Sedge and Native Seed Collection Workshop: July 28-29

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On July 28 and 29, 2022, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and the US Forest Service will host a Sedge ID and Native Seed Collection Workshop in Van Norden meadow. All are welcome to attend either or both days!  

On July 28th, anyone interested in botany or native plants is welcome to attend a workshop completely focused on the identification of native sedges. For this workshop, some previous plant ID experience is recommended. For the next day of the workshop, on July 29th, all are welcome to help collect native seeds from the meadow. These seeds will be used to support the revegetation component of the Van Norden meadow restoration project. This is a fun opportunity to learn about our beloved native plants and to restore our meadows.  

Van Norden meadow (Yayalu Itdeh in Washoe), an important Sierra meadow at the headwaters of the South Yuba River, was purchased in 2012 and saved from development by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, multiple local conservation groups, and thousands of local community members who supported the campaign. SYRCL, in partnership with the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), the Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT), and others have begun restoration on 485 acres of this meadow habitat. This restoration will involve conducting key scientific studies to address specific uncertainties about how meadow restoration actions impact meadow hydrology, ecology, biology, and the vulnerability of meadows to climate change. The project partners have been monitoring Van Norden meadow since 2013 and we anticipate that our long-term baseline data will lead to greater understanding of these uncertainties. 

Once implemented, this restoration project will result in improved meadow habitat and ecological function, improved hydrologic function, improved water quality and increased summer base flows, increased carbon storage, and the improvement of the overall resiliency of the headwaters of the South Yuba River to changing climatic conditions.  The project will also lead to greater scientific understanding of meadow processes which can be applied to meadows and headwater streams across the Sierra region. 

The proposed actions for this restoration project include filling sections of the South Yuba River and Lytton Creek and installing Beaver dam analogs in Castle Creek to reconnect the streams with their meadow floodplain, increasing the groundwater levels within the meadow. In addition, invasive species removal will occur, and encroaching conifers will be removed along the meadow edges. Finally, we will plant willow and sedge in areas where native plant recruitment is desired.  

This final stage is where you come in. We need your help to collect the sedge and other native plant seeds that will support native plant recruitment. 

Day 1’s workshop on July 28th will be focused on native sedge identification. The workshop will be led by Dave Weixelman, a range ecologist with US Forest Service for over 33 years with a focus on vegetation ecology that has supported his 15+ publications. Attendees will learn how to identify different species of native sedges present in the meadow. Some botany or plant identification knowledge is recommended, but not required. Bring forceps, a small ruler (mm), a hand lens, and a Jepson Manual, 2nd Ed, if you have them. Extra forceps, hand rulers, and forceps will be provided, and a Jepson Manual can be split between two people. The event will run from 9 am to 4 pm. Lunch is NOT provided, so please pack something hearty and bring plenty of water. 

On Day 2 of the workshop on July 29th, SYRCL and Forest Service meadow experts will guide attendees in collecting native plant seeds which will be used to support native plant recruitment. This collection from the meadow is open to everyone and will benefit the revegetation component of the meadow restoration project. All you need to bring is yourself! 

To sign up for either or both days, please email Caitlin Edelmuth, SYRCL’s Restoration Coordinator, at

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