Spread the word about pollinator-friendly parks

We’re excited to share the release of Pollinator-Friendly Parks: Enhancing Our Communities by Supporting Native Pollinators in Our Parks and Other Public Spaces.

Pollinator-Friendly Parks provides helpful information about how parks and other greenspaces in towns and cities can provide the maximum benefit for pollinators and other insects. In addition to introductory chapters about the diversity and natural history of native bees, the handbook offers detailed information on how to:

  • create flower-rich habitat,
  • provide places for nesting and egg laying,
  • reduce the use of pesticides in parks and greenspaces, and
  • engage park patrons and community members in your conservation work.

Appendices provide regional lists of recommended pollinator-friendly plants and additional sources of information for further exploration of the topics covered in these guidelines.

ECOS letter on Water Agencies’ Participation in Sacramento Area Turf Replacement Study

On February 14, 2022, the Environmental Council of Sacramento submitted a letter to Sacramento Area Water Agencies regarding their participation in a Sacramento Area Turf Replacement Study. Below is the content of the letter.

To: Sacramento Area RWA Water Agencies

The Environmental Council of Sacramento’s Water Committee has begun a project to calculate the potential water savings from conversion of ornamental grasses (turf) to drought-tolerant landscaping in the American River water purveyor area (i.e. Regional Water Authority member agencies). We are interested in your input and participation in this study. This letter describes the study plan. For more information or to participate, please contact Katrina Harrison, PE, ECOS Water Committee member and Project Manager, at kandchf[at]gmail[dot]com or (408) 644-9108.

The Water Committee has met with representatives of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to share methodologies and inquire about data sources. DWR staff has been helpful but has suggested relying on publicly available datasets. Therefore, Water Committee plans to calculate the area of current ornamental grasses using 2019 or 2020 publicly available fine scale (~1 foot pixel size wherever possible) aerial and infrared imagery. Aerial images include National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), Bing imagery, Planet, and NearMap.

This imagery dataset will be analyzed using the machine learning, or neural net, algorithms of the software program eCognition to determine turf grass area. Land classifications will be digitized in several sample areas, and the computer model will be trained using those areas including calculating the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as well as a Tree Grass Difference Index. The aerial imagery processing will be validated manually to develop a calculation of the accuracy and estimated error bounds of the analysis.

Following calculation of the area of turf grass, ECOS Water Committee members plan to use California Native Plant Society information on the evapotranspiration and density of different plant palettes – lawn versus drought-tolerant landscaping – to determine the difference in water use. This difference will be multiplied by the area to determine potential water savings.

We appreciate any insight or methodology suggestions you may have. We would like to share our draft results with study participants and will make the final product available to the Water Forum for its consideration in the ongoing Water Forum 2 discussions. If you have an interest in participating, please contact Katrina Harrison at kandchf[at]gmail[dot]com or Ted Rauh at tnrauh[at]att[dot]net. We would appreciate hearing from you before the end of February so that your input can be included in the study.

Click here to view a PDF of the letter.

Spring Native Plant Sale 2022

When: Online Sale from Wednesday, March 9th noon; to Sunday March 13th 5 p.m.

Pickup on a Sunday: either March 20th from 10:00-2:30 or March 27th from 10:00-2:30
Where: Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery
2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 (On the American River Parkway at Soil Born Farms)

Contact: Gina Radieve, gina[dot]radieve[at]gmail[dot]com or Chris Lewis, cnpschris[at]gmail[dot]com

More information: SacValleyCNPS.org/PS

Native Plants are not only beautiful and climate adaptable but they also feed and shelter birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Come find a wide selection of native perennials, shrubs, and trees, grasses, vines and native annuals! We’ll have plants from Cornflower Farms, and Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery.

Use this link – SacValleyCNPS.org/shop – to browse the entire list of plants we grow and sell. Not all plants will be available at every sale. The site will show which plants will be for sale two weeks before the upcoming sale starts.

The native plant sale is one of our best opportunities to connect our community members with their community of native plants. We have a wide variety of positions available. Currently we are looking for:

  • Plant Puller – help us gather the orders and bring them to the pickup area
  • Plant Loader – help us get the plants from the pickup tables into customers’ cars
  • Customer Service Specialists – greet all customers and call in their orders

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please reach out to Lorena at Volunteer[at]sacvalleycnps[dot]org.

Hosted by the California Native Plant Society Sacramento Chapter, a member organization of ECOS.

An ode to our native oaks

By Stephanie Robinson | October 11, 2021 | Sacramento Tree Foundation

Out of all the wonderful trees that make up our urban forest in Sacramento, native oaks hold a special place in our hearts. Ask any staff member what their favorite tree is, and chances are many will mention the valley oak. Native plants are trending, and for good reason – they are so important to our natural ecosystems. But native trees, and native oaks in particular, carry the biggest impact.

This Oaktober, we’re celebrating the oaks that are native to the Sacramento region – the valley oak (Quercus lobata), blue oak (Quercus douglasii), and interior live oak (Quercus wislizeni). These majestic trees provide more benefits than any other tree that grows locally. Thanks to donors and volunteers like you, every year we plant 3,200 native trees throughout the region, both in reforestation sites and at places like homes, parks, and schools.

Click here to continue reading.

Western Soils and Plants are Parched

June 5, 2021 | NASA

For the second year in a row, drought has parched much of the United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. Following one of the planet’s warmest years on record, and with precipitation this year well below average in the western U.S., scientists and government agencies are watching for diminished water resources and potentially severe fire seasons.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/148419/western-soils-and-plants-are-parched

Click here to read the full article.

Natomas Basin Conservancy presentation March 23

Join ECOS for a presentation on the Natomas Basin Conservancy: Sacramento’s original Habitat Conservation Plan, with John Roberts, Executive Director of the Natomas Basin Conservancy. He will be discussing the accomplishments and challenges in the face of proposed major development in the Natomas Basin.

The Natomas Basin Conservancy is the entity responsible for implementing the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. John Roberts is their first and only director. Roberts is an economist by training whose career has focused on managing non profits in the Sacramento region. He previously managed the California Rice Growers Association and the Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“In essence, the Conservancy provides refuge and sanctuary for wildlife displaced by urban activity in the Natomas Basin. Annual biological monitoring by independent third parties demonstrates wildlife is thriving on Conservancy-owned mitigation land.”

-John Roberts, Executive Director

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