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Biodiversity

Healthy ecosystems and biodiversity are fundamental to life on our planet. Climate change impacts many species across the world as small changes in average temperatures can significantly effect habitats, food sources, and entire ecosystems. The following YCA projects seek to protect and restore natural habitats as a strategy to increase green space and biodiversity in their local communities.

Green Space Revitalization at Burlingame High School

Community Impact Project Leads – Emma Gubbels, Olivia Johnson, Zoe Tsai (Burlingame High School) 

Project Description: In this project, students took on the challenge to revitalize the grass area that is located on their school campus. With site administration approval, these students removed weeds, added nutrients to the, installed new irrigation and selected a unique showcase of native plants to feature in this heavily trafficked space on campus. 

Read Emma’s Case Study

Read Olivia’s Case Study

Read Zoe’s Case Study

Updating Tri-Bin Signage at Mills High School

Community Impact Project Leads – Alauki Parikh, Casey Niwa, Sohan Lemieux (Mills High School) 

Project Description: In this project, students created a competition for their peers to create an artistic and informative poster to promote appropriate sorting as a new tri-bin system was implemented at Mills High School. Students used social media to communicate about the competition and provide education and awareness materials to participants. Click the case studies below to see the winning signage! 

Read Alauki’s Case Study

Read Casey’s Case Study

Read Sohan’s Case Study

Air Pollution Awareness and Monitoring 

Community Impact Project Lead – Siofra Linden (Capuchino High School) 

Project Description: In this project, the student chose to focus on air quality and air pollution in the San Bruno area. The student planned, purchased and installed six air quality monitors at local elementary, middle and high schools in the San Bruno area. Volunteers were also recruited to maintain and share air quality data in the community locations selected. 

Read Siofra’s Case Study

Beach Cleanup and Waste Reduction Advocacy at Coyote Point

Community Impact Project Leads – Ashley Wong (San Mateo High School), Lian Wang (San Mateo High School) and Nicole Choubler Donovan (Hillsdale High School) 

Project Description: In this project, students teamed up with San Mateo County Parks at Coyote Point to host a volunteer beach cleanup event. They also spent time educating participants on the waste we create and offered prizes for participation in the event. 

Read Ashley’s Case Study

Read Lian’s Case Study 

Read Nicole’s Case Study

NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AT OCEANA HIGH SCHOOL

Community Impact Project Leads – Simone Gramling and Maxim Steffel (Oceana High School)

Project Description: For this project, Simone and Max wanted to promote biodiversity and help educate their school community on the importance of native plants in our natural environments. They chose to install a native plant demonstration garden and their school because of their interest in learning more about plants and wanting to share their value and beauty with their peers on campus.

Read Simone’s Case Study

Read Max’s Case Study

HABITAT RESTORATION EVENT AT STULSAFT PARK

Community Impact Project Leads – Ava Neilson, Chloe Montgomery, Kate O’Toole and Maia Tu (Woodside High School) 

Project Description: For this project, this group of students was inspired by the values they learned of natural and native spaces to combat climate change. They teamed up with local non-profit, Grassroots Ecology, to host an after school event at a nearby park. This event provided a way for students to come together and help restore land back to its native purpose in a park many pass through to get to school. 

Read Ava’s Case Study

Ready Chloe’s Case Study

Read Kate’s Case Study

Read Maia’s Case Study

EDIBLE FOOD GARDEN IN COASTSIDE COMMUNITY

Community Impact Project Leads – Krista Patel and Nora Flynn (Half Moon Bay High School)

Project Description: For this project, Krista and Nora wanted to demonstrate what a sustainable food system looks like on the coast of San Mateo County. Working with school administration, they were able to start to plan and implement an edible food garden. This garden is intended to educate all who interact with it on where our food comes from and why it is so important to have local infrastructure for food systems. 

Read Krista’s Case Study

Read Nora’s Case Study

EDUCATIONAL GARDEN AT TIDE ACADEMY

Community Impact Project Lead – Cambria Jones (TIDE Academy)

Project Description: For this project, Cambria wanted to bring her community closer together and develop healthy eating options for the students at TIDE Academy. Because this is such a small campus, Cambria had the unique opportunity to survey her peers to see what food they wanted to have easier access to on campus and offered a poll on Discord for students to share their thoughts. With this, Cambria developed a plan and implemented a garden to serve the needs of the community her garden is built to serve. 

