Antioch High interns joined peers from Oakland Tech and San Lorenzo High at the 2017 Brower Youth Awards. Antioch students had the chance to bond with their new campus coordinator, Joelle Alley, on the lengthy BART ride from Pittsburg/ Bay Point to Civic Center. Luckily, the group arrived just in time to witness a beautiful sunset over San Francisco City Hall as they walked to Herbst Theater for the reception and awards ceremony.
At the reception, interns meandered around a beautiful hall where local environmental organizations were tabling and offering merchandise, interactive activities, and raffles.
Finally, the students were ushered into the theater for the awards ceremony, which opened with a performance from an all-female local dance crew (probably everyone’s favorite part of the day… they were awesome)!
Seven inspiring youth environmental leaders were honored at the awards. One award winner has worked to organize against oil pipelines, and multiple honorees are attending COP 23 in Bonn, Germany this month. Interns walked away from the awards feeling energized, empowered, and ready to make a difference in their community!
There are many different techniques and methods for conducting habitat restoration; some practical for our interns to perform while others a bit more difficult. Today Earth Team Interns learned and practiced techniques for invasive removal that they will implement when in the field at Marsh Creek, DOW Wetlands and Antioch Dunes.
Interns were first given a presentation on some of those more difficult methods of removal. These methods include prescribed burns to clear large areas of invasive plants and herbicide applications on species that are particularly persistent and grow back year after year.
Finally, students were introduced to hand weeding techniques to remove invasives. These techniques focus on clearing the entire root and minimizes seed dispersal by using controlled movements and improvised seed capture devices.
Today Antioch High Interns learned the importance of Native species and the impacts that Invasive species have on the environment. Students took a walk through on campus to I.D certain species and make predictions on their native status.
Interns then broke into small groups to lead their own investigations, documenting the abundance of invasive vs native species! Results were surprising with more than half the campus containing invasive species.
“We were all pretty interested to learn that Palm Trees are not native to California and that a lot of grass is considered invasive, too!” – Natalia Johnson
In the end, interns gained valuable knowledge and skills to put to work conducting species surveys in the field at Marsh Creek, DOW Wetlands and Antioch Dunes!