Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kimball receives award on behalf of conservation partnerships


Mary Kimball, right, and Nina Suzuki are working together to restore California lands. Kimball is the executive director for the Center of Land-Based Learning, which won a conservation award. Suzuki is the program director for the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship program. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | January 30, 2014 |

It’s hard to write a profile in praise of Mary Kimball. She immediately points to the hundreds of agencies she cooperates with who make what she does possible.

Looking out over a stretch of walnut and almond plots at the Winters headquarters of the Center for Land-Based Learning, where she is executive director, it’s easy to see her impact. Her forethought has resulted in established buffer layers of drought-resistant California-native plants that fill the spaces between farming and create a natural habitat for native birds and wildlife.

More than 1,000 acres of these native plants have been planted by an estimated 5,000 area high school students as part of the center’s Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship program, SLEWS, since it was founded by the center in 2001.

Earlier this month, Kimball traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award for her work with SLEWS, as well as the project Caring for our Watersheds and the numerous partnerships that make these programs possible.

“We have been educating high schools about conservation on private and public lands for 20 years in the Sacramento region as far north as Colusa and as far south as Vallejo,” Kimball said at the award reception. “We have improved the ecosystem and habitat for our wildlife. Twenty-three percent of our students are going into careers that involve agriculture and environmental science.”

About 20 different groups won this award, Kimball said, representing approximately 260 different partnerships. Some key partners with SLEWS are Audubon California, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sacramento Tree Foundation, Putah Creek Council, multiple resource conservation districts including Yolo and Solano districts locally, and the California Waterfowl Association among others, said Nina Suzuki, SLEWS program director.

SLEWS projects, which usually start in the fall, involve high school students planting native species, installing drip lines for irrigation, and installing owl and bird houses among other activities. When the ground is too dry to start planting, learning occurs in other forms — like bird science presentations given by members of the UC Davis graduate group in ecology.

One of the most rewarding parts of the program is seeing students learn about future careers, both Suzuki and Kimball said; those kids often report back to the center. One such student, Emily Clark, who participated in the SLEWS program in 2006-07, went into a career in environmental sciences.

“I already had a natural passion for nature and conservation, and participating in the SLEWS program helped me solidify that passion,” said Clark, a Davis resident who works as an environmental coordinator to maintain compliance with air and water standards for Clark Pacific in West Sacramento. Clark said she is starting a facility-wide recycling program to make the company more green-compliant.

For classrooms that have less opportunity or time for trips to the field, the center also offers the Caring For Our Watersheds program — a joint program with Canada-based agriculture products company Agrium Inc., which asks students to design projects for their community that improve their watershed.

“With other programs, students have to leave the classroom,” Kimball said. “This allows us to work with more schools, teachers and classrooms.” The CFW program competition gives a $1,000 prize to the best idea proposed by students, individually or in groups of up to four.

In the field, SLEWS needs 60 to 70 adult professional mentors with every group of students, who provide oversight, quality control and a window into careers and pathways to get to those careers.

“They are very important to us and we’re always looking for SLEWS program mentors,” Kimball said.

More information about the Center for Land-Based Learning is available at http://landbasedlearning.org.

For organizations and schools interested in creating their own SLEWS program, more information and applications are available at http://landbasedlearning.org/slews-academy-application.php.

— Reach Jason McAlister at jmcalister@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052.



Jason McAlister

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10



    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6



    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8



    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5



    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery







    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7