Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) Mission
The mission of the Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) is to provide leadership in the county and region to enhance natural resources conservation, preserve wildlife and habitat, and improve rangeland and agricultural management through partnerships, education, outreach, resource services and technical assistance to clients, and funding support.
Earth Day “Help Keep Good Bugs in the Garden” Poster Contest Winners to Be Displayed at Castro Valley Library 4/28–5/29, 2023.
Four elementary school students from Unincorporated Alameda County won prizes for their outstanding entries in the “Help Keep Good Bugs in the Garden” Earth Day poster contest. The contest was open to all 3rd and 4th graders in Unincorporated Alameda County and sponsored by the Alameda County Unincorporated Area Clean Water Program.
The top four prize-winning posters, two each from 3rd and 4th grades, will be displayed at the Castro Valley Library at 3600 Norbridge Ave, Castro Valley, CA 94546 from April 28th–May 29th.
To enter the contest, participating teachers held a brief classroom lesson on using less toxic ways to deal with weeds and pests and keeping good bugs in the garden. They also showed a video starring Clean Water Program mascots Fred Frog and Izzy Egret. Titled “Fred’s Healthy Garden Getaway” the video spot is available for viewing on YouTube. Students then creatively expressed what they learned in their artwork.
“Pesticides are one of several ways the health of our local waterways, such as Castro Valley and San Lorenzo creeks, is threatened,” says Allison Rodacker, the Clean Water Program representative for Unincorporated Alameda County. “Helping kids understand the connection between their neighborhoods and local water and wildlife can help reduce pesticide use that can harm helpful garden bugs and pollute the waterways.”
The contest received over 100 creative entries prompting the organizers to include more prize winners. Instead of only one winner per grade, they awarded the top two entries in 3rd and 4th grades with prizes, and the top 10 entries received certificates. Winners received a Hydroflask reusable water bottle and a spiral notebook with the student’s artwork printed on the cover.
Six classrooms submitted entries from every student and were entered into a raffle. Two classrooms were awarded a $100 Amazon gift card each. All winning posters will be displayed at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, CA 94546 from April 28th – May 29th.
Classroom Amazon Gift Card Raffle Winners
Erin Kundert, 3rd grade teacher, Marshall Elementary School
Kim Fisher Hayes, 3rd grade teacher, Dayton Elementary School
When people use pesticides in the garden, those chemicals can wash into gutters and storm drains with water from garden hoses, sprinklers, and rainfall. From there, the polluted water flows untreated into local creeks, and the San Francisco Bay, where it harms fish and other wildlife. Each spring, the Alameda County Unincorporated Clean Water Program reminds residents how important it is to use non-toxic methods to control unwanted pests. “Keep Good Bugs in the Garden,” to do that job for you!
For more information, visit www.cleanwaterprogram.org
Join us on May 13, 2023 from 9am – 12pm for a Creek Cleanup at Arroyo Mocho at Robertson Park
We will be removing trash from the Arroyo Mocho Creek! Parking can be found in the dirt parking lot at 3200 Robertson Park Road, just follow our signs to the check-in tables. Please print and bring a waiver with you. Waivers can be found at: http://livingarroyos.org/get-involved/.We will also have waivers available at the event. Volunteers under 18 will need a parent or guardian to sign the waiver. Children under 12 must be accompanied with an adult.
NOTE: If you have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have a pending COVID-19 test, we ask that you refrain from attending the event. All activities will be held outdoors. Staff will have hand sanitizer available and will structure the event to encourage adequate spacing, but consider bringing/wearing a mask for times where there may be close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated.
Please contact [email protected] with questions. We look forward to seeing you there!
ACRCD Supports Ag Day in Livermore, CA
The sun shined brightly on third grade students from across the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) who visited Livermore High School for Ag Day on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Since 2015, Ag Day’s partnership between LHS and several community partners has resulted in a lively and engaging experience to teach students about the importance of agriculture, its impact on everyday life, and its wide variety of career possibilities. “Ag Day not only offers our students a fun, hands-on learning experience, but also gives them an opportunity to interact and learn from older students who are showcasing the relevancy and importance of agriculture as a field of study,” expressed LVJUSD Superintendent Chris Van Schaack.
