Institute for Sustainable Development

Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Charter School Visits Big Chico Creek

Forest Ranch Charter School Visits BCCER

February 2009
by Teri Randolph
The Institute for Sustainable Development

On November 5, 2008, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from Forest Ranch Charter School enjoyed a field trip to the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). The reserve is an invaluable resource for environmental research and education.

The 21 students of Ms. Matoe's class rotated through multiple activities organized by Mark Lynch, BCCER Research and Education Coordinator. They learned how to transplant native plants and brought seeds back to the charter school for planting in their own garden.

Biologist Dawn Garcia led the bird banding activity where students participated in net checking and collecting captured birds, and banding songbirds.

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve contains 3,950 acres of diverse canyon and ridge habitats, including 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek, and is home to many species of plants and animals. BCCER is owned and managed by the California State University, Chico, Research Foundation through the Institute for Sustainable Development.

The Reserve contains a wide variety of habitats, including creek riffles and pools, riparian areas, oak woodlands, chaparral, pine forest, rock cliffs, and springs. These diverse habitats support more than 140 different wildlife species, including a number of listed species and species requiring large tracts of undisturbed habitat. BCCER contributes to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by preserving critical habitat, and providing a natural area for environmental research and education.

We invite field trips and research activities in order to use reserve resources to maximize environmental knowledge and appreciation. If you are interested in a field trip at the BCCER please visit their web site at

Forest Ranch Charter School Students

Students collect native plant seeds to start a garden at the Forest Ranch Charter School.