As the end of the semester approaches, our volunteers and program coordinators for Adopt-a-Park are celebrating their grant approval from the Sustainability Fund Allocation Committee (SFAC)! Program leader, Hana Koyama led Adopt-a-Park to their victory while working with Program Coordinator, Cathryn Carkhuff.

Koyama and Carkhuff worked hard to revise the program by adding new concepts and ideas to the program that will be beneficial to student volunteers. Koyama’s background in soil sciences allowed her to shine through the planning of the updates to the program. Adopt-a-Park focuses mainly on the removal of invasive species, which sparked the idea of adding an element to plant native species in Chico. “We wanted to figure out what to do to make Adopt-a-Park better and more applicable to CAVE’s mission statement,” said Hana Koyama.

Both Koyama and Carkhuff attended the informational session on the SFAC grant and from there began the application process. After speaking to members from the SFAC, they were pointed to the right set of connections. Koyama contacted several people on different committees and was able to partner with five different locations. Adopt-a-Park partnered with locations for native planting including Upper Bidwell Park, Lower Bidwell Park, Ecological Preserve, Verbena Fields and the Chico State Farm.

Future Adopt-a-Park volunteers will be attending informational site visits from our five partners. Volunteers will then learn about the specifics of each location, as well as the native plants that thrive in that area. Once they have completed their informational visit, they will begin planting native species with oversight by a site manager.

Adopt-a-Park will continue their routine visits to Bidwell Park on Saturdays while adding new educational tours on Thursdays where volunteers will be planting the native species of the area. The new round of location visits will add a larger educational component to the Adopt-a-Park volunteer opportunities. This program revamp will also be connected to sustainability efforts which has become a concern for Chico State students.

“We put this all together in a timeline, budget and applied for the grant!” said Carkhuff. The application process took Koyama and Carkhuff three weeks to complete. “We got the highest score out of eight total projects,” said Carkhuff.

Koyama was given two minutes to present her idea, and soon after her presentation, SFAC decided to fund the program the full amount requested - $3,500. The funding will be used for transportation costs and supplies for the new educational tours and planting. We are incredibly grateful and proud at CAVE for the grant approval from the SFAC. Congratulations to Adopt-a-Park and to program leader Hana Koyama and Cathryn Carkhuff for their for work and dedication to renew the program.