Cal Habitat Restoration Student Leadership Training

Tyler Grinberg

Project Leads: Tim Pine & Karl Hans

Student Interns: Tyler Grinberg, Katherine Blair, Courtney Hann, and David Pon

Sponsor: Environment, Health & Safety

TGIF Grant: $17,000

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location

2010 Application Submission

Status: Complete

Project Description: This project will continue and expand a highly successful 2009 CACS Grant funded pilot program to train a corps of Cal students to lead habitat restoration activities on University owned-space. The project will expand efforts occurring in the Strawberry Creek and Claremont Creek watersheds, University Village, the Codornices Watershed, and the Richmond Field Station.

Goals: Provide hands-on environmental education in transferrable habitat restoration and leadership skills to UC Berkeley students. Reverse biodiversity loss by establishing sustainable grounds maintenance that promotes wildlife habitat, healthy water quality, education opportunities, and aesthetic appreciation. Hire a full time Student Program Coordinator and recruit other students for participation in the Cal Habitat Restoration Student Leadership Training. Schedule and recruit volunteers for restoration events by working with campus departments and academic classes. Promote habitat restoration work as a model for other universities and local natural areas. Work with the 2008 TGIF Grant Winner Strawberry Creek Native Plant Nursery & Garden to plant native plants and remove invasive species in the Strawberry Creek watershed. Measure and record number of student leaders trained, restoration events held, participants and organizations, total area cleared of invasive species, estimated volume of vegetation removed, list of species removed, and number of species planted. Contribute information to the Strawberry Creek Management Plan.

TGIF Blog Posts about Strawberry Creek

2010-2011 Accomplishments

  • All student positions were filled (Position title- SCRP Coordinator) by hiring students Tyler Grinberg, Katherine Blair, Courtney Hann, and David Pon.
  • The Coordinators met each Monday afternoon with Staff Advisors Karl Hans and Tim Pine at the Native Plant Nursery, where items for discussion included logistical planning for future volunteer restoration events, reviewing metrics and progress toward restoration goals, planning for next semester's training of Student Restoration Leaders, and any related issues.
  • The project team designed and ordered team T-shirts that the leaders proudly wore at all occasions including restoration events.
  • The project leaders ordered new tools and supplies to replenish existing stocks that were damaged or depleted during the year's events.
  • Summer Community EffortsThe SRL training program evolved over the last year to significantly expand on the relatively short two-day combined classroom and field work to now recommend that students interested in becoming SRLs should first enroll in the DeCal class taught by Coordinators Pon and Grinberg. This model greatly improves the breadth of knowledge the prospective Restoration Leaders receive and in turn improves their confidence and effectiveness as they organize their own volunteer events.
  • 25 students were enrolled in the Spring 2011 class. 85 students have enrolled since inception in Spring 2010.
  • From November 2010-March 2011, the Coordinators held 20 creek events, 9 since January. The events were served by 250 volunteers and the team and volunteers clocked over 11,600 hours of restoration work. The Coordinators and volunteers also worked intensely on the removal of Periwinkle, Chilean Red Current, English Ivy, Algerian Ivy, and invasive grasses.
  • The Restoration Student Leadership Team assisted with the completion of 2008 TGIF Grant Project Native Plant Nursery and Garden, culminating in the opening of the nursery on May 4, 2011.
  • The Team successfully applied for 2011 TGIF Grant Strawberry Creek Restoration Demonstration, with goals of continuing the team's revegetation efforts along Strawberry Creek and within its watershed. Efforts will include removal of invasive, non-native species and the planting of native species grown in the Strawberry Creek Native Plant Nursery.

Next Steps: The Restoration Student Leadership Team will continue to host creek restoration events and collaborate with the Native Plant Nursery. The team will also continue to plan curriculum for and run the Restoration DeCal, with hopes of hiring future SCRP Coordinators from those who have completed the DeCal.

2011 Project Poster

2011-2012 Accomplishments

  • The Restoration Leadership Team taught the Restoration DeCal during fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters. 
  • The Team frequently used the 2008 TGIF Grant Project Native Plant Nursery and Garden as an educational resource for the DeCal students.
    • The Team leaders also hosted many other UC Berkeley classes and clubs, as well as summer days, such as Kids for the Bay Summer Camp.
  • This project was merged with the 2011 TGIF Grant Strawberry Creek Restoration Demonstration as the Team is tasked with implementing the 2011 grant.
  • The Team successfully applied for 2012 TGIF Grant Strawberry Creek Watershed Stewardship Program, with goals of expanding Strawberry Creek Student Restoration Leadership Program by incorporating environmental education outreach, student/community member skill development, and water quality monitoring in order to prevent pollution of Strawberry Creek and foster environmental stewardship.

2013-2013 Accomplishments
The leadership team changed its name from Cal Habitat Restoration Student Leadership Team to Watershed Stewardship Team. The team completed 2011 TGIF Grant Strawberry Creek Restoration Demonstration, will continue to lead 2012 TGIF Grant Strawberry Creek Watershed Stewardship Program, and successfully applied for 2012 TGIF Mini-Grant Strawberry Creek Water Quality Probe.

Other Strawberry Creek-related TGIF Grant Projects:

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.