Wild Equity’s Laura Horton Kicks Off Summer Program with Antioch Students to Protect Endangered Butterfly

Wild Equity Staff Attorney Laura Horton kicked off the summer component of her Toyota TogetherGreen project last week at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The project, funded by a Toyota and National Audubon Society grant, was created to engage high school students in the protection of local endangered species at the Refuge through education and restoration in collaboration with Louis Terrazas of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Rick Barton of Antioch High School. The project consists of a spring program, aimed at bringing larger groups to the Refuge for high-impact restoration, and an application-based summer program, which focuses on specialized land management training for a small group. Students in the summer program also receive a stipend for their work.

Summer participants Adeeb Nazam, Daja Miller, and Emily Hendricks with Laura Horton (left to right).

Sixty students participated in the successful spring restoration program, and the project was featured in Examiner.com and Contra Costa Times. Following the spring program, Laura gave a presentation to the students in April on environmental jobs and invited them to apply to the summer program.

Antioch High School students Daja Miller, Adeeb Nazam, and Emily Hendricks were chosen to participate in the summer program, among many talented applicants. Daja is a recent Antioch High School graduate who will be attending Howard University in the fall and majoring in biology. She is very passionate about fair treatment for animals and helping others. Adeeb also recently graduated from Antioch High School. He has a strong interest in helping animals and working on environmental issues. Emily will be starting her junior year at Antioch High School in the fall. Her passion is learning about nature and the environment and she has worked on several conservation projects in the past.

Daja, Adeeb, and Emily will gain valuable land management and conservation skills at the Refuge and will also have the opportunity to collaborate with students from nearby schools. In addition, they will receive a stipend and certificate for their hard work, which will directly contribute to the conservation of endangered species at the Refuge, including the highly endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

Antioch High School’s Rick Barton and Fish and Wildlife Service
Refuge Manager Louis Terrazas (left to right).

The students will help plant native plants such as the naked-stemmed buckwheat;
the host plant for the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly.

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