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La Paloma students create natural sage preserve

FALLBROOK — On January 20, more than 200 fifth-graders from La Paloma Elementary School arrived at the Heller’s Bend Preserve and were reunited with the seedlings they planted in containers last spring.

With the guidance of 20 Save Our Forest (SOF) volunteers, the students planted the seedlings and created a coastal sage and scrub habitat.

In the first year of their two-year educational outreach program with La Paloma, Jean Dooley and other SOF volunteers meet with fourth-graders to explain the importance of trees and plants to the environment and water conservation.

Each student plants a seedling in a container, which is then taken to the SOF nursery and cared for until the following year when the same children plant them in one of the Land Conservancy preserves or other environmentally sensitive areas.

Jackie Heyneman, who heads SOF, stated that this program goes beyond a two-year experience.

“The students have learned so much about plants and trees and their importance in providing a healthful environment,” she said. “They have also learned the value of native plants in coping with ever-dwindling water supplies. It is hoped that this experience and these concepts will remain with the students for a lifetime.”


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