About this Site
This website site provides information on the development of a Schoolyard Habitat (SYH) at Matilija Junior High at 703 El Paseo Road, in Ojai, CA.
The Schoolyard Habitat (SYH) at Matilija Junior High hopes to connect students with nature, with an emphasis on resource conservation and stewardship. The opportunities for learning are endless, including art, working with seeds, seedlings, growth rates, leaf patterns, flower structure, pollination patterns, seed production, bird and insect studies, understanding habitat (food, water, shelter) for native animals, observing the growing cycles of California native plants, performing research on native plants/animals to understand their historical connection with the Chumash, watershed education including reducing storm water runoff and improving water retention of the soil, maintenance and more.
The size of the Matilija SYH site is over 2/3 acre, which we hope will be planted in phases. The first site preparation workday was held on October 1, 2011, with the second workday held on November 19, 2011. Over 200 native plants were planted with students and community volunteers on February 3 & 4, 2012. This area is currently in need of maintenance (todays date in April 7, 2013), as the seed bank deposited from weeds are in full bloom. More mulch needs to be added to keep the weeds down, and the weeds need to be pulled/whacked before they set new seed.
The school is rethinking the project at this time, with a new Principal on board. More to be revealed.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife has supported the SYH by providing grant money, technical assistance and project guidance; teacher training; and curriculum for working with students in the classroom. Information on their program is available at the US Fish & Wildlife website: http://www.fws.gov/cno/conservation/schoolyard.cfm