Andrew Stearns welcomed everyone at 12:30. 
Avis LaGrone led us in the pledge of allegiance and Don McCleve played My Country Tis of Thee

Dan Snyder gave our inspiration with the words of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb.  Watch this amazing young woman share her poem here:
 It’s truly inspirational!

Our visitors were: Charles Erekson, Ken Toren, Jaren Olson, Terri Trotter, Felix Lee, Jeff Blum, and Helene Davis. Glad to have you!

This week’s Rotary Member Spotlight was Henry Vitkovich 


WineFest is THIS SATURDAY and is sold out (!!!) which is exciting. It will be a fun evening. Even if you didn’t buy a ticket you can still check out the auction catalog and bid on items. Click here to view items you can bid on! Tina highlighted the extraordinary auction item of bottling and labeling your own wine. Bring 7 friends and make 300 bottles of your own blend after tasting and choosing from their barrels. DON’T FORGET to pick up your wine and goodie box! Get them on Thurs 2-4pm, Fri 1-4pm, or Saturday 11am-1pm. Pick up is on Village Lane where Cin Cin used to be (the street behind Pedros). There will be Rotary flags so you can’t miss it.


Champion forms are due soon. Find them on our website under documents or email Andrew Stearns.

The Rotary Speech Contest is underway! We have the volunteers we need. Thank you.

Thank you to those who dropped off coats for last week’s coat drive. We doubled what Interact had collected and they were all sent to City Team Ministries. 
Thank you to the St Luke’s team this week, especially for the fun decorated eggs! 

20 for 20

Tina Orsi-Hartigan honored Kobe Bryant on the year anniversary of his death. Her family got to see him win the Olympic Gold medal in London and her son got to exchange words (in Italian) with him in LA.

Marlon Smith gave a tribute to Tina who is so important to our club and Tina gave a tribute to Marlon as the first person she knew in Rotary and as her ELC mentor.

Paul Christensen let us know about his fantastic Arizona river trip, visiting the desert and wall on the US/Mexico border, and the Coronado Trail. 

David Hubbard gave thanks for his wife getting the Covid vaccine. She is a healthcare worker who deals with Covid patients. Yay! We are hopeful for the future.

Nicholas Welzenbach noted the Chiefs going to the Superbowl. 

Jeffrey Barnett is celebrating his 44th wedding anniversary

Randy Cobb shared a golf story. 

Guest Presentation

Meghan Burton introduced our speakers Laura Schickman and Carie Thompson from Land Trust of Santa Cruz Co.
  • Land Trusts are usually non profits who buy land and preserve it for ecological value, such as Semper Virens and Peninsula Open Space Preserve. 
  • Land Trust of Santa Cruz County protects 1700 acres, including endangered habitats and watershed areas.
  • SC is different from other land trusts in that they also protect working lands. They preserve farmland from development and they have their own 500 acre farm in Watsonville for a combo project of organic food production and wetland restoration. They also support sustainable harvest in their redwood forests. Income helps to restore/conserve.
  • They believe in open lands for public access and build trails. 
  • There are four open properties currently - Glenwood Open Space Preserve in Scotts Valley, Byrne forest in Corralitos, Antonelli Pond in Santa Cruz, and the Davenport Bluffs.
  • They will also be opening new trails at San Vincente Redwoods and their Watsonville Farm in the next few years.

Hwy 17 Tunnel.

In 2011 they did an assessment of biological communities in the county and used that info to make decisions on what projects to take on. Fragmentation of habitat was a big problem, so they started to work on connecting large parcels through conservation easement. Their big dream was to connect forests on either side of 17- especially for larger mammals that need large range areas. 
In working with UCSC and Pathways to Wildlife, Laurel Curve on 17 was deemed to be the best area. First, they protected the land around the curve with conservation easements. It took a lot of work and they are ready to start construction this spring.
Now they hope to add a tunnel at Rocks Ranch on 101 to extend even further the range area now possible with the 17 crossing. This will help multiple endangered species and is the perfect area between the Santa Cruz and Gavalon range. 

Their Nature Connection Campaign is designed to connect people to the nature around them. Check out www.landtrustsantacruz.com for all kinds of info. Sign up for the newsletter or become a member. They are funded primarily through memberships and private donations.