LHS Agriculture students led third grade student groups through 30 booths of interactive lessons that included a breadth of experiences from how to properly raise and care for livestock to how to feed yourself and your family using a Dutch oven. Students intently watched worms wriggle in their hands as they learned the importance of composting, used their creativity when designing their own cattle brands, and made fresh salsa after learning how vegetables and herbs are grown. Although each station covered a different concept, an overarching theme was recurrent: Agriculture is abundant in Livermore.
Organizing and hosting an event for over 1,000 third grade students required thoughtful collaboration. “The success of this event would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of more than 200 volunteers and Agriculture students. A special appreciation and thank you to Sheila Fagliano, Livermore Sanitation’s Community Relations Manager, for her leadership role in this event year after year,” shared Lori Porter, Livermore High agriculture teacher and FFA livestock judging coach. Fagliano and the LHS Agriculture Department, worked in partnership to secure the support and participation of the following community partners for this year’s event:
- Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert
- Alameda County Farm Bureau
- Livermore Rodeo
- Livermore Rotary
- Contra Costa Alameda County Cattlemens
- Junior Livestock Auction Boosters
- Zone 7 Water
- Crane Ridge 4-H
- Alameda County Cattlewomen
- Contra Costa County
- Fertile Groundworks
- Fagundes Horseshoeing
- Alameda County Resource Conservation District
- Dairy Council of California
- Valley Vista 4-H
- Junction Avenue Ag Class
- The Patterson Family
- The Bach Family
- The Maggy Family
- The Fassett Family
- The Bowles Family
- The Whatley Family
- Ryan Heal
- Dianne Russell and the Del Valle Culinary Program
- Brenda Morris
- Denise Mueller
“What I’m most proud of is that almost all of the community volunteers are LHS Ag Department alumni, many of whom are still very involved in the agricultural and farming lifestyle. They believe in teaching the next generation how to best take care of our land and water, and to truly understand where our food comes from. All of this helps the students really appreciate our resources,” remarked Fagliano.
By emphasizing the relationship between people, animals, and the land, Ag Day continues to provide a visible connection for students who may not have fully appreciated the agricultural knowledge and skills required for their sustenance, shelter, and daily comforts. Through hands-on activities, each student caught a glimpse into LHS’s unique program and its commitment to advancing agricultural education for future generations.
Applications for the California Range & Natural Resources Camp Now Available
Range Camp is an environmental science & management camp for high school students from across California. The camp takes place at the University of California’s Elkus Youth Ranch in Half Moon Bay, CA, and is in person again for 2023.
Range Camp is a 6-day camp experience for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who have an interest in the science and conservation management of natural resources in California. Students get an introduction to ecological principles, including characteristics and interrelationships of plants and animals, fire ecology, hydrology, geology and soils, and management of grassland, brushland, forest, and stream and river ecosystems. Field activities include learning to read wildlife ‘sign’, learning outdoor navigation with compasses, maps and GPS, forest management, visits to working ranches and conservation projects, and a beach BBQ.
The camp is organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension, with support from a variety of institutions, including university faculty and students from the University of California and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, and numerous other agriculture and conservation organizations. Sessions are taught by university faculty and staff from local, state and federal agencies, and private professional scientists and natural resource management specialists. All students compete for the opportunity to travel to Reno, NV in February 2024 as a representative of California to the national high school youth forum event which takes place at the annual scientific conference held by the Society for Range Management.
Range Camp runs from June 18-23. More information and applications are available at https://ucanr.edu/sites/rangecamp/. Cost is $750.00. Applications are due by May 1st but will be accepted until May 24th if spaces remain. Camp staff will try to assist students/families with financial need in finding scholarship support. Please indicate so on application. Click here to learn more about becoming a sponsor.
California Range Camp was first organized in 1984 by professional members of the California Pacific section of the Society for Range Management, and has been held annually every year since. View the Range Camp Newsletter here.
UC Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA 93538
Virtual Question-and-Answer Session on USDA’s Disaster Assistance to Help California Farmers and Agriculture Communities Recover
Was your California farming operation impacted by a natural disaster? Or do you live in a California agricultural community that was impacted? Join us for a virtual question-and-answer session to learn more about programs and resources that may be available to you.
What: Question-and-answer session with USDA and California Department of Food and Agriculture about Disaster Assistance in California
When: Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 8 a.m. PT
Where: Virtual via Microsoft Teams. Click here to join.
This session builds on the California disaster assistance webinar hosted last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that covered programs that can help farmers and agricultural communities impacted by current disasters.
