Mar 31, 2015

College and Land Trust team up
to restore native plants in Linda Falls Preserve.
Students in Professor Aimee Wyrick's biology class get some unique hands-on learning on the Linda Falls Preserve. Working on improvement projects in the wilderness just outside the Angwin village and PUC campus gives them some enjoyable sunshine experiences and some valuable insights into stewardship of the created world.
A recent project has brought Wyrick biology students into partnership with volunteers in the Land Trust of Napa County. The task: To remove invasive plants in the Preserve and to replace them with grasses and monkey flower native to this specific site. This is grunt work, excavating holes in the volcanic soil, installing the new plants, watering them, and hoping they will survive.
That task required harvesting seed from existing plants on the site and propagation of the new plantings by a professional nursery. That should enhance the survival of the new plantings.
In another project on the Preserve, her students had conducted a survey of aquatic insects in Conn Creek. This is not your run-of-the-mill college class. But it gives students an authentic feeling of real research. Tomorrow, it may be a larger study of Conn Creek in the Howell Mountain watershed or an inventory of wildlife in this very primitive 177 acres.
The Land Trust appreciates the research. The students love it. And Professor Aimee Wyrick watches them enjoying the natural world and smiles.
PUC students planting native species
PUC students planting native species in the Linda Falls Preserve.
Chip Bouril and Megan Lilla
Land Trust Volunteers Chip Bouril and Megan Lilla joined PUC students in a recent planting bee. Bouril at left is an environmental consultant. Lilla is a lands program assistant on the Land Trust staff.
Professsor Wyrick and Student Kristine Maxam
Back in the Biology Department's green house, Professsor Wyrick and Student Kristine Maxam enjoy the unique coloration of the Prayer Plant. Kristine, a senior in PUC's Environmental Studies program, has been involved in the work on the Linda Falls Preserve.
Sharing Linda Falls

Hundreds of Pacific Union College students have discovered Linda Falls and recorded it as a happy memory of life up here on Howell Mountain. Conn Creek is a sober little stream meandering through the Angwin Village and college land. But falling over a sheer 50-foot rock cliff a mile downstream it becomes a delight to the eyes.
Today, the Falls and 177 acres encircling it have a name, the Linda Falls Preserve. The land for the Preserve has been given to the Land Trust of Napa County by three landowners. Ed Van Egri gave 141 acres, Kathleen Heitz-Meyers gave 25 acres and Harmon Frohmuth gave 11 acres. A seven-member Stewardship Committee headed by Richard Seiferheld includes Mike Palladini, Megan Lilla, Chip Bouril, and Bob Frescura.
Paula Peterson, retired California State park superintendent, and Aimee Wyrick, Pacific Union College professor, are the local members of the Stewardship Committee, which is responsible for overseeing and improving the condition of the Preserve.
The generosity of the Land Trust lies in their sharing the wilderness nature of the Preserve with the public, for recreational hiking, wildlife viewing, academic research, and environmental education. A year ago, the Land Trust employed a professional crew to construct a trail to the plunge pool at the base of the Falls.
Professor Aimee Wyrick and Paula Peterson
Professor Aimee Wyrick (left) and Paula Peterson are the Angwin members of the Land Trust Stewardship Committee.