Education Roundup: Students plant seeds as part of native plant project
South Tahoe High School students and the U.S. Forest Service planted their first batch of seeds of the year Tuesday as part of a native plant project.
According to Rena Escobedo of the U.S. Forest Service, the group planted 135 native plant seeds, including buckthorn, broadleaf lupine, sulfur buckwheat, woolly mule’s ears, and yarrow.
“We’re trying to establish more of the native vegetation,” Escobedo said.
The project was masterminded in fall 2010 by STHS teacher Jamie Greenough and teaches high schoolers to start the plants from seeds and transplant them to areas where native plant restoration is needed, Escobedo said.
“Today we took out the ones that were sprouting and planted (near the) edge of the burn area,” Escobedo said. “This is our first attempt at planting today, and we’ll try to plant again in the fall.”
The students planted seeds last year, but, when a group of them gathered for a checkup, they discovered that the plants they had moved out into the sun for summer had been vandalized.
“Vandals destroyed the plants before they could be used in fall restoration projects, so the students had to start all over in the greenhouse,” University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Water Quality Education Specialist Sue
Donaldson stated in a press release.
This year, volunteers used remaining funding to restart seeds for the season. Once the seeds reach maturity, the plants will be used in restoration areas throughout the basin.
“Native plants have a lot of benefits,” Donaldson said. “Because they are well-adapted to the specific area, they require little maintenance and have fewer pest issues. They consume less water and require less fertilizer and pesticides. Native plant roots often do a better job of holding the soil in place, reducing the amount of erosion into the lake. Some native plants stay greener longer, helping to slow down the spread of wildfires.”
The project is in need of pots, soil and other materials used to sustain the plants during the summer, while school is closed. To donate materials, contact Escobedo at 530-543-2733.
Awards and scholarships will be handed out to South Tahoe High School seniors on Thursday, May 31.
The Senior Awards Night will b eheld from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the TADA Theatre on campus. Seniors and their parents will be notified by letter if they are receiving an award.
Whittell will graduate its senior class Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m. at the George Whittell High School gym.
Seniors must be at the gym at 9:30 p.m. for a group picture in their caps and gowns.
Following the ceremony, a reception will be held in the school’s commons.