SLEWS Program receives support from Yolo Community Foundation grant

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The Center for Land-Based Learning was one of nine Yolo County organizations to receive grant funding from the Yolo Community Foundation this year. The grants are provided by the Buck Education Grant Program, and are distributed to local STEAM programs. The center will use the grant money to support the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship Program, also known as SLEWS. Through this program students learn about native habitats and restoration with a combination of in-class lessons and hands-on field days. Winters is one of three Yolo County high schools that participates in the SLEWS Program. “They’re Yolo County schools working on Yolo County projects,” says Christine McMorrow, Development coordinator for the Center for Land-Based Learning. McMorrow explained that each project is dedicated to either creating or restoring local native habitats. The projects often take place on privately owned agricultural land. Through restoration the students learn way to address issues like erosion, which is sometimes caused by the loss of native plants and the growth of invasive species. To combat erosion the students plant hedgerows as well as native trees and shrubs. They also promote native bird species by building and placing nesting boxes in the habitat. The program is dedicated to teaching technical skills, such as transplanting, identifying native species and setting up irrigation systems. McMorrow says that the program also aims to teach the students why it is important to understand and protect native habitats. Currently Winters High School’s agriculture biology class is participating in the SLEWS Program. They are working on property near the PG&E training facility. Kayla Roberts, agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor at the high school, says that this project will create both a habitat for native animals and insects and a walking path that will be open to the community. So far the students have lined an irrigation drip with drip irrigation , augered holes and planted native trees and shrubs. On their final field day in February the class will plant native grasses. For more information about the SLEWS Program, go to landbasedlearning.org/slews or call 530-795-1520.]]>

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