In this session, you’ll be able to submit questions to USDA’s Farm Production and
Conservation Deputy Under Secretary Gloria Montaño Greene and CDFA’s Undersecretary Christine Birdsong.
If you weren’t able to attend the webinar, you can watch the recording here.
Other resources are available to producers, including the online Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool. For rural communities, there are USDA Rural Development (RD) programs and services that can help rural residents, businesses and communities impacted by disasters and support long-term planning and recovery efforts. Please visit the Resource Guides that are available in English and Spanish.
For more information on resources to recover and rebuild, visit your local USDA service center.
Newsom Takes Several Executive Actions in Response to Winter Storm Impacts
On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in Alameda, Marin, Modoc and Shasta counties resulting from a series of severe winter storms which have resulted in “significant storm-related impacts, including flooding, toppled trees, downed power lines and power outages, damage to commercial and residential structures, roads, and other critical infrastructure.”
States of emergency had previously been proclaimed for 43 other counties (the only counties not presently under a state of emergency are Colusa, Contra Costa, Lassen, Riverside, San Diego, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Ventura and Yolo counties). The proclamations activate the California National Guard and tap “All agencies of the state government” to assist in disaster response and relief efforts in the counties designated as suffering a state of emergency.
Governor Newsom on Tuesday also issued a request to President Joe Biden for “a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the emergency response and recovery in the counties of Calaveras, Kern, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare, and Tuolumne,” according to a press release. Newsom’s letter also requests that “U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans and funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Loan Program” be made available within impacted counties.
As of press time, President Biden had yet to act on the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration request. While an Emergency Declaration was issued on March 10, assistance granted under an Emergency Declaration is narrower than that provided under a Major Disaster Declaration.
Finally, Governor Newsom on Friday issued an executive order to support Tulare Lake Basin flood response. The order suspends statutes relating to lake and streambed alteration and the California Environmental Quality Act within the Tulare Lake Basin “to expedite preparation and recovery efforts” and boosts emergency-response staffing, according to a press release.
The article linked below contains details on the $42 million in USDA grant funding that was provided to United Ways of California and other non-governmental organizations through the Farm Workers Relief Grant Program.
This program was funded leveraging COVID-19 funds so there are some eligibility considerations.
The funding is being disbursed through the following United Way locations:
Join Us! ACRCD will be hosting two field days this month:
Thursday 3/23 (8-11 am) and Saturday 3/25 (9-12 noon), to showcase the results of our CDFA Healthy Soils Demo Project started in 2019 – the effects of compost on steep sloped rangeland.
Come out and hear about our results, learn monitoring techniques, and discuss implications for compost on rangeland in Alameda County. ACRCD staff, rancher Joe Paulo, and our NRCS and StopWaste project partners will be there to talk compost, range, and carbon storage. Coffee and snacks will be provided!
Register for the events using the links below:
Saturday, March 18th, 2023 9am – 12pm
Join the Clean Water Program volunteers for a cleanup at the Sunol Agriculture Park. Trash has been left behind by recent storms and travels quickly with the rain. Come help keep it out of our local creeks and the Bay!
Students, community members, & youth groups welcome!
Questions? Contact [email protected].
Funding deadline approaching for Conservation Stewardship Program!
DAVIS, Calif – Beginning today, California’s agricultural-land stewards are set to benefit this year from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law in August 2022, and the historic investments it will make towards expanding on-farm conservation. This year, more than $20 million will be invested towards climate-smart agriculture practices and forest resiliency in California – and hundreds of millions of dollars more will arrive over the next five years. The deadline to apply for this NRCS California IRA funding is March 17, 2023. Please visit your local NRCS service center to apply, which can be located by clicking here.
CA A.B. 1232 Resilient Farms and Ranches Grant Program Funding
California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide funding to launch the Resilient Farms and Ranches Grant Program—a critical initiative that will help California’s farmers and ranchers achieve meaningful animal-welfare certification and improve the lives of animals in their care. This is hopeful news for farms, animals, people and the planet!
This bill needs YOUR help to advance. Please use our online form to send an email to your state lawmakers, urging them to pass this bill and support the Resilient Farms and Ranches Program!
WEBINAR – March 13th, 2 PM
If you were unable to attend the briefing live due to high demand, the recording is available in English and Spanish on YouTube. The full presentation deck can be found here.
