Monday, November 19, 2012

Four awesome eighth graders brought a sense that the future of the world is in good hands if they are any indication. Claire Coelho, Cody Morrison, Cherish Kuehlemann and Justin Sage gave an excellent report of their experiences at the Rotary Eighth Grade Leadership Camp held November 2, 3 and 4 at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola. Quincy’s team was one of seventeen teams of five students each from all over District 5190.  Instructors Dean and Rochelle Whellems led the students through a number of exercises and challenges in the areas of leadership, communication, teamwork, Rotary and the Four Way Test, ethics, and the values of respect, truth and trustworthiness. There was the added challenge of a Ropes Course that “took them outside their comfort zone” where teams learned the value of working together and the importance of trust.

At the end of the camp, each team was encouraged to establish a goal they wanted to work on in their respective schools and, in cooperation with their school principals, develop a plan to implement that goal.  The Quincy team chose to work building a greater sense of community.  They have chosen as their class motto “One Big Happy Family.  We look forward to a later update on the success of their project.

Among our guests for the day were Dr. Sue Segua, principal and Jeff Ray, Vice Principal of Quincy Junior/Senior High School who were there to encourage and support the youth.  We also welcomed Leslie Edlund, Pluma USD Board Trustee and new school superintendent  Dr. Micheline Miglis.


Karen Kleven, Development Director


Karen joined FRLT in 2008, bringing a strong background in social finance and non-profit management. She worked as an investment advisor in Marin County from 1999 - 2006 and a division director at Plumas Rural Services (a non-profit social service organization) from 1988-1999. She has been exploring the power of money for several years and is committed to moving as much money as possible toward creating a better world, including preserving and protecting beautiful natural areas for present and future generations. She holds a BA from Lewis and Clark in History and a MA from CSU, Chico in Recreation Administration.


Learning Landscapes is FRLT’s conservation and education program designed to greatly enhance children’s contact with the natural world, place-based learning, and hands-on stewardship experiences.

In partnership with generous landowners and public school districts, we are conserving natural areas as “outdoor classrooms” within a 10-minute walk of every public school in the Feather River Watershed and supporting their educational use.

Learning Landscapes is a three-pronged effort:

1.      Conserve: We conserve and steward outdoor classrooms on campuses and natural areas next to public schools, making it easy for teachers to bring students outside to learn, play, and steward the land.

2.      Improve: We install trails, signs, and seating areas on campuses and adjacent lands to create ideal outdoor learning environments.

3.      Support: We train and support K-12 teachers to “Teach from the Land” and lead their students in hands-on restoration and stewardship projects.

Learning Landscapes includes all of Plumas County and portions of Lassen and Sierra counties, affecting approximately 2,900 schoolchildren per year in grades K-12 within seven communities.

Since its adoption by the FRLT board in 2003, Learning Landscapes has accomplished the following land conservation outcomes:

  • Secured 11 MOUs with local landowners allowing students and teachers to access their lands for educational use. We are working to secure permanent access through acquisition or conservation easements.
  • Purchased the first conservation easement in Indian Valley, protecting the 318-acre Pearce Family Ranch – Plumas County’s oldest working family ranch. The Pearce Family welcomes educational use by local schools.
  • Purchased the 42-acre Leonhardt Ranch, providing a Learning Landscape for Quincy Jr/Sr High School in American Valley.

This unique program - conserving outdoor classrooms on campus and adjacent to every school - is generating lots of excitement. Learning Landscapes is now a strategic initiative of the Northern Sierra Partnership.

We need your help! To learn more about how you can help conserve outdoor classrooms to train the next generation of land stewards, please contact us at (530) 283-5758 or email us. Donate to Learning Landscapes online.