On Saturday, September 16th, interns from Skyline, Oakland Tech, and Oakland R&D partnered with Friends of Sausal Creek and other volunteers to restore Dimond Park as their Creek to Bay Day activity. It was an early wake up call for our first weekend event, but the turnout was great and the interns had a lot of fun!
On September 16th, 2017 I was invited to come out for Creek to Bay day at Dimond Park in Oakland. This was a mandatory event for those who are a part of Earth Team and I was not so happy about having to wake up so early on a Saturday morning. Though, I did learn a lot through this experience and what Creek to Bay day was all about.
Creek to Bay is a day that Oakland volunteers and groups such as ours come out to clean up watersheds and restore creeks and parks. Many people came out on Saturday and it was nice seeing friendly faces of people I knew from groups at other Bay Area schools. There were several projects for people to participate in, even some activities for kids! I saw people gathering to start cleaning the park by picking up trash, working near Sausal Creek, and restoring plant areas. I was a part of the tree liberation team and I worked with others to free native plants/trees from foreign ivy otherwise known as invasive species.
Invasive species are foreign plants that pose a danger to native species by taking over the natural environment and not creating a safe/ open area for native plants to grow and thrive. This part was a group effort and required a certain amount of strength. The main planning organization, Friends of Sausal Creek, supplied everything we needed including the tools (I had to use the garden shears to cut ivy surrounding the tree trunk and the pick hoe to pull it away about a 5 meter radius from the tree).
It was hard work but I’m happy I came out to do it. It felt good to do something productive and helpful with my time instead of sleeping in and being lazy. It was a good start to my morning and I am happy I could be a part of this day.
EarthTeam is back at Skyline for a new year and a new exciting program! Jenna Topper, Program Manager, lead intern recruitment efforts throughout Skyline’s Green Academy, yielding a competitive pool of applicants! From the impressive array of applicants, Skyline Campus Coordinator Joelle Alley chose 11 bright, passionate interns to help lead restoration projects throughout the community.
Our wonderful team spent the first meeting of the year getting to know each other, writing personal statements, and taking head shots which you can check out on our website, HERE!
EarthTeam is looking forward to an exciting year with our new interns, and we can’t wait to start doing exciting work all around Oakland!
The East Bay Regional Parks will be hosting a job fair this Saturday, January 21st, 2017.
In preparation for the event, the Skyline Interns readied their resumes. Some of the interns created their first resume ever! Other updated their credentials with an entry for the Earth Team internship.
The Skyline campus coordinator also helped the interns prepare for engaging with Park staff at the job fair event. Stay tuned for photos and reflections from the event!
Tom Erb is 20 years old college student. He’s also helping lead a campaign to organize young people to lobby their government officials to vote for a tax on carbon emissions. He was even featured in the current season of National Geographic’s show Years of Living Dangerously during an episode that explores carbon taxing.
“A carbon tax is a tax that companies have to pay when they release carbon in the air.” – Vivian Le
On Wednesday, January 4th, Tom visited the Skyline Internship to screen the Years of Living Dangerously episode, share his story, and talk about the Put a Price On It campaign.
“He showed us a documentary about animals and enforcing a carbon tax on people that emit too much CO2. After the film we talked about if putting a carbon tax is good or not and learned how to speak to people [politicians].” – Crystal Tu
Should we put a tax on carbon? The interns discussed some of the results a carbon tax may have.
“I think that it is a good thing because it is a boost that allows the start of using green products.” – Vivian Le
“I think it’s both good, because less carbon released and more lives saved, but bad because businesses might shut down.” – Davonna Hodges
“I think it’s a good thing because CO2 is a type of waste that is most detrimental to the environment, similar to our garbage. However, those who pollute the most are able to emit large quantities for free. It would be logical and necessary to impose a carbon tax because it would eventually decrease emissions and consumption of non-renewable resources. Plus it would force companies to use greener resources. However, it may be detrimental to those who are struggling financially since the tax could be passed to the consumer.”– Isabel Ear
The Skyline interns braved some wet weather to install native plants in Redwood Regional Park with Friends of Sausal Creek on Wednesday December 14th, 2016.
FOSC and Earth Team staff taught the interns about native plants and why they are often the best species choice for planting. Compared to plants from other climates and geographies, native plants are the best adapted to the Bay Area conditions. For example, most natives are drought tolerant, an important qualities especially during our current lack sufficient precipitation.
The interns successfully installed almost 100 plants of a large variety; including, california buckwheat, honeysuckle, tellima, lupine, and purple needle grass.
The Interns at Skyline High School measured the amount of green house gases (GHG) they emit by traveling to and from school each week. They started by gathering data on how they each travel – walking, driving, bus, ect. Next they determined the milage for the round trip they each travel. Other information was considered such as each car’s MPG and number of passengers in a carpool. Finally with all the input they used the Transportation Action Project (TAP) Calculator developed for Earth Team by MTC and BAAQMD consultants in 2010 to assess VMT-CO2 emissions.
After calculating how much carbon they emit, the interns developed a plan to reduce their GHG emissions by traveling differently. They were able to reduce the total group amount of carbon they create each week by almost 63 pounds!
The Skyline Interns got to know a local park, Redwood Regional Park, which in only minutes away from their campus. The interns learned the location of a few trailheads and hiked around. Students practice safe hiking and trail etiquette.
Familiarity and comfort with local parks is important for promoting park use and access to nature. Visiting a natural recreation area can be a part of a healthy active lifestyle and can reduce stress. Well maintained and accessible parks are important for making great cities.
The interns will soon return to one trail they hiked at the park, Fern Ravine, to participate in a restoration project with Friends of Sausal Creek.
For the last couple meetings, the Skyline Interns have practiced their data collection skills by creating an inventory of the trees on their school campus.
The students measured the diameter of trees, recording the GPS coordinates, identified the species, and took a picture of the tree. This data can be used to track the number, growth rate, and health of trees in an specified area. It can also help determine when and where to add more trees to an area. Soon the students will use this tree data to calculate the amount of carbon the trees are sequestering as part of their air quality initiative.
The skill of accurately recording and organizing data extends beyond just collecting data on trees. It is a valuable skill that applies across scientific fields and other non science specific disciplines.
The Interns will soon be able to use their data collection experience in a few upcoming projects to help local governments collect data on their trees.
The Skyline interns practiced their finest field sketches of the large and various trees on their campus. Drawing trees helps focus on the small details, and can help reveal subtle differences among tree parts to aid in identifying different tree species. For example, while the carbo tree has an ordinary oval shaped leaf, the interns noticed that the leaves have a small indent on their tip.
Students are practicing their tree identification skills in preparation for making a tree inventory on their campus, and collecting data for some local government. A tree inventory is a collection of tree information, and the tree species is one of the important criteria.