By Martha Rocha
As school starts up again, Putah Creek Council says goodbye to a group of hard-working summer interns from high school, college and the community — Haley Wooning from Davis; Adrian Korcyl, Madeira Alba and Levi Dietrich from Winters; Ben Russell from Dixon; and Tristan Noriter-Tilly and Caitrin Vadnais from Vacaville.
Interns worked in a native plant nursery in Davis and on habitat restoration sites along Putah Creek in Winters and Davis.
“Interning with Putah Creek Council this summer was both educational and enjoyable,” Vadnais said. “By doing hands-on work in the nursery, I learned how to properly transplant and seed different types of native plants. I also took the opportunity to work out in the field setting up and caring for irrigation lines, and weeding plants around Putah Creek.”
Said Libby Earthman, executive director of the Putah Creek Council, “This year we had the largest cohort of interns ever. We were amazed at the positive outlook they shared, and their enthusiasm for getting experience in the field of habitat enhancement.
“Without exception these folks were hard-working, diligent and came to work each day with a great attitude. We were lucky to find them, and they were happy to have the opportunity to gain work experience.”
Their work challenged the interns’ physical stamina and required lots of dedication. Interns worked through the heat wave in early July, lifted heavy bins of plants in the greenhouse, dodged thorny thistles and wild roses on restoration sites, and quickly learned to identify poison oak along the creek.
Irrigation field days, especially, had the potential to be a pendulum of extremes as interns walked many dry, dusty miles checking irrigation lines for clogged drip irrigation emitters, only to get soaking wet the next minute while replacing broken emitters.
“This experience has taught me more about commitment, hard work and what actually goes into maintaining our beautiful environment,” Vadnais said. “This internship was definitely a highlight of my summer.”
— Martha Rocha is the Putah Creek Council’s education coordinator. For more information, visit putahcreekcouncil.org