Friday, May 24, 2019

GRADUATION PHOTOS


A special day at Rush Ranch for foster kids

Taking graduation photos is a rite of passage for most young people, but not all students can afford them.

Earlier this spring, five young people were given the gift of a professional photo shoot at Rush Ranch thanks to a small group of photographers and stylists who donated their time and expertise. This is the kind of community connectivity that your support of Solano Land Trust provides.

“Senior portraits are a big deal to students,” said Carlene Kanellis of Carlene Imagery, one of the volunteer photographers. “Everyone should be able to experience that.”

Carlene has volunteered her services to foster kids for years, but until last year she did her volunteering in another county. Since she lives in Vacaville, she wanted to do something local and has started working with CASA of Solano, a group that advocates for abused and neglected young people in the court system.



An expansive landscape

This was her second year working with CASA kids. Last year they took photos in downtown Vacaville. This year they tried the magnificent landscape at Rush Ranch with great results.

Three young women and two young men who are graduating seniors started off by having their hair and make-up done in the Nature Center by professionally-trained artists, Rachel Espinosa, and Connor Kanellis.

“Usually they’re super shy, but after getting haircuts and makeup, you can see in their body language they dig it,” said Carlene, who along with photographer Alex Sommerfeldt, led the students outside for photo shoots near the corrals. The historic farm equipment, framed with tall green grass and wildflowers, made for a spectacular backdrop.

“By the end of the session they were super excited, more confident, and really appreciative,” said Carlene.

After the graduation photos had been taken, the students stood on a ramp to quietly watch a week-old foal in the corral.

Photos are courtesy of Carlene Imagery, Nicole Braddock, and Tom Muehleisen.


(Stonewall Santiago is the newest foal in the line of Stonewall Sport Horses of Access Adventure.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Mountain Bike Ride at Rockville Trails Preserve May 25th 2019


May 25th 9:00am to 1:00pm

Docent-led mountain bike ride at Rockville Trails Preserve

Please join us for an approximately 7 to 10-mile mountain bike ride with approximately 1,500 feet of climbing.  The ride will cover most of the trails at the site with scenic views and several interpretive stops.  Experienced riders recommended with hardtail or full suspension mountain bikes that are in good condition.  RSVP recommended.  Meet at the red Icehouse building at the corner of Rockville Road and Suisun Valley Road.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

GETTING KIDS OUTSIDE


Nature literacy and science on the land

Rush Ranch cradles many things, including children. Local kids have been coming to Rush Ranch Open Space on field trips for many years.

These days it’s more difficult and way more expensive to get kids out of the classroom. With tight budgets and high transportation costs, most schools can’t afford field trips anymore. Working together, we can help.

We have several programs that welcome kids to Rush Ranch. One is called Marshes Matter. Thanks to a transportation grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, a dedicated team of volunteers, and your support of our programs, over 600 kids have visited Rush Ranch and its marsh in the last two years to explore what it means to be a scientist.

Suisun Marsh is special

After the rains, this spring, a group of fourth graders from Edwin Markham Elementary School in Vacaville were split into four groups after being welcomed and given an introduction to the marsh by lead docent Lynn Garrison. A docent-led each of the four groups into different sections of the ranch.

The first stop for docent Dennis Wells and his group of five boys and three girls was the murals outside of the Nature Center. He asked questions of the kids: What makes the Suisun Marsh special? What kind of water is in the marsh? What special animals live here?

The kids raised their hands or shouted out their answers. They each carried a field journal with the title, “Exploring the brackish tidal marsh at Rush Ranch.” On the trail to the marsh, they saw a hawk in the eucalyptus trees. Dennis pulled a bird identification book out of his backpack, and by matching the markings of the bird to the picture concluded it was a ferruginous hawk.

Continuing on the trail, he asked more questions, just like a scientist would. He asked if they noticed that Rush Ranch was on Grizzly Island Road. “Why did they call it that? Does anybody know anything about grizzly bears, or what top of the food chain means?”

