Trails & Recreation
Breaking New Ground!
Do we really need more trails in the Sierra Foothills?
Anyone who’s joined the throngs of people hiking at Hidden Falls Regional Park or the local state parks on a summer weekend knows the answer is a resounding YES! That’s why we need you to support PLT’s Trails & Recreation Capital Campaign!
Many of you have heard about, and maybe even contributed to, this campaign already. Our goal is to raise $750,000 to build 20 miles of new trails for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders across 3,000 acres of permanently protected land.
We are making good progress! We’re excited to announce that, thanks to many individual donors and a grant from REI, we’ll be constructing 3 miles of new trails on our Taylor Ranch Preserve this fall. That’s right, we’re not waiting to raise our full goal, we’re opening new trails for you as soon as we can!
We’re also be co-hosting a family-friendly event with REI on Nov. 9 at Taylor Ranch Preserve. This will be an interactive day with fun, hands-on activities for all ages, hikes, and opportunities to give back through service projects. Lunch will be provided.
If you haven’t already, please help make the remaining 17 miles of trails a reality by making a tax-deductible contribution on our website or in the enclosed envelope (in either case, please indicate that your gift is for the Trails & Rec Campaign).
We look forward to seeing you on the trails!
May 6th Big Day of Giving Update
Thank You Supporters!
The Sacramento region’s first BIG Day of Giving was a huge success – thanks to everyone who donated to Placer Land Trust and all the other worthy nonprofits in the region!
The four-county region surpassed the original goal of $1 million by 10am and ended up raising over $3 million!
“I thought it was a great event,” said PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Not only did I contribute to PLT on May 6, but I also supported some of my other favorite charities, knowing my donation would be boosted by a pool of matching funds.”
PLT also exceeded its goals, all thanks to generous donors!
• PLT raised over $62,000 in 24 hours.
• PLT won 4 cash prize challenges totaling an additional $9,000.
• PLT came in 2nd place out of 394 organization in the region – and 1st place in Placer County.
“Community support means the world to PLT, and we are deeply humbled by the big turnout on the Big Day of Giving.,” said Darlington.
“Your donations enabled us to win some big cash prizes and it really helped put PLT on the map with new partners and donors across the region.”
Big thanks also to the Placer Community Foundation and the Sacramento Regional Community Foundation for putting on the BIG Day of Giving, and to the many prize donors, such as:
Robert Kemp Community Fund, Charles & Gail Muskavitch Fund, ioSafe, Jim & Judy Ganulin Family Fund, Magnussen’s Auburn Toyota, Constantino Family Fund, Community 1st Bank, and Whole Foods Market Roseville.
PLT Staff Out and About
In July Jessica Daugherty attended the 2014 California Mitigation Summit in Los Angeles. This was an intensive conference focused on regulatory and policy changes within the various mitigation programs.
Representatives from CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CA Dept. of Water Resources and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as the nonprofit and for-profit community were present to describe critical issues and programmatic changes.
One of Jessica’s many roles at PLT is to manage mitigation-related planning and projects, and look for new and creative ways for PLT to protect our natural and agricultural lands for future generations.
REI Supports PLT!
REI and PLT are co-hosting a special free PLT trail event on Sunday, Nov. 9 at Taylor Ranch Preserve in Auburn. Bring the family to work and walk on trails, and enjoy some of the natural wonders protected by PLT. Registration information will be on PLT’s and REI’s websites soon.
Placer Land Trust Docent Program
Meet our Volunteer Docents
If you’ve been on one of our hikes, a mountain bike ride, a trail run, yoga event or other special tour — you were in good company.
In the past year, over 200 people have enjoyed hiking, riding, running, photographing, meditating, and enjoying nature on our Harvego Bear River Preserve and Big Hill Preserves during our Saturday Adventures.
PLT began our docent-led hikes in 2011, and we’ve been lucky to have a committed team of volunteer docents leading hikes ever since.
