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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Tule Ponds, Fremont, CA, USA

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Tule Ponds, Fremont, CA, USA
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Registered: December 2015
City/Town/Province: Fremont
Posts: 1
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From a young age, the importance of our environment has been continuously ingrained into my day to day thoughts. Whether it was recycling or conserving our environment's resources, I paid conscientious attention to my actions. When I joined a Girl Scout troop in the third grade, I, naturally, brought my passion for the environment with me. When I decided to do my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I knew immediately that I would center my project around the environment. At first, I had difficulty narrowing down my topic choice because I was interested in many different issues. Eventually I decided to address the decline in monarch butterfly population. I chose to work with the monarch butterflies because they are a necessary factor in our environment. They act as a pollinator, providing assistance for different plant species. Recently they have been declining in numbers as a result of climate change and habit deforestation. Pesticides used on vegetation are harmful to the well being of these organisms. I contacted Dr. Joyce Blueford of Tule Ponds Reservation and asked if there was anything I could renovate or create at the area. She informed me that there was this area near the edge of the reservation that had difficulty sustaining milkweed plants, which are the main food source of monarch butterfly caterpillars. To solve this issue, I prompted to build two plant boxes and a retaining wall to prevent the boxes from slipping down the slope.
Before actually building the plant boxes and retaining wall, I did a prerequisite, which consisted of a detailed outline, financial charts, basic framework of the plant boxes and retaining wall. To fund my project, I held fundraisers and was awarded a grant from Tri City Ecology.
The first thing I did to build these boxes was level the area. My dad and I had to measure out the area and make sure that the structure of the boxes would be even and balanced. This process took the longest because I wanted to make sure the foundation was secure before proceeding to build the boxes. After we were satisfied with the accuracy of the post and the frames were leveled, my dad and I started to build the plant boxes and retaining wall. This process was done in a span of three months. After the completion of the boxes and retaining wall, I needed to fill the boxes with compost for the milkweed plants. In order to accomplish this, I contacted a person that had free dirt. They were able to deliver it to Tule Ponds Reservation and from there we were able to shovel the dirt into the plant boxes. Getting the dirt and compost was a long process and required more hands to help out. Volunteers at Tule Ponds pitched in a helping hand and I was able to bring out my friends. Once we finished filling the boxes with compost and dirt, I was able to plant sixteen to twenty milkweed plants into the boxes. It took three to four months for the plants to mature and provide nutrition for the monarch butterflies. Fortunately, the y matured before the monarch butterflies laid their eggs.
Through my project I was able to address the immediate issue of Tule Ponds Reservation which was the difficulty to sustain plants in the sloped area. However, in addition to solving the immediate issue, I was able to provide a lasting effect: these plant boxes and newly planted milkweed would become a new habitat for the monarch butterflies. Doing this project taught me a lot about myself; I learned to become more assertive in my actions and that if we all put in an effort to maintain our environment, the impossible can become possible.
Date: January 1, 2016 Views: 5121 File size: 20.9kb, 3531.5kb : 4608 x 3456
Hours Volunteered: 180
Volunteers: 7
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 and 15 to 50+
Native Trees Planted: 16-20 plants
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