Kids are extra special

A chilly wind blew, and another storm was on its way. The children didn’t complain though. For the most part, they were focused, curious, and knowledgeable. One of the girls found a ladybug and picked it up. It crawled on her arm and across her journal, and held the fascination of all the girls until it flew away.

“This place is literally one-thousand acres big,” one kid said to another as they turned on the South Pasture Marsh Trail to view the Suisun Slough from the edge of the trail.

Research shows that exposing young people to science and nature is good for them. We can’t know what these experiences will lead to, but we know that they are important. Thank you for believing in that, too. Your support makes these moments possible!

Photos are courtesy of Aleta George and Di Holokahi.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Kid’s Hike: Mother’s Day


May 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Come Kick off Mother’s Day with us!  From spring to early summer, Lynch Canyon is in bloom. Solano Land Trust and Solano County Parks invite the community to bring their kids and join the next kids’ hike to see how many different flowers they can find. All ages are encouraged to join the hike. Meet in the parking lot at 9:45; the hike starts at 10. Bring plenty of water and snacks.

REGISTRATION: Pre-registration recommended for HeadCount.
COST: The hike is free, but parking is $6.00 at Lynch Canyon

Monday, May 6, 2019

Citizen Science Friday May 10th 2019


May 10th 2019 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Get involved in science on our lands! Solano Land Trust staff will teach you all you need to know.

REGISTRATION: Pre-registration required two or more days in advance. Contact Jasmine at: jasmine@solanolandtrust.org or 707-709-9028. Meeting place provided upon registration.

WHAT TO BE PREPARED FOR: (1) This is an outdoor experience involving physical exertion. There is usually no shade. Be prepared to be moving outdoors for approximately four hours. Depending on the citizen science goals for the day, you may be hiking, doing physical work, and/or recording observations about plants and animals. You may be using hand tools like clippers; lifting, carrying and lowering supplies; bending over, squatting and kneeling on dirt, grasses and weeds; and sweating. (2) Ages 12 and up who are comfortable with this kind of physical exertion are welcome—those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must have a liability waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. (3) Tools are provided.

WHAT TO BRING: (1) A backpack with plenty of water and snacks. (2) Sturdy work gloves. (3) Eye protection (e.g., sunglasses). (4) Boots or sturdy closed-toe shoes with tread for rough, steep, and slippery terrain. (5) Long, sturdy pants and layered clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. (6) Protection from the elements—sun (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses), wind, fog, rain. (7) Optional: bug repellent, your favorite gardening tools, and binoculars to enjoy the birds!

Friday, May 3, 2019

LYNCH CANYON KITE FESTIVAL MAY 4, 2019


Come To The 11th Annual Lynch Canyon Kite Festival On Saturday, May 4, 2019, From Noon To 4:00pm!

Bay breezes, grassy hills, and open fields make for ideal kite-flying conditions at Lynch Canyon.

COST:

• The festival is free! Solano County Parks has generously waived the parking fee for this day.

WHAT TO BE PREPARED FOR:

(1) All ages and ability levels are welcome!
(2) Dogs are not allowed (to protect wildlife, rare plants, and free-range cattle).
(3) Expect rough, uneven ground.
(4) We do our best to minimize it for the festival but expect some cow manure as this is a working ranch where free-range cattle roam as they please.
(5) There is no drinking water.
(6) Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
(7) Maintain a safe distance from cattle and wildlife, and be aware that this is a tick, mountain lion, and potentially rattlesnake country.

WHAT TO BRING:
(1) A kite.
(2) Drinking water.
(3) A picnic lunch.
(4) Protection from sun, wind, fog, and rain.
(5) Boots or sturdy closed-toe shoes.
(6) Your friends and family!

MEETING PLACE: The grassy field for kite-flying is right beside the parking lot.
CLICK HERE for directions to Lynch Canyon

WEATHER PLAN: Rain may cancel.

REGISTRATION: None. Just show up!
Questions? 707-432-0150 OR volunteer@solanolandtrust.org