Earth Team interns from Antioch High have officially began their internship! The first two meetings were spent their first learning all about the San Francisco Bay Delta Watershed. Their mission this year is help restore and protect this vibrant watershed.
The SF Bay Delta Watershed has suffered many environmental impacts such as the abundance of invasive species, immense habitat degradation, and poor water quality. The Antioch Earth Team this year hopes to help the watershed thrive once more. Interns were shocked to learn that their local watershed provides drinking water for over 20 million Californians! This provided them with even more incentive to devote much of their internship to improving the SF Bay Delta Watershed. Interns will be working with Friends of Marsh Creek and the Big Break Shoreline to restore aquatic habitats throughout Antioch.
Earth Team launched their 2016-2017 school year recruitment at Antioch High this Thursday. Program associate, Julia Dorosh, presented to 7 classes consisting of sophomores, juniors, seniors. The energy was high, and students had many questions. Earth Team Alumni Cassie Lanphere, shown above, Latavia Bates, and MacKenzie Gunian shared their EarthTeam experiences with their peers, and were so pleased with the program they are reapplying this year.
2016- 2017 Antioch High Earth Team interns will be continuing the work that was started during last year’s internship, consisting of implementing a three bin system on campus, and addressing Antioch High’s litter issue. Restoration work with also be conducted at two sites, Antioch Dunes, and Big Break Shoreline. Interns will be working alongside East BayRegional Park District staff, and will learn from these professionals about the native flora and fauna and the restoration efforts that allow them to thrive.
The next steps for Antioch High students that are interested are applying online, and scheduling a phone interview with Julia. Within the next two weeks the 14 selected interns will be informed and the internship will begin!!
The school year has almost finished, and another successful EarthTeam internship at Antioch High School has come to an end. From sand dunes to wetlands, this years internship engaged students in a variety of environments. Students also got involved with their local community and school during litter data collection and outreach events.
On their last day students reflected on some of their favorite memories from the year. Some of which included kayaking, hiking, or bringing along friend or family member to help collect litter at an event.
“My favorite memory at this event was that I got to learn how to kayak.” – MacKenzie Gumina
“My favorite EarthTeam memory was from the “Bring a Friend” clean up day, because we were able to share what we do every week with our friends and family members we brought with us.” – Shay Waldrop
“It’s so hard to pick a favorite memory. There far too many to chose from. Every single meeting was full of good vibes and laughs. Definitely a memorable year.” – Tatiana Mendez
Students also shared reasons why they think others should join EarthTeam. Some students emphasized the skills they gained and impact they made, while others considered the connections with others that they forged.
“I believe that students should join because you make new friends, it is tons of fun, you get a great education, you get to be outdoors a lot, and it helps with jobs and colleges.” – Cassie Lamphere
“I think other students should join EarthTeam because it helps you grow leadership skills as well as make a difference in the community.” – Danielle Marin
“People should join EarthTeam because it is a lot of fun! I learned a lot of awesome things about the world and local environment and met a lot of amazing people and friends.” – Amani Taylor
At EarthTeam, we are grateful for the student’s participation and great work throughout the year. We also greatly appreciate the help and support from all our partners and volunteers. We hope that each internship we provide has a lasting impact on all those involved and the local natural environments in which we work. Next year’s internships begin in a just a few short months, and we couldn’t be more excited to get to work.
On May 4th, Antioch High EarthTeam Interns celebrated an almost complete internship program with a hike in Black Diamond Mines Regional Park. Eleven interns and one student volunteer gathered water and snacks and set out on The Chaparral Trail, a small trail loop that climbs a small hill to a vista point, then turns back downhill for the remaining half of the distance.
Students observed small rodents in the park, including ground squirrels. There were also wildflowers in bloom. Interns learned the name of the trees with smooth dark red bark that lined much of the trail, the manzanita.
Next week will the intern’s last meeting. At their final meeting they will reflect on the many things they have learned and accomplished together as EarthTeam interns.
On Saturday the 23rd, Interns at Antioch High School hosted a community Eco Fair to celebrate Earth Day. Interns began the day by walking together around their school and neighborhood picking up litter on the sidewalks and streets. A significant amount of trash was collected – including large items such as a shopping cart and mattress. Next they traveled over to Contra Loma Regional Park, set up a EarthTeam booth, and engaged with community members with games to teach about properly sorting household waste products. The event activities in the park ended with a BBQ provided by Antioch High School Key Club.
