From the Classroom

Native Knowledge in Putnam Park

On a Fall morning earlier this semester, groups of Petaluma High School students in Linda Judah's biology class made their way up into Helen Putnam. Guided by our Program Director and resident naturalist Michelle Sauceda, students collected seeds from native plants like Toyon, Plantain, Coast Live Oak, Flax, and Tarweed and learned about the importance of native plants to a thriving ecosystem. 

Michelle Sauceda with students during collection

Michelle Sauceda with students during collection

Seeds were gathered with the intention of later propagating them in the classroom and possibly even planting them in the wild at a later date. 

The trips Judah took with various classes to Helen Putnam were quick, but even short outdoor experiences help students understand their place in our environment, and students were engaged and interested during their seed collection experience.

"I found the youth to be very curious about the local flora and fauna-and grateful for the wild harvesting experience," says Sauceda.  

For more information on how you and your students can get involved in seed collection and other naturalist guided activities, please contact