This summer we led our first high school internship! For 5 weeks nine high school interns got to explore Mount Sutro Open Space, understand how native plants are propagated and cared for in the nursery, do restoration work along trails, and expand their knowledge of botany, San Francisco ecology, and the history of Mount Sutro.
In the nursery, the interns worked on tasks like seed collecting, transplanting and potting up native plant seedlings, observing closely a variety of plants from Aquilegia formosa to Vaccinium ovatum, labeled and counted plants propagated each workday, learned to decipher scientific names, and practiced using botanical keys, as well as carefully study plant parts - leaves, stems, and flowers.
The interns also spent time exploring Mount Sutro Open Space and surrounding areas by going on several hikes, and practiced hands-on habitat restoration. Our interns learned how to use restoration tools properly, identify poison oak, learn the difference between native plants and invasive plant species, looking and listening for birds,and observe other wildlife like pollinators. We weeded out invasive plants, like herb-robert, forget-me-not, wild radish, Himalayan blackberry, and erharta grass from the Summit (Rotary Meadow) and the Historic Trail.
Here are some of the many highlights from our program: