WildLink Club Works to Restore Riparian Habitat at Riverdance Farms

Thirteen WildLink Club members from Turlock High and Pitman High worked together to restore native riparian vegetation along the Merced River at Riverdance Farms near Livingston. The organic farm and the Audubon Society are working very hard to restore the balance of nature to help the farm thrive without the need for pesticides and fertilizers and boos the habitat for native birds. Our kids planted several hundred trees and shrubs on this day and helped install drip irrigation for the plants until they become firmly established. It was great to make a close connection to the river that we visit so much in Yosemite Valley and so little so close to home.
Free food.  Riverdance Farms knows how treat their volunteers right! Time to get a few workboots for those that didn't want to get their shoes dirty. Matt from the Audubon Society explains his role in the restoration process (securing funding and working with farmers). Katie enjoys her morning cup o' joe while everyone else listens to Matt.
A view of the previous month's restoration plantings that involved over 100 people. A broader view to show proximity to the river. Matt explains how to properly use plant protectors and describes some of the plant species that will be planted. Time to get down to business!
Everyone gets loaded-up for the walk down to the restoration area. Liz (former THS WildLink) and Aricia represented Yosemite Park Rangers. Pitman Jasmine. Carina, Jazzmin, Kathleen and Alejandra.
Brian, Paola, Natasha. It was a few hundred yards to the work site. The Merced River, a mere 9 miles from THS but seemingly a world away. Matt explains some of the river processes of like bank cutting on outside bends and gravel depositions along slower inside meanders.
The bounty of biota to be planted. How many WildLink club members does it take to unspool some drip irrigation line? We resorted to cutting the line and unkinking it. Jasmine.
Leo Isai & Jordan. Isai. Brian
Paola, Jordan & part of Natasha.  RJH2374 Jazzmin Zack
Paola & Kathleen help to distribute plants. Alejandra uses her muscles to move some cottonwood saplings. Jordan muscles his trees to the planting sites. Digging & planting 101.
Well done, Zach. Paola was a planting machine. Kathleen (El Presidente). Jazz
Isai measures for correct hole depth before planting.  RJH2389  RJH2391 Brian, and the farm owner, Cindy.
Natasha and Leo.  A dynamic duo. Mrs H and her Pitman people. Jordan. Liz and Alejandra
Finishing touches for our first row.  RJH2400 Carina was hole-digging pro. Here's a protected plant.
Wow... that's a lot of planting.  The Walnut trees are being retired.  RJH2408 On to row number two, near the river! Leo makes sure all the plants are in order.
Lunch! A hard day of work rewarded by yummy food and reflections of the day.  RJH2417