Read Cambria’s Case Study

CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Community Impact Project Lead – Maria Iraheta (KIPP Esperanza High School)

Project Description: For this project, Maria wanted to share what she learned about climate science and the impacts that are happening much faster and closer to home than many of her peers realize. Maria also wanted to translate this information into Spanish to make sure that everyone could understand the information being presented to them. Maria designed and implemented two climate change science posters that were hung outside the cafeteria at her high school, starting conversations and sharing information about climate change with a population she is worried is not taking this seriously. 

Read Maria’s Case Study

CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Community Impact Project Lead – Maria Iraheta (KIPP Esperanza High School)

Project Description: For this project, Maria wanted to share what she learned about climate science and the impacts that are happening much faster and closer to home than many of her peers realize. Maria also wanted to translate this information into Spanish to make sure that everyone could understand the information being presented to them. Maria designed and implemented two climate change science posters that were hung outside the cafeteria at her high school, starting conversations and sharing information about climate change with a population she is worried is not taking this seriously. 

Read Maria’s Case Study

NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AND OUTDOOR EDUCATION

Community Impact Project Leads – Finley Liquete and Rachell Kay (South San Francisco High School)

Project Description: For this project, Finley and Rachell chose to develop a proposal that would transform part of their school’s lawn area by into a native plant garden. The purpose of this garden is to create an outdoor seating area to support COVID-19 recovery in the form of outdoor classrooms. Learn more about Finely & Rachell’s project below.

Read Finely’s Case Study

Read Rachell’s Case Study

NATIVE PLANT RESTORATION

Community Impact Project Leads – Alex Koron, Brianna Johnson, Jasmine Standez, and Tyler Auton-Smith (Half Moon Bay High School)

Project Description: For this project, Alex, Brianna, Jasmine and Tyler sought to improve the health of local soil through habitat restoration in Half Moon Bay. These students worked with Coastside Landtrust, who provided our group with a small plot of land to restore. Students first cleared the land of invasive plants before planting native plants. Then they placed cardboard and mulch around the newly planted area as a way to keep plants moist for longer. Another component of their project was the creation of a documentary which follows the story of their restoration work and the people who worked on it. Learn more about this project and each group member’s role below.

Read Alex’s Case Study

Read Brianna’s Case Study

Read Jasmine’s Case Study

Read Tyler’s Case Study & Watch the Documentary

LIVING GREEN WALL INSTALLATION

Community Impact Project Leads – Lucie Lin (The Nueva School)

Project Description: For this project, Lucie aimed to raise awareness about biodiversity, sustainability, and carbon sequestration while improving air quality and creating “green spaces” indoors during the COVID era. The result of this project was the development of a mobile, indoor green wall. Learn more about Lucie’s project below.

Read Lucie’s Case Study

CREATING AN ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB AT WOODSIDE

Community Impact Project Leads – Kalya Knupfer (Woodside High School)

Project Description: For this project, Kayla focused on creating a new environmental club at Woodside High School. The mpurpose of this club was to raise environmental awareness among all Woodside high school students. The club addressed environmental issues, promoted collaboration within their community, and disucssed ways to minimize ecological footprint. The first project as a club was be to create a native garden on campus. Learn more about Kayla’s project below.

Read Kayla’s Case Study

NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AT LOCAL PRESCHOOL

Community Impact Project Leads – Isabel Shinoki (Mills High School)

Project Description: For this project, Isabel focused on designing and installing a native plant garden at the entrance of Little Scholar Preschool in Millbrae. This project involved renovating the current gardening to include native plans, plus giving away seed starts to community members. The project also provided the clients and the children of a local preschool with information about the importance of native plants and encouraged them to plant native species into their own landscapes. These native plants will help to reduce the water consumption of the preschool and act as a interpretative and education garden as there the native plants are labeled. Learn more about Isabel’s project below.

Read Isabel’s Case Study

YCA Biodiversity Community Projects