The RCD recently started a new program for high schools students called SLEWS (Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship). This program, developed by the Center for Land-Based Learning, brings students into the field to participate in real-world conservation projects that bring classroom learning to life. Students work in small groups guided by a mentor (mentors are either grad students or working in an environmental field), giving them exposure to potential study and career pathways.

Our first SLEWS program is taking place this winter and spring at the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden. We’ve held two of three field days already, and the students have accomplished so much – and we think they’ve had fun too! So far, they have taken soil samples, conducted maintenance on the site’s hedgerow (observing, weeding, planting, and mulching), made native bee nesting blocks, and put up a barn owl nesting box. We are so excited to be working on this program, which is also delivered in other parts of California. Check out a blog post about a recent SLEWS field day to learn more! And if your high school would like to participate in this program, please contact us.