What Were RCDs Up To in November?

California is home to 96 unique Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) operating in ten regions throughout the state. RCDs are California’s boots-on-the-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.

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD Soil Health Events

The Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD‘s free Cover Crop Management Techniques in the Vineyard workshop was held on November 7, from 9am to 12pm at Parrish Templeton Vineyard. The RCD’s Healthy Soils Program Cover Crop Demonstration projects crop management techniques are being implemented on blocks of four strategically located vineyards in Northern SLO County. In the workshop, they explored soil pits on display with an NRCS Soils Scientist on site to explain soil characteristics around the vineyard. Phospholipid Fatty Acid testing and soil sampling techniques were also discussed. 

The US-LT RCD’s free Vermicompost Facility Tour was on November 21, from 10am to 12pm at the Black Diamond Vermicompost Facility (5325 Broken Spur Place, Paso Robles). The RCD received a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to fund a 3-year study into the effects of vermicompost application on vineyards with respect to greenhouse gas sequestration and overall soil health characteristics. This project is in collaboration with Mesa Vineyard Management, Castoro Cellars, Cal Poly, and Black Diamond Vermicompost . This workshop demonstrated the process of vermicompost production on site at the Black Diamond Vermicompost Facility. 

Trinity County RCD Events

Community Wildfire Protection Plan

In November, the Trinity County RCD partnered with local Volunteer Fire Departments and held Community Meetings in Lewiston and Douglas City for the Trinity County Community Wildfire Protection Plan 2020 Update. In community meetings they hear concerns from the communities about areas with high fuel loading, access to evacuation routes, and community preparedness. The community members are able to prioritize the projects they feel are most important. They will incorporate all of these concerns into the 2020 Update and will work with CalFire, USFS, BLM and local VFDs to generate the final prioritization of the proposed projects.

Sustainable Agriculture Workshops

In November, the RCD partnered with The Watershed Research and Training Center and Down River Consulting, LLC to put on Sustainable Agriculture Workshops in Hayfork and Junction City, CA. Topics included water conservation with a highlight on rainwater conservation, sediment erosion reduction on roads with a highlight on Trinity County’s Mass Wasting (grading) Ordinance, and winterization with application for complying with cultivation permitting.

Riverside-Corona RCD’s Pollinator Festival

Riverside-Corona RCD hosted a fun, outdoor Pollinator Festival on Saturday, November 2 from 11am to 3pm at the LandUse Learning Center. The event featured speakers, games, crafts, photo booths, and a plant sale. Attendees learned about butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, bats, and creating habitat. Riverside’s Mayor Rusty Bailey kick-offed the Monarch Conservation Challenge at noon.

Contra Costa RCD’s Save Earth. Drink Beer.

In November, Contra Costa RCD had another Save Earth. Drink Beer event. It is a recurring “Environmental Hoppy Hour” where community members can causally come together, mix and mingle without pressure, play games, share ideas, and drink beer. Everyone is invited, and folks can bring fliers, news articles, business cards to share with the group.

Mariposa County RCD YouTube Channel for Wildfire Resources

The Mariposa County RCD launched a YouTube channel with videos for homeowners who want to reduce the risk of wildfire on their property. The videos were created from presentations given by local— CAL FIRE, University of California Cooperative Extension, fire history expert George Gruell, and others— and have been approved for content by CAL FIRE. There are 14 videos online, and more will be added based on viewer feedback and as new information becomes available. Visit Mariposa.R.C.D YouTube channel today, and click on Subscribe. Becoming a subscriber unlocks additional features for the channel so that they can make it even more useful for viewers.

Yolo County RCD Featured in the Daily Democrat

Yolo County RCD was featured in the Daily Democrat for its monarch conservation work. “In an announcement made Wednesday, Amy Williams, project manager for the district, reported this fall district staff will work with landowners, land managers, and volunteers to plant 6,400 monarch habitat plants provided by the Xerces Society and grown by Hedgerow Farms to six sites countywide. ‘The majority of the plants being installed are narrow-leaf milkweed, and showy milkweed, larval host plants for western monarch caterpillars,’ Williams stated. ‘Native wildflowers will be planted alongside the milkweed to provide nectar sources for monarch butterflies and many other pollinators.'” Find the full story here.

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD Featured on Local Radio

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD was featured on KCBX for a 20 minute segment. Program Manager Andy Johnson spoke on the district’s latest grant opportunities and projects. Find the full story here

San Mateo RCD Front Page Feature in SF Chronicle

The San Mateo RCD was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle for their Butano Creek restoration project. The project both restores access to an entire watershed for endangered salmon and helps the community overcome chronic flooding. “Over many years people have altered this landscape … and Butano Creek has become disconnected from the floodplain,” said Executive Director Kellyx Nelson, as she looked out over the creek, which snakes through coastal wetlands south of Half Moon Bay. “We’re trying to restore something that has ecosystem function.” Find the full story here.