Each of our docents goes through a series of trainings to learn tour safety, the trails and the flora and fauna present on our preserves, as well as the actions PLT takes to permanently protect these properties.
We also arm them with background information on the history of the preserves, including cultural information, enabling them to speak to the public about the importance of protecting open space.
Our docents all have their own areas of expertise and interests providing for a unique experience at each event.
Our initial group of docents includes retired geology professor Karl Mertz from Newcastle; retired Placer County Public Information Officer Anita Yoder from Loomis; retired computer instructor Jeri Juergenson from Auburn; and engineer Andy Herum of Auburn.
In addition to leading our monthly hikes, these four docents have been instrumental in training our newer hike docents.
“I joined PLT as a volunteer 7 years ago partly because I have always admired the land trust ‘model’ which involves very effective and down-to-earth ways to permanently conserve privately-held lands,” explains Karl. “And I just really enjoy being in natural settings and doing my part to help maintain them. Leading hikes gives me the opportunity to be out on PLT’s preserves while introducing people to the land trust and sharing these natural landscapes with them.”
PLT’s docent team has expanded to include biology student Susan Kotelnicki of Loomis; Echo Valley Ranch manager Connie Watson of Newcastle; retired hydrologist Bob Niblack of Rocklin; and college student Mariah Thomas.
This team of docents helped fine-tune and expand our hike program and we’re very fortunate to have them leading our monthly hikes.
As our Trail Campaign got underway in early 2014 we recruited more hike leaders and began offering themed hikes.
Joining the docent team recently is Sarah Roeske who teaches and does research in geology at UC Davis, and is particularly interested in rocks of the foothills. (She’s also married to docent Karl Mertz.)
“Learning from other people who come on the hikes helps make each one unique and enjoyable,” according to Sarah. “It’s great to have folks along who have lived in this area for many generations and know families who lived here long ago.”
New docents also include Sierra College biology and botany professor Shawna Martinez from Loomis, and recent CSU Sacramento biology graduate Jeremy Wright of Sacramento.
Now training to be docents are Rick Ross, John Ramirez, and Terry Lloyd.
Thanks to all of our docents for their amazing passion and dedication, and for helping connect people to the land. You are the best!
From the Boardroom
Welcome Kara Walker & Gina Giambruno
Please join us in welcoming Placer Land Trust’s newest staff member, Kara Walker, our new Community Relations Manager. Kara and her family recently relocated to Folsom from the Bay Area, and she started with PLT in July.
Kara comes to PLT with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, mostly from her work with the YMCA.
For over a decade, Kara coordinated, directed, and taught Outdoor Educations programs at the YMCA, hoping her passion for the outdoors would be inspirational to the students who attended and create a desire in them to protect our natural resources.
She hopes to bring that same passion to PLT and do her part to ensure the natural wonders in Placer County will be preserved for young and old alike for generations to come.
“I realize how lucky I am to have lived in areas with beautiful, natural places at my doorstep, never more-so than now with all that Placer County has to offer! I have chosen to create a career that supports my passion. I am honored to work for an amazing organization like PLT that not only ensures that future generations always have access to nature and the many benefits it brings; but that also offers outdoor activities and adventures to encourage us all, nature-lovers and nature-newbies alike, to get outdoors and stay active!” says Kara.
Kara has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Before we stole her from the YMCA, she was involved with organizing and implementing multiple fundraising campaigns to raise money for the organization.
We are thrilled to have someone of her caliber join our team!
Placer Land Trust is also pleased to announce the addition of Loomis resident Gina Giambruno to our Board of Directors. Gina is a Health Education Instructor for Kaiser Permanente in Roseville, and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Health in August.
For more than a year, Gina interned with PLT through a program at San Jose State University to study and promote the health benefits of conservation and outdoor recreation.
In her role as a Public Health Intern, she supported PLT in the promotion of our trails campaign by working with private-sector partners such as Kaiser Permanente and NorCal Ultras, tabling at Hidden Falls Regional Park, and creating a video and brochure that describe the health benefits of spending time in nature.
