Restoration work at Loney Meadow with the help of local students

Students jumping for joy after completing their week of work.

Sierra Nevada Alliance’s Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) member, Caitlin Edelmuth is working with South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) as their Restoration Coordinator and helps bring students into the field and educate them on restoring meadows.

Students securing fencing in Loney Meadow.

With fellow SNAP member Eloise Bellingham and SYRCL employees Alecia Weisman and Monique Streit, Caitlin helped put on this year’s Youth Outdoor Leadership Opportunity (YOLO) program. YOLO offers students from the Nevada County region the opportunity to restore meadows in their backyards. 

This June, ten students came together for one week to continue the restoration of Loney Meadow. The students fenced aspen stands to prevent grazing and degradation of the meadow, conducted biological surveys, and worked with SYRCL’s Watershed Science team to protect groundwater wells. 

Students looking out at the meadow as they learn about hydrology from SYRCL Ecohydrologist Kyle McNeil (SNAP alum)

SYRCL’s mission is to restore and protect the Yuba Watershed, and with the help of these students, the meadows are one step closer to being restored to their former glory. While meadows only make up a small percent of the Sierra, they are vital to all life in the mountains. Just one acre of meadow can sequester up to six times the amount of carbon that one acre of forest can, not to mention the incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna that call the meadows home. Meadows also filter and cycle water that is then dispersed over time and across large distances. 

Students collecting data on the diameter at breast height (dbh) of an aspen in Loney Meadow.

Through programs such as YOLO, students can learn about the Yuba Watershed and are given the tools to help protect and understand the importance of the meadows. Please visit their website to learn more about Caitlin and SYRCL’s work in the Sierra.

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