Center plans Earth Day project

To celebrate the 40th annual Earth Day, Fresno State students and faculty will participate in service project entitled Generation Green, this Saturday April 24th.

The Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning has collaborated with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy and the Rotary Storyland to allow students and faculty to create a lasting impact on this national service day.

The special events and projects coordinator for the Richter Center, Renee Delport, said that this was the third time Fresno State students and faculty have worked with the Sierra Foothills Conservancy and Rotary Storyland.

At the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, students and faculty will help create a hiking trail in the McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve, a project that was started last October by Fresno State students and faculty.

“There was no trail at all and Fresno State volunteers [last October] broke the trail down the side of a mountain, cutting trees, and raking up dirt,” Delport said. “Without these hiking trails, we could cause damage to nature.”

The Sierra Foothills are a hidden gem of the Central Valley, said Fresno State student Leah Rath. It means a lot to her to protect the foothills because she spent a lot of time there as a child.

“It is such an amazing opportunity to be able to improve the conservancy so that people in my community can continue to have the same experiences that I did,” she said.

The Sierra Foothill conservatory helps about 2,000 people each year experience the great outdoors.

“Many of the visitors are school-age children who participate in place-based learning field trips on the McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve,” said Rosanna Ruiz, director of education and outreach for the conservancy. “Many of the students are from underserved schools from Fresno and Madera counties, who are able to experience the wonders of nature in the foothills.”

A major part of this project is painting a privacy wall that runs along the outside of Rotary Storyland. Delport described it as huge wall with murals of cartoons, that don’t fit with the theme of the park anymore.

The Generation Green project at the Sierra Foothills Conservancy and Rotary Storyland will benefit the community and have a lasting impact.

“We could rake leaves and clean a park, but a week later you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Delport said. “Students a year from now, or five years from now will be able to see their work, their impact on the community.

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