As Gina’s internship with PLT was ending, she realized she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to PLT. As a Board member, she will be able to continue to promote the trails campaign, and she hopes to use her knowledge and connections as a trail running coach for Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive employee wellness program to bring organized trail runs, similar to the Way Too Cool 50k marathon, to PLT’s preserves.
“I really believe in what PLT is doing, and the staff is amazing,” says Gina, “so I thought I would stay on a while longer!”
Welcome Kara & Gina!
Of Bees and Bears
a tale from the honey business
Well I’m glad you asked!
“The story of the honey bear is sometimes remembered big and sometimes remembered small, depending on which side of the paper napkin you were sitting.” says John Miller of Miller Honey Farms.
Most hold that the idea for the very first squeezable honey bear was born in 1957 at the dinner table of Ralph & Luella Gamber, founders of Dutch Gold Honey. After sharing the evening meal with Woodrow & Rita Miller, fellow beekeepers from California, the conversation turned to the honey business and the fact that the industry didn’t have a unique container – a honey container.
“Sixty years ago the west was young; interstates didn’t exist and the honey market wasn’t well developed,” says John. “What was needed was something that would ignite the imagination and develop interest in the honey product as well as set the producers apart.”
In 1956, Yogi Bear was popular and the U.S. Forest Service was promoting the ‘only you can prevent forest fires’ campaign, mouthed by the famous forest ranger bear. Walt Disney’s movie magic had an influence on Woodrow Miller, a man as flamboyant as Ralph Gamber was not. Woodrow was drawn to impact.
Before long, the four were brainstorming ideas for novel packaging ideas and they hit paydirt with the honey bear idea.
The original plastic bears were first produced by a company called Admiral Plastics in California. The bears weren’t exactly akin to the current models; plastic molding technology was in its early stages and it wasn’t uncommon for the bears to leak from the seams at their ears or noses – gross! The eyes and nose were hand painted on each container and sometimes red lips were applied, much to the chagrin of Ralph.
Whoever came up with the idea first, that night in 1957 at the Gamber’s dinner table marked the beginning of a tradition that is now ubiquitous. Today the honey bear continues to bring a smile to the face of customers around the nation … and it started with a simple conversation over dinner.
Where will your next conversation lead the nation?
Eagle Scout Project
New shade structure for Canyon View
This summer, Eagle Scout Conner Getz worked with former PLT staffer Troy Outman to complete his Eagle Scout Project.
For Conner’s project, he designed and built a 12-foot tall shade structure at PLT’s Canyon View Preserve to provide shade at the picnic area along the trail.
Conner says, “One of the biggest challenges on the trail to Eagle Scout is the Eagle Scout Project. It teaches you how to plan, how to lead, and most importantly how to solve problems on the fly.”
“For example, we hadn’t planned on using lag screws so we didn’t have any wrenches that fit. After thinking for a minute or two my mentor, Mr. Outman, picked up a lag screw and his hammer. We continued to hammer in the rest of the lag screws, saving a trip to the hardware store,” recalls Conner.
“This taught me that the conventional way of doing things isn’t always the best and that sometimes you just have to improvise.”
Troy also got a lot out of helping with the project.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with motivated teens,” says Troy. “Conner is one of the most motivated and hard working teens I’ve worked with – he really stepped up to the challenge.”
The shade structure is designed to provide shade starting at 4 o’clock on the first day of summer until the oaks in the back ground start to filter relief.
“Everything came together wonderfully and it has already become a favorite spot for my wife and I to go and share with friends,” says Troy.
PLT greatly appreciates the hard work that Conner and his family and friends put into this project and the shade that the structure will provide to the public while enjoying the Canyon View Trail and picnic area.
PLT’s Canyon View Preserve is open to the public every day from dawn to dusk.
Health Benefits of Nature
Shinrin-yoku and Beyond
Ever notice that you actually feel better after spending time outdoors?
