Cricket Compost Corral is a wildlife habitat installation that was installed October 2014 at the Laguna Environmental Center. This post is about moving a garden resource (debris) pile to Cricket Compost Corral. The new compost will help jumpstart the compost pile and the wildlife habitat features of the pile. The new compost will help raise the soil level of the compost so that the compost will drain better, stay warmer, and work more efficiently. Also, the new compost resources will come with a rich biota of fungi, soil microbes, crawly critters, and perhaps animals of higher trophic levels.
The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, operates the Laguna Environmental Center, on Stone Farm, at 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, California, 95401. This wildlife habitat installation borders the LEC’s (Laguna Environmental Center’s) Native Plant Nursery, which is used for the Foundation’s Restoration Program.
“Cricket Compost Corral Gets A Habitat Blanket” is an outdoor classroom project — Science is just the beginning! The students of Orchard View School, substitute teacher Alison, and I had fun at this outdoor classroom Biology project. Teacher Sunny Galbraith worked logistics before installation day.
Before the students arrive — fenceline garden resource pile:
Gathering organic debris (horse manure and fallen poplar branches) to add to Cricket Compost Corral.
Farmer Stuart Schroeder, of Stone Farm, lends a tractor to add a layer of wood chips for the students to spread.
Logs are used to frame the new resources added to CCC. The wood frame will help keep the new higher soil level intact, wick water to the Santa Barbara sedge to be planted, and provide habitat for critters.
Moving the resource pile:
A Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla), green phase, hides in the resource pile.
Adding the resource pile to Cricket Compost Corral:
Foreground, a student plants Santa Barbara sedge, a native, drought-tolerant plant that will hold the compost’s hill in place. Far right (back), students install driftwood to complete the frame of CCC.
Finishing touches on CCC gets a habitat blanket:
Cleaning tools before our class is finished. Terrace planting of Santa Barbara sedge to keep the compost’s soil level from eroding. Ultimately, the wood will rot away but the sedge mound will hold the soil in place. The sedge will also provide habitat for the compost’s critters. Close up of sedge planting.A plug of sedge (center) sits in a soil-filled raised bed made by two tree limbs.Weeds in front. Sedge behind the terracing limb.A plug of grass with yarrow plants planted at the base of adjacent Log Pile Apartments.
A thank you to the Laguna Foundation’s staff, especially Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs, and Brent Reed, Restoration Projects Supervisor. Cool project!
Enjoy your wildlife habitat creations. Habitat it!
Wildlife at Orchard View student-built habitats at the LEC
Resting bird about to get company. Habitat is Garter Snake Ravine. Bird cam photo.