Posted on January 18, 2013

San Joaquin County: Community Volunteers, PG&E Help Restore Habitat along Mokelumne River

Lodi High School students with the Center for Land-Based Learning joined PG&E and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build nesting boxes that will be erected in sensitive habitat along the Mokelumne River near Lockeford.

LOCKEFORD – PG&E, along with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Lodi High School students with the Center for Land-Based Learning helped restore nearly an acre of sensitive habitat along the Mokelumne River on Jan. 17.

As a part of the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) program, designed to engage California high school students in habitat restoration projects that enhance classroom learning, develop leadership skills and result in positive impact for the environment, 30 area high school students will participate in five all-day field trips during 2012-13 to the restoration site at the NRCS Lockeford Plant Material Center.

Program participants will plant native vegetation, remove invasive species, build and install nest boxes for birds and monitor plant survival while learning about how their efforts will enhance species diversity, stabilize the soil, and protect the critical habitat of this riparian corridor. Overseeing the effort are mentors from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District, PG&E, East Bay Municipal Utility District and Vino Farms, a Lodi-based California certified sustainable winegrower.

“This project gives students the opportunity to participate long-term in a real restoration project, engage in positive environmental action, learn about careers, and develop skills that they can use through high school and beyond” said Nina Suzuki, SLEWS program director.

PG&E’s Nature Restoration Trust provided $23,750 to support the restoration effort. The Nature Restoration Trust is a partnership between PG&E and the NFWF to bring together public and private resources to conserve and enhance the natural habitats of fish and wildlife. Since 2001, PG&E has committed over $1 million to this unique, public-private partnership to support habitat and wildlife restoration projects throughout Northern and Central California.

Lodi High students, including Carly Sanden, Chase Robinson, Tyler Gibbs and Gage McWeeney joined Charles Hunter of EBMUD to dig holes where nesting boxes will be installed.

“PG&E is proud to be part of this project to help protect, conserve, and restore the Mokelumne River corridor,” said Diane Ross-Leech, director of environmental policy at PG&E. “Our support is part of the company’s broader commitment to partner with the communities we serve to protect natural resources and educate others about how they can make a difference.”

PG&E offers details on its commitment to the environment on its website.



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