What were RCDs up to in April?

California is home to 96 unique RCDs operating in ten regions throughout the state. RCDs are California’s boots-on-ground, providing everything from technical assistance to design and installation of conservation projects to community education — and more. Each month, we work to compile a small sampling of the incredible work that the districts are doing in and on behalf of their communities.

Glenn County RCD’s Run Your Tail Off 5k/10k

The Glenn County RCD hosted their annual 5K/10K Run Your Tail Off trail run on Saturday, April 13 at Black Butte Lake west of Orland. In 2011, the RCD partnered with Black Butte Rangers and other partners in Glenn County to create this annual fundraiser that supports RCD Connects with Kids. There was a post-race pancake breakfast.

LandSmart Vineyard Planning Workshops

LandSmart, a collaboration between Sonoma, Napa County, Mendocino County, and Gold Ridge RCDs, hosted vineyard planning workshops on April 4 at the Napa Valley College in the morning and the vineyard in the afternoon.

Napa RCD Sheep & Grapes Workshop

The Napa County RCD hosted a workshop about the production, soil health, and climate benefits of integrating sheep into the vineyard. Participants heard from Wine Country farmers, as well as university and extension specialists. The event was held on Tuesday, April 2 at Napa Valley College.

Glenn County RCD Soil Health Event

The Glenn County RCD‘s Soil Health event on April 3 focused on cover crops, early planting vs. late planting, brassica blends vs. plowdowns vs. cereals, and the application of cover crops in walnut production. This event included talks by Steve Gruenwald, Grower’s Choice at Country Pumpkins (7152  CA HWY 32 Orland, CA 95963) and Brian Lohse at Lohse Farms (7752 County Road 29 Glenn, CA 95943).

Glenn County RCD & Colusa County RCD Soil Health Event

At this soil health event, hosted by the Glenn County RCD and the Colusa County RCD participants heard from Daniel Unruh about cover crops, nematodes and orchard health. He gave guests a demonstration of the Unruh crimper in action. Later, Zahangir Kabir, USDA-NRCS, gave a rain simulation that showed what happens to orchard soils with no cover crops and what happens to adjacent soils with cover crops.

Nevada County RCD Seminar on Natural Fibers

The Nevada County RCD hosted their seminar, Discovering the Fun of Natural Fibers, on Thursday, April 11. This is part of their larger 2019 seminar series. Their speaker was Shan Kendall, outreach coordinator of the Foothill Fibers Guild. She brought a picture presentation of local fibers; their production and preparation; and samples of local fibers, yarns, and beautiful creations made by fellow guild members. There was a live demonstration of spinning, weaving, and natural fiber preparation.

RCD of Monterey County Salinas River Partners Benefit BBQ

The RCD of Monterey County co-hosted a benefit BBQ on Friday, April 12 in the Rodeo Room at the Salinas Sports Complex. All proceeds went to conservation on and along the Salinas River. This event featured Benny Jefferson’s renowned BBQ crew; local wines, fruits, veggies and cheeses; a brief and entertaining celebration of river stewardship; and a silent and live auction.

Marin RCD Carbon Farming Featured in Marin Independent Journal

The Marin RCD was featured in the Marin Independent Journal for its carbon farming program and new funding to implement plans. “The state Coastal Conservancy on Thursday provided $200,000 to the Marin Resource Conservation District to implement carbon farming projects on up to 10 ranches as part of the Marin Carbon Project.”

RCD of Monterey County Featured in Monterey Herald

The RCD of Monterey County was featured in the Monterey Herald for their arundo control program and their $2.9M award from the Wildlife Conservation Board to continue their work. The article highlights the RCD’s progress, and the flooding risk that arundo poses.

East Stanislaus RCD Cover Crop Video

The East Stanislaus RCD compiled the best content from their cover crop workshops into a video. Join Jeff Borum from the East Stanislaus RCD as he travels the state of California working with partners from the NRCS to Project Apis M to share all you need to know about cover crops! Please share widely.

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD Volunteer Opportunity

The Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD held a volunteer work day on April 6 & 7 at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (Cambria,CA). On Saturday, April 6, volunteers mitigated the potential for a hazardous wildfire on the Ranch by creating a fuel break in the understory of a Monterey pine forest. On Sunday April 7, volunteers improved the plant community along the riparian corridor of Santa Rosa Creek by removing invasive weeds and planting 100 native trees and shrubs. Volunteers also spread mulch created through processing dry woody debris the day before.

Florin RCD Receives Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Florin Resource Conservation District/Elk Grove Water District received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for their 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This marks ten years in a row that the District has earned the prestigious honor for financial reporting. The certificate was awarded by the national Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) after an impartial panel judged that the District’s CAFR demonstrates a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” that clearly communicates financial information to motivate District customers to read the CAFR. Click here to read more.

San Diego Successes in Carbon Farming

The RCD of Greater San Diego County’s Success in Carbon Farming event took place on April 27 from 1-3pm at the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden. It was the second farmer/rancher outreach opportunity for local farmers and ranchers to observe their local successes to boost carbon sequestration, soil moisture, and plant yields. Their head farmer Gregg talked about the successes in carbon farming, specifically improvements resulting from compost application, mulching, and cover crops. John Austel, Family Ranch Manager, spoke about his use of prescribed grazing as a climate-smart practice, the challenges of promoting carbon farming to San Diego ranchers, and technical assistance experiences with the RCD of Greater San Diego County.

Coastal San Luis RCD BMPs for Morro Bay Watershed Workshop

The Coastal San Luis RCD hosted their Best Management Practices for the Morro Bay Watershed Workshop on Tuesday, April 30 from 9am to 11am at the Cal Poly Beef Center (Pennington Creek Road, San Luis Obispo). The workshop was co-hosted with the Morro Bay National Estuary Program to help landowners address water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat, and water conservation issues in the Morro Bay watershed.

Solano RCD Downtown Vacaville Clean Up Day

The Solano RCD co-hosted a Clean-Up Day on April 20, from 8am to noon in Downtown Vacaville (313 Parker Street, Vacaville). This was an opportunity for Vacaville’s business and community leaders, and their families to work together to take pride in the heart of the city and celebrate Earth Day.

Carbon Farm Planning Training

The Cachuma RCD, CARCD, and the Carbon Cycle Institute collaborated to host a Carbon Farm Plan Training. Participants learned about the scientific and applied basis for carbon farming conservation practices that sequester carbon in row crops, rangelands and forests; how to measure greenhouse gas benefits using Comet-Planner; and how to develop a Carbon Farm Plan.

Contra Costa RCD Earth Day Events

In celebration of Earth Day, Contra Costa RCD hosted several clean-up events in their district, which included time and activities to appreciate the natural beauty of the areas they were improving.