• Ambassador: Jan 21, 2012
  • Tree planting at San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge
  • San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge

24 students from Turlock and Pitman High Schools joined WildLink and River Partners to restore native habitat in the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge. This habitat restoration project will effect the return of many threatened wildlife species and reinstate the mixed riparian forest.

The San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge provides an important stop-over for many species of migratory birds as well as a rare mammals, such as the endangered riparian brush rabbit. This on-going restoration project has been critical in the recovery of Aleutian cackling geese. As native habitats are used and altered for human purposes, the ecosystems endure the impact.

Students, teachers, and parents came from both of Turlock's high schools to plant a variety of indigenous tree species over a couple of acres of land. They planted arroyo willow, black willow, sandbar willow, buttonbush, California blackberry, Oregon ash, box elder, Fremont’s cottonwood, and valley oak. The plants going into the ground assumed all shapes and sizes. Vegetatively reproducing willows only needed a cutting to be stuck into a hole in the ground. The valley oaks were planted by simply placing acorns on the surface of the dirt and covering them with plant protectors. In other cases, the planters dug holes for the young trees, then filled the holes in.

As the habitat returns to its natural state, hopefully the folks involved in this project will return to see the fruits of their labor in their local wildlife refuge.

Thank you River Partners, Laura and Ryan Hollister, planters, and drivers!

planting 1

The cardboard cartons are upcycled milk cartons that were never used in production due to an error in the labels.

planting 2

The cartons serve as "plant protectors", both guarding the delicate plants from animals and holding fertilizing mulch.

planting 3
mozie and laura hollister

The coast range poked out of the clouds now and then.

boys walking

Working hard or hardly working? These guys were definitely working hard.

group under oak

As we finished planting, the weather cleared up enough to take a walking tour through the wildlife refuge. What a beautiful place!

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.