Especially while California grapples with extreme weather conditions, it is crucial to equip our communities for the potential effects of the upcoming storms. As trusted community messengers, we have a chance to assist our communities in staying well-informed throughout the disaster’s entire lifecycle, including preparing for it ahead of time, responding to it in real time, and recovering from it.
Additional resources are available now for you to use with your community:
Listos California Quick Guide to Safety Before, During and After Floods
Indigenous Language Outreach Recordings (includes videos covering flood safety as well as evacuations and evacuation warnings)
Follow @CalOES and @ListosCalifornia on social media to share or amplify any additional content, such as weather updates from the National Weather Service, highlight key response efforts, and amplify other preparedness tips.
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services:
As the next round of Spring storms approaches our state tomorrow, Cal OES along with the Health and Human Services Agency and Department of Social Services will be hosting a briefing for community-based organizations tomorrow Monday, March 13 at 2 p.m. to provide the latest information on the storm and tools we have available for partners.
In order to maximize reach of this event, we are hoping any of you who work closely with local community partners can forward this information to those who may benefit.
Briefing Registration Details:
Date: Monday, March 13, 2023
Time: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Pacific Time
Registration Link: Webinar Registration – Zoom
Interpretation: Spanish and American Sign Language interpretation will be available during the briefing.
Thank you in advance for your assistance and please feel free to reach out if you have questions. Together, we can help our communities be better prepared for this challenging event.
Guidance on applying for FEMA disaster assistance for storm damages
Alameda County was added this week to the major disaster declaration for California’s severe storms and flooding, meaning residents who had damage or losses from the storms that began Dec. 27, 2022, may now apply for FEMA disaster assistance. The declaration allows FEMA to provide direct support to individuals and households in Alameda County and 12 other California counties.
The deadline for homeowners or renters to apply is March 16, 2023. Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs as well as other serious disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses, transportation, childcare, and moving and storage expenses.
More information can be located under our Flood Resources page.
Explore your local Alameda County Watershed with this FREE interactive map tool!
Learn more about the local wildlife, hydrology, geology and recreation options in the watersheds.
There are two primary tools – 1) an interactive website and 2) Google Earth Pro KMZ files that you can download for free here: https://acrcd.org/projects/alameda-county-watershed-map/
1) Explore Watersheds Website
The website has an online map with clickable watersheds and an overview with a printable map for each watershed in Alameda County. “Learn More” pages for each watershed include watershed features, creeks and waterbodies, flora and fauna, geology and hydrology, recreation opportunities, restoration efforts, and ways to get involved in protecting our watersheds.
2) KMZ files for Google Earth Pro
In addition to the interactive, online map, teachers and students can easily download Alameda County Watershed Map KMZ files to their personal Google Earth Pro from the Explore Watersheds website. These layered maps let you compare the historical and present-day watersheds, zoom in on creeks and follow them to the Bay, and learn more about restoration projects, points of interest and places to visit.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
Calling all 3rd & 4th graders in Unincorporated Alameda County to enter the 2023 Alameda County Unincorporated Area’s Clean Water Program POSTER CONTEST! Click HERE for more information and contest rules.
Deadline for submission is April 3, 2023
Become a Board Member for the Alameda County Resource Conservation District
Do you have a passion for natural resources, agriculture, conservation, education, land use, or biology? If you answered yes, you’re encouraged to consider applying to join the Alameda County Resource Conservation District’s Board of Directors! There are two opportunities to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors in late 2022. This is your opportunity to help set policy and program direction for the District by participating in monthly (4th Mondays 6:00 to 8:00-9:00
pm) meetings and sub-committees of the board. More information can be found here.
Request an agenda or an application to join the ACRCD Board of Directors by contacting Marilyn Harvey, CFO at [email protected] or (925) 453-3863. Please submit your application form by November 1, 2022 for consideration.
Farmer & Rancher Grant Writing Workshop
USDA Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE) with the Fresno State University Jordan College of Agriculture and Division of Research and Graduate Studies presents this two-hour workshop that is targeted towards farmers and ranchers, including veteran and beginning farmers/ranchers, and will cover
information ranging from but not limited to the following:
- How to register on grants.gov
- Proposal development process
- Submission requirements
- Grant Writing Tips
Please contact [email protected] for more information!
