Picerne Family Foundation


Picerne Family Foundation - Global Sustainability Project


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Local Sustainability Projects - North High School

A cornerstone of the Global Sustainability Project (GSP) is the requirement that students provide 40 hours of direct service to a nature conservancy or nonprofit ecology organization in their community. The Foundation strongly believes that students should develop an ethic of responsibility for their environment, both locally and globally. The Foundation requires this hands-on service to allow the students to “pay forward” the opportunity they have been afforded in participating in the Earthwatch expedition.

Students participating in the GSP at North High will be working on a project at Madrona Marsh, one of the last remaining vernal freshwater marshes in Los Angeles County. The area was once part of an extensive habitat that included coastal prairies, vernal pools, coastal dunes, and coastal scrub. As a result of development, most of these habitats have been replaced with residential and commercial projects. Fatefully, an oil production facility kept the area of Madrona Marsh undeveloped. When oil production stopped, Torrance residents lobbied for the area to protected from development. Today, Madrona Marsh is home to dozens of native species and includes several threatened or endangered species. Additionally, the marsh is located along the Pacific Flyway and provides valuable resting and feeding grounds for migratory birds.

Students will design and build an outdoor amphitheater for community and educational events. They will prepare the site, research and source natural building products, and construct the amphitheater. Additionally, students will prepare materials to educate the public about the value of wetlands to wild species, water quality, and groundwater recharge. Students will research and develop a prototype phytoremediation system for the retention basin in the southwest corner of the marsh. Students will research and develop a prototype bullfrog trap in order to remove this invasive species from the marsh.