What Were RCDs Up To in May?

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.

Nevada County RCD

Nevada County RCD hosted an Irrigated Pasture Management Workshop on Saturday, May 4 in the morning at a private ranch in Penn Valley. The event featured Dan Macon, UCCE Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor, who discussed maintaining pasture and improving water management and system efficiency.

Nevada County RCD hosted two presentations as part of their speakers series. “Hazardous Fuels Reduction – Using Livestock!” was presented by Alana Fowler on Thursday, May 2. Corky Quirk, founder of NorCal Bats, hosted a presentation on Northern California bats.

The 4th Annual Mulch Magic Giveaway was held from 7am to 11am on May 11 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Gate 8 off Brighton Street. Nearly 150 cubic yards of shredded cedar were handed out free on a first-come first-served basis, courtesy of Nevada Irrigation District, and sponsors Nevada County RCD and the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Antelope Valley RCD Open House

Antelope Valley RCD hosted their Open House on May 4, from 8am to 4:30pm at the RCD’s plant nursery (10148 West Avenue, Lancaster, CA). At noon, one of their board members and retired forester, Keith Deagon, showed participants proper planting, watering, fertilizing, and pest control techniques.

Napa County RCD

Napa County RCD hosted a Walk-‘n-Talk as part of their WILD Napa series on May 8. The RCD had local ecological experts narrating the walk with information on the river, the watershed, native plants and animals, and what the community can do to protect the Napa River.

The 2019 Napa County Watershed Symposium was held on May 16, from 8am to 3:30pm at Culinary Institute of America at Copia. Sessions were focused on forests, groundwater, the Napa River, and local projects in the watershed.

At the RCD’s Oak Day on May 18, volunteers checked acorn plantings for growth, pulled invasive weeds, and mulched newly planted trees in Alston Park.

On May 29, attendees of Napa Talks Trash met at the Napa Main Library to hear experts talk about “proper sorting techniques, waste minimization efforts, and the current state of some of the world’s trashiest problems.”

RCD of Mendocino County Willits Project Tour

The RCD of Mendocino County hosted a tour of their Willits Bypass Off-Site Mitigation Project on May 18 from 10am to 1pm. Click this link to find out more about the project.

Butte County RCD’s Natural Surface Roads Workshop

Butte County RCD hosted their Natural Surface Roads Workshop on Thursday, May 16 from 9am to 4pm at the Butte County Public Works Chico Facility. This no-cost workshop served landowners, residents, and organizations who are responsible for maintaining and improving generally unpaved roads accommodating multiple uses. The workshop included a classroom session in the morning, followed by a road site visit to demonstrate road assessment tools, diagnose problems, and review beneficial practices and road remediation after wildfire and storm damage. Everyone attending the workshop received a copy of Pacific Watershed Associates’ Forest, Ranch, and Rural Roads Handbook.

Riverside-Corona RCD Master Gardener Plant Sales

Riverside-Corona RCD hosted two UC Master Gardener Plant Sales at their Land Use Learning Center. Attendees found a variety of vegetable plants and got their gardening questions answered by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Riverside County.

LandSmart Vineyard Planning Workshops

LandSmart, a collaboration of four RCDs, hosted a vineyard planning workshop on May 6 at Napa Valley College in the morning and in the vineyard in the afternoon. Attendees learned about creating a LandSmart plan, vineyard waste discharge requirements, Napa Green Land certification, and assessing waterways and unpaved roads for water quality concerns.

Contra Costa RCD’s Pasta with a Purpose

Contra Costa RCD’s fundraiser Pasta with a Purpose: Raise a Fork for Clean Creeks and Shores was on Thursday, May 9. This was a kick-off event for the 1st Annual Watershed Month in Contra Costa County. During the event, attendees were served a free spaghetti dinner and community members were invited to share stories of the hurdles and triumphs of conservation projects, real and potential, that are now driving communities toward better stewardship of their watersheds. Speakers included public representatives and local community members.

Regional Meetings Across the State

Every spring and fall, RCDs come together in their respective regions to share updates and find ways to better collaborate and communicate around conservation and resource management issues. See below for a list of the regional meetings that took place in the month of May:

  • San Joaquin Valley Regional Meeting hosted by Sierra RCD on May 10
  • Bay Delta Regional Meeting hosted by East Stanislaus RCD on May 15
  • Sacramento Valley Regional Meeting hosted by Tehama RCD on May 17
  • Modoc Plateau Regional Meeting hosted by Modoc RCD on May 21
  • North Coast Regional Meeting and Durable Collaborations Meeting hosted by Marin RCD on May 24