“I’m so glad friends/families actually got up early in the morning, taking time out of their day to come help clean up the community around us. It make me so happy knowing I could actually make a big difference just by a simple litter pick, which is something I really love to do.” – Tatiana Mendez
“I think it’s important to engage in things like this that help to better the community. We were able to make it fun by playing music and racing to pick up the most trash (me and Cassie won by the way).” – MacKenzieO’Brien
“Overall it was a very successful day and we all felt proud of all the trash we picked up and how we together as a team.” – Jasmin Zermeno
“On the 22nd of March and the 4th of April me and some of my fellow EarthTeam interns went to the Antioch San Dunes National Preserve and led our Environmental Academy Freshmen in helping the environment. On the first day I led the invasive species removal team with Bree. The second day we all helped planting host plants for the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly. The freshmen had reacted well and took our direction pretty much the entire time. they were interested in what I was saying. It was fun for me to lead the field trips. I guess I just like telling people what to do”- Amani Taylor
“On March 22nd some of the interns from EarthTeam went to the Antioch Dunes to help out with invasive species. The freshmen seemed to enjoy the help of the EarthTeam interns and they were interested in what we do as an internship. I felt really proud of myself for going on the field trip because my leadership and speaking skills that I learned in EarthTeam were finally used for a good cause and over all it was a great experience”- Jasmin Zermeno
“Mackenize, ZuZu, Victoria, Tatiana, Amani, and I went to the Antioch Dunes on April 5th. We went to the Antioch Dunes to help and educate the freshmen on the endangered species that live there and planting the naked stem buckwheat. Each of us were placed in a group with other freshman to lead them in planting, clearing invasives, and litter pick up. The Freshman were very nice to us and most seemed to be having fun. Leading the field trip was a bit nerve wracking at first but it got easier as the day passed.”- Cassie Lanphere
This year out Interns at Antioch High School are hosting an Eco Fair for the City’s Earth Day event open to all community members. It is the students’ biggest project of the year. After interns met with the City of Antioch for advice and resources, they reflected on how they have grown as leaders throughout the school year and how that has prepared them for their big end of the year event. Read intern’s reflections below:
“I have grown so much in this internship. So far I have improved my communication skills, public speaking skills, leadership skills, team working skills, and so on. Our whole whole internship as a group has grown tremendously and we have gotten so much closer were literally a family now. I’m looking forward to meeting and speaking to so many new faces and just being around people who all have a common interest on Earth Day. I feel like I will be nervous about the day but with all the skills I have gained I know I will be able to get through it and be able to interact with so many new people”- Tatiana Mendez
“I’ve grown as an intern by not being so shy and talking up more in discussions. The things that I’m looking forward to on Earth Day is the food, getting other people involved and also getting people to help the environment. Earthteam has prepared me by speaking out to strangers”- Mackenzie Gumina
“I feel that I’ve grown as a leader in EarthTeam because I have develop better public speaking skills while doing all of our projects. I’m excited for the Earth Day event because it will be our largest event so far. I’m also excited because we will have our own booth and will get to share our knowledge with others who care about the environment as much as we all do. I feel that my growth as a leader has prepared me for the Earth Day event because I am more comfortable talking to people now and we will be doing a lot of that on Earth Day”-Shay Waldrop
“During this internship I have grown in many ways. I have grown as a leader and a member of a team. I have also grown asa public speaker, for the Earth Day festival I am looking forward to planning, interacting with people, and seeing how people react to the festival. My growth as a leader has prepared me for Earth Day event because it’s a lot easier for me to talk to people and organize with them even if I havn’t met them before”- Danielle Marin
Last week interns brought a friend to a campus clean up and field outing day. Interns wanted to share their skills and knowledge with their friends while giving their peers a chance to see what it is like to be an EarthTeam intern. Here are some of the student’s reflections:
“My project was a Bring-A-Friend litter pick up. The objective was to bring a friend and we’d go to the sand dunes to pick up litter. We started off at school with a data training and a quick pick up then went to the Antioch Sand Dunes to pick up trash there. There were 21 people total. A Highlight was finding out that we picked up over 500 pieces of trash”- Danielle Marin
“My project was to bring a friend to help clean up our school and the Antioch Sand Dunes. I choose this project because I felt bringing a friend along would help out a lot with the litter clean up. The purpose of the project was to get our friends involved in what we were doing like data training. The day was really good, things went really well. There were 21 people which as all the interns plus our friends. It was really fun to be able to see my friends clean and do what I do on a regular basis.”- Latavia Bates
“I was part of the Bring-A-Friend to EarthTeam project. I choose this project because it sounded super fun showing our friends what we do here in EarthTeam on a daily basis. The objective of our project was to really reach out to others and warn them about all the litter people produce. The day at the sand dunes with our friends was super exciting. There was a total of 21 people. It was so fun picking up litter with everyone having a good time. It didn’t feel like work at all. The highlight of that day for me was really at the end- hearing all the positive feedback our friends had while experience what we do.”- Tatiana Mendez
“My project was a data training at school and a clean up at the Antioch Dunes. The objective of our project was to teach our friends all of our skills in data collecting and litter pick ups. The day was really fun, I enjoyed being outside with my friends while doing something I love which is helping the environment. There were 21 people there. I had lots of fun. Something fun from that day was that we got to go into the water and pick up litter with boots on.” Jasmin Zermeno
This February our Antioch EarthTeam Interns travelled to the Big Break Regional Office to share their knowledge with our partner Louis Terrazas. Interns put together a presentation summarizing their marine debris data that they have collected all school year long at the Antioch Sand Dunes Wildlife Refugee. Our student leaders connected their data and how the litter on the site effects the local Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, a near extinct species. Students ended their presentation with recommendations on how to prevent marine debris at the site. Read some of the student’s reflections on the day below:
“My mini-project for the last few weeks was to present to Louie T about the Antioch Sand Dunes and ways to help and protect the things that live there. The objective was to help and improve the health of the dunes with our suggestions. On the day of the presentation we all went over to Big Break in Oakley and presented in the main office. After we finished presenting each intern shared how they have impacted the environment. I enjoyed hearing what all of my fellow interns thought and how they have been helping the environment.”- Amani Taylor
“My project was the Fish & Wildlife Service Presentation. I choose it because I like to present, I have a passion for everyone’s eyes on me and to know I’m in charge. Our objective was to let Louie know what they can do to clean up and improve their site, also letting him know the excessive amounts of litter and what they can do to decrease such numbers. We got to Big Break in Rae’s van, all the interns went and four of us presented, including myself. I wasn’t nervous since I have been presenting so many times throughout my high school career.”- Zuwenat Zahra-Aganju