RCD of Greater San Diego helps build resilience and adaptivity

The RCD of Greater San Diego County (RCDGSDC) was the host of the 73rd Annual CARCD Conference in November of 2018 and their staff contributed valuable time, resources, and local knowledge to help make this event a resounding success. Thank you! RCDGSDC is an ideal example of a district that embodies the conference theme of “Celebrating Resilient Landscapes and Adaptive Communities”. Here are some of the ways that they are building resilience and adaptivity in their local communities:

  • Carbon farm plans with farmers and ranchers: RCDGSDC developed a pilot carbon farm plan with a rancher in their district. The RCD helps the landowner determine which soil carbon sequestration techniques are the best suited to their operation. Producers hope that the increase in soil organic matter from techniques like compost application and cover cropping will benefit them by increasing water holding capacity and increasing yields. RCDGSDC provides technical assistance, helps them find funding sources, and is part of a larger network of carbon farming partners connecting producers and conservationists.
  • Hedgerow plantings at the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden: Planting hedgerows is one technique of many that farmers and ranchers can implement in their carbon farm plans to sequester carbon. RCDGSDC has implemented native hedgerow plantings on the border of their community garden to sequester carbon, provide habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects, and reduce soil erosion.
  • Carbon farming demonstration plot: The quarter-acre carbon farm demonstration plot is being led by Dr. Chandra Richards at the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden, and features four techniques: mulching, composting, two types of cover crops. They hope to investigate and demonstrate the benefits of carbon farming techniques to community members and farmers and ranchers.
  • Legislative action to pass Assembly Bill 2054: RCDGSDC worked closely with California Assemblymember for the 80th district, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, to bring a much needed funding to fight the invasive Shot Hole Borer Beetle which is threatening forests and orchards in Southern California. Healthy trees are important for climate mitigation, not only because trees sequester carbon, but also because healthy trees are more resilient to the effects of wildfire.
  • Reducing the risk of wildfire: One of the more drastic effects of climate change is the longer duration of California’s wildfire season. RCDGSDC hopes to mitigate the effects of wildfire by supporting fire safe councils throughout their district. These grassroots, community organized councils help prepare homeowners and landowners for fire by providing free training for techniques to reduce the risk of fire spreading to their homes, free chipping services, and other ways to prepare for fire in the area. Read our August 2018 blog post to learn more about fire safe councils. Outside of the fire councils, the RCD also leads fuel reduction efforts, education and outreach about mitigating the risk of fire in the wildland-urban interface.
  • And much more: Adapting to climate change will take a wide range of practices that go beyond carbon sequestration and include education, habitat restoration, and other conservation practices. The RCD also participates in invasive plant removal in San Diego watersheds, watershed education, coordinating programs to give high school students hands-on conservation experience, pollinator protection, education, and pollinator garden development, and school garden development. Explore their new website to find out in depth what RCD of Greater San Diego County is doing for their communities.

Sheryl Landrum, Executive Director for the RCD of Greater San Diego County, summarizes our thoughts precisely: “RCDs, with their commitment to protecting, preserving, and restoring natural resources, are the perfect venue to mitigate the environmental elements that can affect climate change.”


Above: Ann Baldridge, program manager, showing us the carbon farming demonstration plot at their 2018 Soil Shindig event.