Managing California Grassland for California Tiger Salamander and California Red-legged Frog: Considerations When Applying Compost
Applying compost on rangelands has many potential benefits for soils and beyond—but what about putting compost in upland habitat where sensitive amphibians reside? Read the Alameda County Conservation Partnership’s new factsheet: Managing California Grassland for California Tiger Salamander and California Red-legged Frog: Considerations When Applying Compost.
Join the Clean Water Volunteers & H.A.R.D on October 8th, 2022
We are excited for you to join the Clean Water Volunteers and the Hayward Area Recreation & Park District’s Volunteers in Parks (V.I.P.) Program!
Come out to Meek Estate Park on Saturday, October 8th from 9:00am to 12:00pm for a litter removal and park beautification day.
Click here for the flyer and to learn more. Please register on the H.A.R.D. V.I.P website by following this link.
Volunteer for Coastal Cleanup on September 17th, 2022
We are excited for you to join the Clean Water Volunteers for the 38th annual Coastal Cleanup Day at the Castro Valley Creek Trail! This effort is part of the statewide Coastal Cleanup Day and is made possible by the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation Districts in coordination with Friends of San Lorenzo Creek.
Volunteers will participate in a litter pickup along the creek trail and beautify the trail starting from the Castro Valley Library to Castro Valley Creek Blvd.
To learn more and register visit: https://2022castrovalleycoastalcleanup.eventbrite.com.
Welcome Living Arroyos
We’re excited to announce that the Living Arroyos program has joined the Alameda County Resource Conservation District. Living Arroyos is a multi-agency partnership to enhance and maintain the urban streams and streamside habitats of the Livermore-Amador valley, while continuing to protect drinking water supplies and prevent flooding. The program relies on the support and participation of the community to create beautiful, safe, natural areas that serve the needs of people and other living things. Please join us at one of our community workdays as we rebuild our urban streams from the ground up!
2022 Alameda County Fair
The Alameda County Fair runs June 17th to July 10th. Join us in Building Q to find resources on wildlife conservation, healthy soils, agriculture, and more!
Looking for some inspiration this Earth Day?
Check out The Soil Awakens, a brand new video on the amazing soil life all around us.
This video, and the products to follow, were produced under a UC Davis/USDA-NRCS collaborative project and are part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of soil. Over the next few weeks they will be launching a short animated video series and an interactive website, including a graphics-based intro to soil science, a media hub of vetted soils-related content, and clear, actionable items for people to ‘get involved’ with protecting and promoting soils in their everyday lives.
Videos will be shared as they are released. If you are on social media, you can find and connect on Instagram @soil.life – Facebook @TheSoilLife – and Twitter @The_Soil_Life.
FY19 & FY20 Annual Report
Our latest annual report for FY2019 and FY2020 is now available! Read about our project highlights, upcoming projects, services, and more by clicking below.
Click here to download
Get a regional perspective on the troubles and mysteries of the Western monarch butterfly population from KQED’s Forum. Hear directly from local experts on the pressing issues of long-term data collection on pollinator declines, prospects of the Western monarch population, and considerations related to pesticide use, captive rearing, disease, climate change, and milkweed planting. Listen in for more information on what can be done to help the Western monarch butterfly population.
Click here to listen
Alameda County Conservation Partnership
The Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) collaborate as the Conservation Partnership to serve as the lead conservation agency in Alameda County. We provide technical and educational services for natural resource conservation and agriculture enhancement. The Partnership collaborates with many partners including private landowners, local, state and federal agencies and other organizations to develop and implement various conservation and agricultural strategies. The ACRCD also works closely, on a fee for service basis, with public agencies and private sector companies, to help achieve conservation based goals.
Latest ACRCD News
A New California Law Will Create a Lot More Compost – but Will it Make it to Farmland?
Read the full article (Civil Eats, March 2, 2022)
Castro Valley Creek & Trail Clean Up
Join with Clean Water Volunteers for a cleanup of the Castro Valley Creek Trail from Castro Valley Blvd. to the Castro Valley Library. Help Beautify Your Local Creek! When: Saturday September 18th 2021 9:00-12:00 pm [...]
Carlos Bee Park Clean Up & Beautification
Join the Clean Water Volunteers and Hayward Area Recreation & Park District (H.A.R.D.) Volunteers In Parks (V.I.P.) for a litter removal and park beautification day and water testing demonstration! When: Saturday, September 11, 2021 9:45am [...]