Student Life » Druid's Self-Education

Druid's Self-Education

The club’s activities fall into four categories:

  • Plant Knowledge: During their weekly meetings (pre-COVID), they had a brief presentation called “plant of the week,” in which they learned about a native plant. They continued to study the plants in their nursery so that they could prepare plant information signs for public education. (See below.)
  • Plant Propagation: In the nursery, led by tireless retiree Steve Wiley, they learn how to propagate native plants during weekly after-school workshops.
  • Phenology and Citizen Science: The Druids joined the National Phenology Network in 201. Until the 2020 COVID closings, they tracked the phenology of over a dozen native plants in the garden and on campus using a specified protocol to make weekly observations. Their observations were uploaded to a national database which, when combined with other groups’ data, can be used by researchers to study the effects of climate change on plant phenology. To learn how to do this, the Druids took a field trip to see the UC Santa Cruz botanical garden phenology project in action and attended several workshops designed by a volunteer to adapt the process to their own campus.
  • Local Infrastructure Solutions for Climate Change: The Druids took a field trip to the Oro Loma Sanitary District Facility and the associated Horizontal Levee Project. They then attended a presentation by the Horizontal Levee Project team from U.C. Berkeley and Oro Loma so they could better understand the design and purpose of the project. This project’s goal is to prepare for climate change sea level rise and to further purify treated water from the facility, using native plants, to restore old wetlands.
  • General Environmental Knowledge: From 2006 through 2012, the Druids attended the Teen Environmental Action Mentorship at Marin Headlands Institute (TEAM). This week-long institute teaches leadership skills, environmental science, biology, and ecology. They also attended the Leadership & Environmental Action Fellowship (LEAF), sponsored by Earth Team at East Bay Regional Park’s Camp Arroyo, which had similar goals to those of TEAM.
Community Education
  • Open Garden and Plant Sale: On the first Sunday in May, for eight years (pre-COVID) they held an Open Garden, Plant Sale and Community Environmental Fair in connection with the Bay Area-wide Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. On April 30, 2022, they celebrated the end of COVID closings with their most successful plant sale ever. San Lorenzo High School has been the only public high school on this tour. Students lead community participants on tours of the garden, pointing out highlights, explaining their phenology project, and demonstrating Native American uses of California native plants. The highlight of this event was the sale of plants propagated by the students in the nursery. Students prepared plant labels that described the plants and their cultural requirements to help people choose plants for their own gardens.
School Service
  • Until September 2022, entirely in charge of recycling all paper and beverage containers on the high school campus. With money raised from the annual plant sale, they purchase additional plants for the campus. Once or twice a year, they hold a “Beautification Day” which brings the entire community together—students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni, and siblings—to plant these additional plants and do larger maintenance jobs. These are well-attended and popular, as everyone recognizes the value of greening and beautifying the campus. They lead tours for local fourth grade classes who are studying Native Californian culture, describing and demonstrating the use of native plants by the first Californians.
Community Service
  • The Druid's have installed native plant gardens for Hesperian School, the Hayward Area Historical Society, and the San Lorenzo Village Homeowners Association.
  • They gave landscaping demonstrations in the San Lorenzo Village Housing Association, showing how to replace lawns with native plants.
  • They participated in over twenty restoration projects on public lands for many organizations, including EBMUD, Alameda County Public Works, Alameda County Resource Conservation District, Save the Bay, Earth Team, Hayward Area Recreation District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dig Deep Farms, and Marin Headlands.
  • They provided support for the East Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society in their plant sales.
  • They have given presentations at garden clubs and at the California Native Plant Society about their programs.