Placer Land Trust partners with students to install bird boxes in rural Lincoln
LINCOLN, CA – On an unusually cold and windy Sunday morning a group of 5th grade students from Auburn Elementary School and students from Sierra College huddled for warmth at Placer Land Trust’s Doty Ravine Preserve. Located in rural Lincoln, the preserve is comprised of working rangeland, riparian/wetland habitat and vernal pool complexes. The Auburn Elementary students, made up of mostly girls, pulled up their multi-colored socks and zipped up their baby blue or soft pink hoodies in an effort to ward off the cold so that they may concentrate on a very serious task… Creating homes for birds without the luxury of safe nesting sites. These students, from opposite ends of the educational spectrum, had come together to help our local native birds find a home.
The volunteers were separated into 3 teams, each consisting of Sierra College students, 5th graders from Auburn Elementary and local volunteers. The determined teams, armed with cordless drills, 8-foot steel T-Posts and an assortment of species-specific nesting boxes (some of which were nearly as large as the girl or boy carrying them), stiffened their resolve and their backs against the cold wind and headed off into the grassland to install the nesting boxes, which were generously donated by the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society.
As the day progressed, warmer and less windy than before with plenty of lively banter, the finishing touches were put on each nesting box and our energetic teams learned about vernal pools and their importance to migrating birds. On the walk back to the cars, young future scholars could be heard instructing their fellow students on vernal pool ecology, something to the effect of “Vernal pools are like McDonalds to traveling birds and fairy shrimp are like chicken McNuggets”, “how would you like to travel thousands of miles with no McDonalds chicken McNuggets to eat or nesting boxes to rest in? DUH!”. They may be short in stature but young people loom tall in current and future restoration work and should not be ignored. They are not just the future, they are also today.
Formed by the community and incorporated in 1991, Placer Land Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Trust works with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently preserve natural and agricultural lands in Placer County for future generations. With the help of the community, Placer Land Trust has preserved 4,654 acres to date. More information is available on the Trust’s website, www.placerlandtrust.org.