Well, you’re not imagining that. There is growing scientific research touting the health benefits of nature. Activities ranging from physical exercise outdoors to just gazing out a window at a natural landscape have all proven to increase your well-being in multiple ways.
The Japanese have known this for years, and in the 1980s developed the relaxation practice of Shinrin-yoku, which translates to “bathing in the forest air”. They recognized that spending time in natural surroundings caused both stress hormones and heart rates to decrease, and immune systems and a person’s mood to improve.
In fact, according to Dr. Christina Scirica, “Exposure to the outdoors has been found to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, vitamin D deficiency, depression, and anxiety, and may even improve attention.”
Studies also show that performance is actually improved when exercise takes place in natural surroundings. In one study, runners reported feeling more motivated, and less pain and fatigue. This actually led to faster times than the runners in the study who exercised indoors.
This type of information has caught the attention of many doctors, many of whom are now literally writing prescriptions for their patients to spend time outdoors for conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and ADHD.
So, what should you take from this?
Dr. Alan Logan says: “This research that’s emerging should indicate to all of us that we should be taking this extremely seriously. As our cities expand, we need to preserve and hold on to these natural spaces.”
Luckily, for many of us who live in Placer County, we have many natural playgrounds out our back door that we can take advantage of.
But many living in more urban areas have to travel to find natural spaces, making daily or frequent outdoor activities a challenge.
If you have limited access to nature, find small ways to stay connected by planting gardens and walking at a local park. Work with your neighbors to advocate for bike paths, regional parks, open spaces and community gardens in your town.
And of course, sign up for hikes offered by Placer Land Trust and support our work in conserving our natural resources. We are thrilled to play our part in contributing to a healthier community!
California’s State Insect: the Dogface Butterfly
Gets a Little CPR!
Do you remember the sense of wonder you felt as a child watching a butterfly flutter by?
As adults, we often get too bogged down with life to take the time to experience that joy.
Well, a group of young-at-heart adults from Capital Public Radio did just that on a recent visit to land along the Bear River that has been permanently protected by PLT.
The hike was led by Fran Keller and Greg Kareofelas from U.C. Davis’ Bohart Museum of Entomology. They took us on a hunt for the elusive California Dogface Butterfly, our state insect.
Only one in 10,000 people have seen these butterflies in the wild, but fortunately PLT’s Shutamul Bear River Preserve contains one of the largest known breeding locations for our state insect, due to topography and the presence of the butterfly’s host plant, false indigo.
We were like kids in a candy store, walking up and down the trail taking pictures and videos of these amazing creatures fluttering all around us. Capital Public Radio staffer and PLT supporter Arla Gibson said, “Seeing the Dogface butterfly in its natural habitat and learning about our state insect from local experts was magical. A perfect day!”
Shutamul Bear River Preserve is 40 acres along the Bear River north of Auburn, acquired and protected by PLT in 2005. The property is named after a historic Nisenan village nearby.
Capital Public Radio supports Placer Land Trust’s work to protect Placer County’s natural wonders, and it was an honor to take them on a private tour of one of our treasured preserves.
All of our donors make it possible for PLT to protect valued lands like Shutamul Bear River Preserve, preserve critical species like the Dogface butterfly, and enjoy the natural wonders of Placer County – now and for future generations –
Outdoor Adventures with PLT
It’s Not All About Hiking!
Just as there are many ways to connect to our landscape, there are also many ways to have adventures and create memories in and around the many natural wonders of Placer County.
Certainly taking a hike is one of the most popular ways to connect with the outdoors. But here at PLT we know that its not all about hiking. Many of our members enjoy the outdoors from their windowsill or their garden, and others prefer to mix the outdoors with a healthy dose of endorphins.
How do you like to enjoy the outdoors?
Earlier this year we began to offer the 4th Saturday “outdoor adventures” in addition to PLT’s 2nd Saturday docent-led hikes. We’ve expanded the program to include mountain bike rides, trail runs, yoga, meditation, photography, bird-watching, picnics, and more!
