The Ventura Youth Stewardship program will use Ventura Land Trust preserves (Harmon Canyon Preserve, Big Rock Preserve, Willoughby Preserve and the Hayden Teaching Preserve), the Ventura and Santa Clara River estuaries, and preserves managed by the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy (Santa Clara watershed) for nature exploration and restoration. Lessons with school-based groups are based on California Next Generation Science standards; after-school and summer nature exploration activities for all participants, led by educators trained in education, environmental science, and wilderness safety. Transportation by bus and van will be supplemented by foot and bike travel when possible. Visits to preserves located along the Ventura River Parkway by bike will be led by Ventura Bike Hub.
Native plant nurseries will be developed at four Title I public schools: Sunset K-8, DATA Middle School, Will Rogers Elementary, and Rio del Sol Elementary. Nurseries will be staffed weekly as school clubs with students propagating native plants from seeds and cuttings obtained on field trips as well as from other local and commercial sources. Native plant habitats at these schools will be outfitted with plant identification signs that link by QR code to a native plant database and curriculum on the Once Upon a Watershed website. In Ventura these schoolyard habitats are being used by their Healthy Schools program staff as outdoor classrooms. Plants grown at schools will be made available for community plantings.
This project will complement the Ojai based Green Valley Project, managed by the C.R.E.W. The VYSI has similar project foci in the lower Ventura River and the Santa Clara watersheds, and VLT will collaborate through CREW youth leadership and as partners in the GVP. This project also will engage with our local Boys and Girls club and with Ventura County’s indigenous education program.
"Bike to Nature" takes school kids on bike trips to nature preserves.
The Ventura Youth Stewardship program brings children to Land Trust preserves and our river estuaries for nature exploration and restoration activities. Our Bikes to Nature connection, managed by the Ventura Bike Hub, uses a fleet of bicycles to teach elementary and middle school students to safely ride bikes in their neighborhoods and to use them as transportation to local nature preserves. Trained educators from the Ventura Land Trust facilitate students connecting with nature and lead restoration activities which focus on planting and propagating native plants. This project will engage students at Title one public schools, our local Boys and Girls clubs and with Ventura County’s indigenous education program.