Sudden Oak Death efforts recognized for excellence
The Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence was given to our UC Sudden Oak Death Response Team, including Forest Health Educator Janice Alexander, Environmental Horticulture Advisor Steven Swain, and Watershed Management Advisor David Lewis. This award is recognition for more than a decade of coordination and outreach on Phytophthora ramorum in Marin County and around the state. More information on the program can be found on the California Oak Mortality Task Force website.
Treatments for sudden oak death yielding mixed results
Environmental HorticultureAdvisor Steven Swain collaborated on recently completed field trials to test the effectiveness of bark scribing – removal of bark and infected tissue from oaks – to reduce the spread sudden oak death. This is a widely used technique byarborists and tree care contractors. Preliminary results suggest that the practice of bark scribing alone is not any more effective for treatment of sudden oak death than no treatment at all. Results are being shared with the community in an ongoing effort to find effective treatment. This work was done in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s Garbelotto lab, Sonoma Land Trust, California State Parks, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Conserving water, one home garden at a time
Our Marin-Friendly Garden Walks partnership with the Marin Municipal Water District continues to help property owners reduce the amount of water used in landscapes by assisting them with fundamentals of garden and irrigation design, identification of maintenance issues, and plant selection. Under the direction of Program Coordinator Peggy Mathers, the program completed is eighth year, helping more than 1,313 homeowners in Marin County. These individual home garden consultations provided by the UC Marin Master Gardeners result in annual average water savings of approximately 8% for each participating household. In total, more than 23 million gallons of water have been conserved over the lifetime of the project.
Growing youth gardens
UC Marin Master Gardeners have for many years been providing 1st and 2nd graders the opportunity to learn about the environments that gardens and landscaping provide for insects and wildlife through the Exploring Habitats program. Expanding upon this, these Grow-how volunteers have introduced the new program Dig it, Grow It, Eat It, which provides 3rd and 4th graders with a day of learning about growing healthy food in the backyard, from edible plant parts to how plants grow, including the science of pollination and propagation. This program, combined with the UC Marin Master Gardeners’ consultations in over 25 school gardens, puts 900 Marin youth on the green thumb path with the experience and skills to be a positive force for the environment.
receive support for environmental education and restoration projects
The Marin County Fish & Wildlife Commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors fund 13 projects totaling $36,776 on restoration and education about wildlife and fisheries in Marin County. Award recipients included: All One Ocean; Audubon Canyon Ranch; California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Friends of Novato Creek Watershed; Marin Audubon Center; Mill Valley Stream Keepers; Point Reyes National Seashore Association; Point Reyes Station Dance Palace Community Center; Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary; Students and Teachers Restoring our Watersheds; Tiburon Salmon Institute; Tyee Foundation; and Wildcare. Read more about these projects in the Commission's Annual Newsletter.