Sierra Nevada partnership restores more than 1,000 acres | SierraSun.com

Sierra Nevada partnership restores more than 1,000 acres

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Member Sara Kokkelengberg was recently named the 2015 Catherine Milton California AmeriCorps Member of the Year for her service at the Eastern Sierra Land Trust.

Kokkelenberg, based in Bishop, Calif., was one of 30 Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) Members placed throughout the Sierra Nevada, from Redding to Visalia, during the 2014-15 program.

Those members restored more than 900 acres of impaired watersheds, educated more than 15,000 Sierra residents and visitors, recruited more than 4,000 volunteers who restored an additional 750 acres and raised more than $65,000 dollars for environmental work at their host organizations — a range of nonprofits, conservation agencies and tribes.

"Sara helped ESLT develop and implement the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, an innovative new program to assist area gardeners in creating pollinator-friendly landscaping. To-date, this project has certified more than 50 gardens and community spaces," said Kay Ogden, Eastern Sierra Land Trust's executive director. "Sara also brought renewed vigor to ESLT's education programs with area elementary school students. Sara's work with Eastern Sierra Land Trust has made a huge impact on the future of our region."

The SNAP program kicked off its 10th year on Oct. 15, training 28 new members at the Sagehen Creek Field Station to go off and serve throughout the Sierra, including new host sites Trout Unlimited in Truckee, the Tuolumne River Trust in Sonora and the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station in Fresno.

Members will complete diverse projects such as mapping and restoring illegal OHV trails in the El Dorado National Forest, running the 2016 Sierra Trout Camp in Truckee, leading volunteer crews in the restoration of the Rim Fire burn area, and organizing the Field Trip Program at Kaweah Oaks Preserve in the Southern Sierra.

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"The SNAP program's impact to underserved local communities and the Sierra as a whole cannot be understated," said Lynn Baumgartner, SNAP program director. 'We're excited for the 10th year of the program, and we can't wait to get out there and start getting things done!"

The SNAP Program is made possible by generous support of CaliforniaVolunteers, the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and the SNAP Host Sites.

This article was submitted by SNAP, a project of the Sierra Nevada Alliance that has been protecting and restoring the Sierra since 1993. For more information, visit http://www.sierranevadaalliance.org.