• Ambassador: Feb 23, 2014
  • Riverdance Farm Restoration
  • Livingston, CA: Riverdance Farms

Students from Turlock and Pitman High Schools' WildLink clubs restored farm habitat on the lower Merced River.

Thirteen students from Turlock spent a Sunday morning helping Audubon California restore habitat on "retired" land at Riverdance Farms. The group first learned about the importance of the project: to put overworked land to rest, to create habitat for native birds and other animals, to serve as pesticide-free crop protection from insects and predators, and to help serve as an erosion buffer from the Merced River. After that, the group learned techniques for placing drip irrigation, spacing plants apart and in the correct location for optimal growth, and how to plant individual saplings.

In students' own words:

  • "My favorite part was when I was able to plant my first plant of the day, knowing it would be there for years to come."
  • "What I learned from this wilderness ambassador project is we need each other to make a difference."
  • "I learned that there are certain plants that need to be near the water and that some plants should be a certain width apart."
  • "I've learned about the kind of work and money that really goes in to the restoration of wild land."

To see the students' work first-hand or to enjoy a rockin' festival and pick delicious organic cherries and berries on the Merced River, join Riverdance Farms for their annual Pick and Gather/Merced River Fair.

Learn more about Audubon California's work on private agricultural lands.

Matt Shows Seedling

Learning about native plants and which type of water and soil conditions they prefer.

Moving Tubes

Lots of protection to help little seedlings grow!

Snaking Irrigation

Laying out tubing for drip irrigation in an old walnut orchard.

Lower Merced River

Checking out the lower Merced River and talking about erosion. Some of these students are now among a small proportion of Californians who have seen the upper Merced River in Yosemite and the lower Merced River in the Central Valley!

Placing Plants

Spacing plants out so that they complement one another without competing.

Cindy & Student Planting

Riverdance Farms owner Cindy works with a student to plant a seedling.

Proud Planters

Teamwork proves important not only in the backcountry, but while restoring habitat.

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