectacular preserves!

Location of the native plant demonstration garden that will feature the water-saving beauty of our valley and foothill native plant species. A trail will wind through the garden and around a natural seasonal wetland (noticeable in the middle of this photograph).

Looking out at where the bathrooms and caretaker's quarters will be constructed. Beyond that is the newly graded parking lot.

This is the view at Dry Creek Preserve from the observation deck that will be constructed this month. It looks out on the floodplain and the backside of Terminus Dam.

The poetry of construction...

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Let Us Gather Seeds! – 2nd Annual Seed Gathering Contest

March 3, 2011

California poppy

The wildflowers are in bloom, lighting up the hillsides and roadsides with bold color. As we enjoy every day of this spectacular season, we’d like to get you thinking about helping us collect seeds to create even more beauty.

If you’d like to be part of painting the landscape with more color for the years to come, please keep your eyes on those flowers. Sometime in April, the flowers will eventually go to seed, and we’ll need your help gathering seeds to propagate at our native plant nursery.

Land stewardship is an important part of SRT’s mission. Throughout the year, we grow thousands of native flowers, shrubs and trees that we plant on our nature preserves to help replenish native plant populations.

Bush lupine

Help us scour the hillsides of your neighborhood and collect (legally) the following seeds for this effort: Lupinus albifrons or silver bush lupine, Cercis occidentalis or western redbud, and the state flower, Eschscholzia californica or California poppy. All three plants need to show brown seed pods before they are ready to collect. Please submit seeds to Sequoia Riverlands Trust (427 S. Garden St., Visalia). Label your submissions with the kind of plant, when it was collected and where it was collected (location is very important to keeping local plant communities local). We will then weigh submissions and announce the winner. The seed gathering winner will receive a free SRT membership (or gift membership for a fried) and their choice of an SRT merchandise item (t-shirt, hat, tote bag).

Since this year’s seed collecting contest coincides with the opening of Dry Creek Preserve and Homer Ranch, we will also recognize the winner at the grand opening of the preserves. The new nature preserves will feature a demonstration garden to educate our community about the water-saving beauty of our valley and foothill native plant species.