Our newly created Mountain Bike Docent Team is led by docent Andy Herum and PLT Board member Jim Haagen-Smit, along with trainees John Ramirez, Fred Strickland, Steve Minniear, Kim Mitchell, and Rick Ross. Our newly created Trail Running Docent Team will be led by former PLT staffer Troy Outman, Andy Herum, and trainees Jon Shilling and Terry Lloyd.
We want to keep offering unique opportunities to get people of all ages and interests out into nature. If you’ve got an idea or you’d like to be part of our docent team, please let us know!
Oaks still growing
Last summer Girl Scout Christina Sabin planted 15 oak tree saplings at Doty Ravine Preserve near Lincoln, CA, for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. We are happy to report that despite the continuing severe drought and no regular irrigation, most of the trees are still alive! This project serves as a practical experiment with oak planting in late summer using DriWater and minimal inputs to keep cost down. If successful it could serve as a model for future oak restoration practices in the region.
Thank You Harvego Family!
In-kind donations can be as valuable to PLT as cash contributions, and are also considered charitable donations. A case in point is the Harvego Family. The Harvego Family owns and operates the Bruin Ranch cattle operation that leases the cattle grazing rights to Harvego Bear River Preserve from PLT. In addition to paying PLT for the grazing rights, the Harvego Family also donates additional fuel load management and property security services to PLT under the supervision of Stewardship Manager Jeff Ward. Special thanks to Lloyd Harvego and Joe Fischer for this donation!
Here at PLT we are in the middle of our annual renewal process. You have most likely seen a letter or two in your mailbox. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet … now is the time to renew!
Don’t Forget about our Sustainer’s Circle!
Placer Land Trust offers recurring donations. You can select to make weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, for any amount over $10.
To join many other donors in our Sustainer’s Circle, visit our website at placerlandtrust.org or call our office at (530) 887-9222.
2014Whole Foods Market Supports PLT
You can help raise money for PLT by shopping at Whole Foods Market Roseville!
Just bring your own re-usable shopping bags, and when you check out tell the cashier you want to make a 5-cent donation to Placer Land Trust in their “Nickels for Nonprofits” program. It’s as easy as that!
From now until the end of September, PLT receives the donations from this program – so shop often and don’t forget to bring your bags!!
Also, Placer Land Trust will be at the Whole Food Market in Roseville on Tuesday, September 9th giving out free reusable bags. Please stop by and say hi!
Placer Land Trust staff and their free time!
Jeff fished Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula with his brothers-in-law. He stocked up the freezer with yummy halibut, and caught and released trout, Dolly Varden, and salmon (including the handsome sockeye salmon shown below).
Jessica took a family trip to Oregon and did some self-guided exploring in the cave at Lava Bends National Monument with her son Wyatt and husband Josh. (Yes, they made it out alive.)
We hope you enjoyed some fun vacation time this summer too!
Clear your calendars…
Placer Land Trust’s annual Placer Conservator Ceremony & Dinner
Please join us on Thursday, October 23, 6-9pm, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn to honor the Auburn State Recreation Area Canyon Keepers with the 2014 Placer Conservator Award for their role in enriching the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation.
If you’re not familiar with this amazing organization, Canyon Keepers is a volunteer group that promotes healthy recreation by providing assistance and information for visitors to the state park. They organize hikes, conduct trail maintenance, provide guided history walks, and assist the professional ranger staff through volunteer work.
This annual fundraising event boasts a tasty BBQ catered by Pipin’ Hot Smokers and live entertainment by Homegrown Sounds. Help PLT build 20 miles of new trails in Placer County for all to enjoy! For tickets and information see placerlandtrust.org or contact Janet Voris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also looking for sponsors for this event. We need your help so please contact Kara Walker at email@example.com if you’re interested in promoting your business by supporting PLT and honoring the work of the Canyon Keepers.