Your Yard Can Wait – Help Plant on Public Land


The Bureau of Land Management could use a little assistance getting about, oh, 12,000 plants in the ground this fall and winter. And you thought you had some yard work to catch up on.

The agency has scheduled seven volunteer work days on public lands at Clear Creek Greenway between Redding and Igo, the Sacramento River Rail Trail south of Shasta Dam, and the Sacramento River Bend Area north of Red Bluff. The first “native lands restoration” work day is set for this Saturday, November 20, at Clear Creek.

With guidance from professionals, volunteers will be planting varieties of oak, coffee berry, buckbrush, native rose, elderberry and other species on lands that have been used in the past for farming, mining and other activities that disrupted the natural landscape, according to Sara Copp, a BLM native resource technician. At the same time, volunteers will also eradicate exotic plants, because ecosystem restoration requires both planting good stuff and removing the bad. (A mountain biker will thank you every time you eliminate one of those flat tire-inducing puncturevine plants.)

“We chose these areas because they were heavily disturbed, they have a lot of use from the public, and they have a lot of potential,” Copp said.

Individuals as well as groups are invited to participate. The only requirement is a willingness to get a little dirty. Children as young as 5 have helped in the past, Copp noted.

Other volunteer days at Clear Creek Greenway are scheduled for December 18 and January 15. The Sacramento River Bend Area will get attention on December 4 and January 8. The date for planting along the rail trail is December 11. All work days are set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers bring their own gloves, hand tools and lunch. BLM supplies the plants, expertise and encouragement. Copp asks that volunteers register with her in advance by emailing her at


• Speaking of  volunteer opportunities … the California Department of Fish and Game is seeking new participants for its Natural Resources Volunteer Program. The program requires a big commitment: Attendance at a two-week training academy, and at least 24 hours of volunteer work every month. Participants assist with wildlife and fisheries management, hatchery operations, program administration and licensing, law and regulation enforcement, first aid and hunter education. This Friday, November 19, is the deadline to register for the next training academy in Redding, scheduled for December 27 through January 7. Applications are available on the DFG website, or contact Lt. Cindy Adkins of DFG at (530) 225-2268.

• The Shasta County Interfaith Forum’s annual Thanksgiving interfaith service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. this Sunday, November 21, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at the corner of Gold Street and Airpark Drive in Redding. People of all faiths – Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, Native American, etc. – are invited to attend an evening of music, inspirational readings and diverse traditions. Organizers will also be collecting food donations for local food banks. For details, contact Lynn Fritz at (530) 243-8862.

• Soroptimist International of Anderson-Cottonwood is seeking vendors for its sixth annual All About Women Fair, scheduled for February 26 at the Shasta District Fairgrounds. In its first five years, the event has raised $32,500 for education scholarships. To reserve your booth space, contact Sherry Iverson at (530) 244-5919.

• Bring a canned food item to Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding between now and November 23, and you’ll get $3 off the park’s regular admission price. All donated items will go to Northern Valley Catholic Social Service’s adopt-a-family program.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and despises yellow starthistle as much as puncturevine. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.