EcoStewards Conservation Program

Native Weeds

Rachael Byrne

EcoStewards Conservation Technician

Check back monthly as the EcoStewards blog about our "Weed of the Month", what we're seeing on the landscape, why we're managing it, and how you can help. This month, we focus on two native plants know as weeds that you've likely seen before!

Battery Powered Tools

Rachael Byrne

EcoStewards Conservation Technician

If you’re annoyed by the occasional leaf blower noise in your neighborhood, consider how waterfowl react to a weed whacker running for hours in the Delta. With the support of the Contra Costa Fish and Wildlife Committee, Contra Costa RCD (CCRCD) has

Weed of the Month! - Stinkwort

Ben Weise

Agriculture Conservation Manager

Check back monthly as the EcoStewards blog about our "Weed of the Month", what we're seeing on the landscape, why we're managing it, and how you can help. This month, we focus on Stinkwort, Dittrichia graveolens, a pleasant smelling, yet persistent weed.

The Contra Costa Resource Conservation District EcoStewards Program was created in 2020 to meet the needs of our community by providing long-term maintenance on conservation projects throughout Contra Costa County.

EcoStewards are Here to Help

CCRCD EcoStewards have a wide array of technical skills and knowledge to bring to your project including:

If your governmental agency or non-profit has a project focused on enhancing and protecting Contra Costa counties natural resources, we at the CCRCD EcoStewards Program would love to be a part of it. We also recognize that for many groups, funding is limited. As such, we’d love to work with you and find a balance. Please contact Ben Weise to discuss your project in more detail.

There are a number of ways to hire the CCRCD EcoStewards including:

Partner with us on a grant!

  • ~ CCRCD Staff can provide relevant billing rates and project costs to achieve grant deliverables. We’re happy to partner and write grant applications to achieve the goals of your project.

Develop a contract for ongoing needs.

  • ~CCRCD Staff are happy to develop a work plan, budget, and contract with your non-profit or government agency to provide longer term services beyond the length of one-time grants.

Collaborate with us for greater impact.

  • ~ If funding is limited, we are happy to partner on your project if it meets CCRCD’s mission of facilitating the conservation of natural resources within our county.

While the costs of the project can vary, the CCRCD EcoSteward program will consistently deliver strong value for greater project success. We look forward to working with you and conserving natural resources here in Contra Costa county!

Click here to contact us about your project!

EcoStewards in Action

Ecostewards

Ben Weise

AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION MANAGER

925-690-4145

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Ben Weise

Skills: Permitting, conservation on agricultural land, illegal dumping prevention

Fun Fact: Eagle Scout, former member of the University of California Marching Band, aspiring birder, and a Contra Costa native raised in Southern California.

Ben Weise

Ben started working with Contra Costa RCD in January 2017 after receiving two Masters degrees from Indiana University in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy following undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. Ben manages the Voluntary Local Program, the EcoStewards Program, and other conservation programs focused on agricultural lands.

Daniel Correa

Ecostewards CONSERVATION Technician

908-367-0906

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Daniel Correa

Skills: Knowledge of various invasive plant removal techniques, knowledge of plant monitoring techniques, experienced in water quality monitoring, community outreach and environmental education.

Fun Fact: Fluent in Spanish, used to live in New Jersey, completed two AmeriCorps service terms and I like to hike and explore new nature areas.

Dan Correa

Daniel grew up in New Jersey and just recently moved to California to work for the CCRCD as an EcoSteward Conservation Technician. He graduated from Stockton University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Since graduating from college, Dan has been  involved with numerous environmental restoration projects, environmental education, and community outreach. His previous working experiences includes interning at a USFW National Wildlife Refuge through an internship program with a non-profit organization called Hispanic Access Foundation. He has completed two Americorps term services: one as a New Jersey Watershed Ambassador in New Jersey and one as a Lead Wetland Restoration Technician with Truckee Meadows Park Foundation in Nevada. Dan's other areas of interest include water quality and stormwater management.

Rachael Byrne

ECOSTEWARDs CONSERVATION TECHNICIAN
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Rachael Byrne

Skills: Vegetation management, horticulture, urban agriculture, facilitation, public speaking, writing.

Fun Fact: California native, spent a year as a monk at San Francisco Zen Center, spoke at conferences in five countries, did multi-day treks in Peru and Iceland.

Rachael Byrne

Rachael developed a passion for native plants while living and working at Green Gulch Farm as a Land Steward Apprentice and is herself a California native. Before joining the CCRCD as an EcoSteward she worked as a gardener on a large private estate, managing fruit and vegetable production and performing ornamental landscape maintenance. Prior to her career in conservation, Rachael spent nearly a decade working in tech, coaching high performing software development teams and advocating for people-focused processes. A lifetime learner, Rachael has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in American Studies and is currently taking classes in Environmental Science.

Tania Aguilar

EcoStewards Conservation Technician

626-541-3468

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Tania Aguilar

Skills: Monitoring, CA native plants & animals identification, conducting biological surveys.

Fun Fact: Loves plant and wildlife photography, is fluent in Spanish, enjoys going to concerts and attending rodeos.

Tania Aguilar

Tania grew up in La Puente, CA and just recently moved to Northern California to work for CCRCD as an EcoStewards Conservation Technician. She has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology with a minor in Chicanx Studies from the University of California, Davis. As both a student and professional, Tania has been involved in many conservation and environmental monitoring projects. Prior to joining the CCRCD team, Tania worked as a biological monitor in Southern New Mexico, where she helped mitigate the negative environmental impacts construction had on desert habitat. Other areas of interest include environmental justice, birding, and herping.