by Shanti Edwards
We work with a multitude of volunteers, partner groups, neighbors and friends to coordinate land stewardship activities on our protected lands, and the caretakers of our properties are just as important as any of our allies.
Caretakers provide key services in exchange for living on a beautiful, protected landscape. In addition to being a security presence and liaison with neighbors and the local community, they mow vegetation to reduce fire danger, inspect road conditions, report landslides and trees down, and perform countless other duties associated with living in a remote and rural location.
by Karen Arrington
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.
― Wendell Berry
A retired builder, a therapist and an entrepreneur walked into a field.
This could be the set-up of a short and funny joke, but it was much more than that. These people, along with other fabulous volunteers, recently came to Tolay Ranch to tend to native plantings.
When Bob Neale, our stewardship director, suggested scheduling not one or two, but SIX! workdays at Tolay Creek Ranch in March, I knew our dedicated volunteer supporters could do it. And when I put the call out to our volunteers, and they responded with excitement (“I’ve never seen this property!”) and enthusiasm (“I will be there almost every day!”), I knew we were on to something big. Big, because we would be tending thousands of native plants that were planted by STRAW and middle school students over the past five years. Big, because we would be taking on a new zone each day with the goal of weeding all the natives in each zone, numbering well into the hundreds. Big, because each day would present a new set of challenges, such as working on steep slopes or wading through waist-high weeds to find the native plantings.
by Jen Stanfield
Earlier this spring, I hiked through Stuart Creek at Glen Oaks Ranch to monitor for invasive plants along the banks. Spring was in full force; the foliage displayed electric green hues, birds were chirping, insects were buzzing and, woohoo! — the spider webs were plentiful. As I made my way upstream, I caught a glimpse of something unusual attached to a nearby rock and, moving closer to investigate, I was delighted to discover … frog eggs!
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.