Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Coyote educator, farm nonprofit and Da Vinci High win environmental honors

Da Vinci Charter Academy students Augustus Brandt, left, and Lauren Owens get some help from parent volunteers Bill Heinick and Jill Van Zanten as they construct a straw bale bench on the school campus at 1400 E. Eighth St. The bench used bales donated by UC Davis and ceramic tiles created by Da Vinci students as well as "found" tiles. A screen next to the school's stage area incorporated reclaimed materials. Patsy Owens/Courtesy photo

Davis resident Cayce Wallace, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and Da Vinci Charter Academy are the winners of the 2013 city of Davis Environmental Recognition Awards, presented by the city’s Natural Resources Commission. The awards will be presented at Tuesday’s Davis City Council meeting.

The awards were created in 1995 to recognize the environmental accomplishments of individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations working in and around Davis.

* Wallace has worked to educate local residents about the importance of the coyote’s role in the regional ecosystem, and how to peacefully coexist with them. Noting that coyotes were frequenting grassy fields east of Harper Junior High, she enlisted support from the school administration and students and taught them how to humanely discourage coyotes’ presence on school grounds, and purchased and mounted “coyote crossing” signs to alert motorists on the Mace Boulevard curve.

She also distributed fliers to the neighborhood so that people are familiar with hazing techniques and what they can do to discourage coyotes.

“Cayce Wallace has been a significant help to the city’s urban wildlife program, from helping arrange care for sick or injured urban wildlife to, more recently, providing significant support in the drafting and implementation of the city’s coyote management and coexistence plan,” a news release said.

She was nominated by Gene R. Trapp and Janet Krovoza, with letters of support from John T. McNerney, Sharon Montooth and Camilla H. Fox.

* The Community Alliance with Family Farmers is an eco-friendly nonprofit organization based in Davis. It works closely with family farmers to address the growing questions of where food comes from and how it is grown. CAFF strives to build on shared values around food and agriculture.

With programs like the Farm to School Initiative and Buy Fresh Buy Local, CAFF is committed to achieve the goals of its vision statement: “Strong partnerships exist between family farmers and their communities,” a news release said.

CAFF was nominated by Iain Bartolomei.

* The Da Vinci Charter Academy was recognized for creating an environmentally responsible school community by encouraging students to use recycled/found materials instead of new/purchased materials in their big projects. The school has expanded the recycling infrastructure for campus events and uses 100 percent reusable plates, cutlery and linens for feasts, faculty lunches and other social events. The campus recycling team’s (Green Team) mission is to foster sound ecological practices within the Da Vinci community.

Da Vinci Charter Academy promotes sound environmental practices in routine school and extracurricular activities throughout the year, such as Putah Creek habitat restoration, burrowing owl nests, construction of a bottle-brick bench built solely out of earthen and recycled materials, a native plant garden on campus, Team Blend and an energy audit program, a news release said.

The school, at 1400 E. Eighth St., was nominated by Cristina Young and Elaine Talley, with letters of support from a chemistry and physics teacher at the school, the Green Team and the Hospitality Team.

Enterprise staff

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