Stream on the land

Field Technician ready for the next project

Field Technician Stream Tuss joined Solano Land Trust in July 2021, a warm time of year in Solano County. But Stream’s last full-time job was in the Mojave Desert, and the refreshing afternoon delta breezes at Rush Ranch felt artic by comparison.

“I like being outside all day every day.”

Stream has lived by that credo, pursuing many forms of outdoor work in several states: leading cave tours and monitoring bats in Kentucky, restoring dunes for plovers near Santa Cruz, monitoring Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelets at Coos Bay, Oregon. Stream knows Google Earth Pro, ArcGIS, and other modern mapping systems. She has a chainsaw certification and wields a Pulaski with skill. She has worked with heavy machinery and a stubborn mule who amused itself by stepping on the feet of new workers.

After graduating from Sonoma State University, Stream joined AmeriCorps and traveled the nation building up her outdoor skills. When she decided to return home to Davis, she began looking for a position in conservation that would keep her close to her roots and let her branch out. The journeying could slow down a bit. “I can have adventures on my own time,” she says.

Since joining Solano Land Trust, Stream has planted thirty trees. Recurringly watered a vulnerable, remote stand of oaks at Patwino Worrtla Kodoi Dihi Open Space Park. Built and installed a beautiful kiosk at the Rush Ranch parking lot. Some tasks are one-offs, others repeat, like monthly mowing duties.
A recent project involved excavating a deteriorated boardwalk in the South Pasture and cutting the beams for the replacements. The strip of the trail turns soggy and sometimes water covers it completely.

If Rush Ranch feels quiet to you, you still might not be prepared for how tranquil this area feels. When the horses of the Antique Carriage Club at Rush Ranch Open House sped towards the unbroken prairie, the border of swaying grass and blue sky did everything fantasies of the Wild west require. But this is a visited area: cross country team from local high schools run their circuits here. It is an ideal place to relax, but it’s no picnic getting muddy and wet.

Stream and Field Operations Manager Jordan Knippenberg ripped out the old logs using the Bobcat donated by Ken Poerner. Stream coordinated with Eagle Scout Troop 180 to install the hefty frame beams and walking planks on Friday, June 10th. Reflecting on the year ahead, Stream feels most excited about engaging volunteers in projects worthy of their determination.

A photo by Stream Tuss showing that cows appreciate meaningful projects too.

In deserts, beaches, and caves, every landscape affirms the same message: open land offers a place where people come together to do meaningful work. The projects Stream leads improve the experience of new visitors and longtime fans, and help our community appreciate the value of what you have preserved.

Are you interested in helping build the boardwalk on Friday June 10th? Solano Land Trust will be providing a pizza lunch for all participants. Volunteers will use tools such as hoes, Pick-O-Matics, and Mcleods. No one will be swinging tools over their heads, so the work doesn’t require helmets or ear protection. Solano Land Trust will provide gloves and eye protection.

Please bring sunscreen and two liters of water, and wear long-sleeves, pants, and a hat. Close-toed shoes/work boots are strongly encouraged.

Email: for further details on the project.