Vernal pool tours coming to Grasslands Regional Park this spring

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Recently, the Yolo County Parks Division, in partnership with the Yolo Basin Foundation, was awarded a four-year, $65,200 California Department of Parks & Recreation grant to provide docent-led vernal pool tours in Grasslands Regional Park during the spring season to students from Yolo County and the greater Sacramento region, as well as the general public.  The program will provide hands-on, inquiry-based science education to over 7,000 residents over the course of the grant.

“We are excited to provide guided tours that will feature the plants and animals that thrive because of our vernal pools,” said General Services Director Kevin Yarris.  “This award will help us share our passion for our natural habitats and resources and generate a lifelong enthusiasm for the outdoors among students across the region.”

Yolo Basin Foundation Executive Director Martha Ozonoff added, “the foundation’s mission is to expand public appreciation and stewardship of wetlands and wildlife in the Yolo Basin through education and innovative partnerships.  This project is a great example of putting our mission into action, and we welcome the opportunity to further our existing collaboration with Yolo County Parks.”

Located in southern Yolo County near Davis, the 320-acre Grasslands Regional Park provides a variety of recreational opportunities for area residents.  The park also hosts unique and rare alkali vernal pool habitat.  Thanks to a separate California State Parks grant, the Parks Division is constructing a new trail at the park in 2019 which will support the new outdoor education activities and provide additional access for wildlife viewing in some of the last remaining undisturbed grasslands habitat in Yolo County.

In addition to the Yolo Basin Foundation, the vernal pool tour project is also supported by the Center for Land Based Learning, the City of Woodland and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

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