HEALDSBURG – A year and a half ago, Saggio Hills in Healdsburg collected acorns to make seedlings to plant on the site of the proposed spa and residential development. About 5,000 acorns were collected, but the seedlings didn’t take and a year later workers went back to collect more.
This time around, they ended up with 16,000 seedlings, propagated by NovaVine.
With the development mired in a court challenge, Saggio Hills suddenly had 16,000 oak trees on its hands. What to do with 12,000 of them it will not use at the development?
“We were delayed by the court's action, and we didn’t want to throw the trees away,” said Tony Korman, partner in Saggio Hills.
So Saggio Hills reached out to the local cities and nonprofits to donate the seedlings.
The Russian Riverkeepr, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping the rivers clean and populated with native plants, is getting 300 seedlings.
In an annual Foss Creek cleanup day, workers are going to be removing nonnative plants and planting 60 oaks and giving the others away.
Program Coordinator for Natural Resources at Santa Rosa Junior College Department of Agricultural/Natural Resources Kasey Wade, through Forest Unlimited, will receive more than 600 seedlings for planting as a part of an oak revegetation program at Shone Farm, the 365-acre outdoor classroom lab for the Ag/Natural Resource students at the SRJC.
“This is the first time oaks have been donated,” Ms. Wade said.
The Sonoma County Jail Industries has accepted 4,000 seedlings. The program is a self-sustaining education program for inmates put on through the Sonoma County Office of Education.
“We will use these for donations to schools or nonprofits for planting,” said Rick Stern, instructor of the classes.
Sonoma County Parks and Recreation Department will distribute 4,000 of the seedlings over the next two weekends at the opening of the new Tolay Park east of Petaluma for the fourth annual Fall Festival. According to Mary Clemens, the coordinator for the event, more than 11,000 children went through the educational programs in 2008.
“The mission is to talk to people of all ages, primarily children, about preserving a natural resource.”
Another 400 seedlings will go to the nursery at Los Guilicos.
Saggio Hills is donating them as a part of a replanting plan to enhance and expand local woodlands. Saggio Hills has committed to planting up to 4,000 seedlings in the coming years at the property in Healdsburg.
“We had tremendous success with NovaVine, who propagated over 16,000 seedlings for us,” said Mr. Korman. “Frankly we never expected such success and are very happy that we can provide these seedlings for the benefit of Sonoma County for generations to come.”