NATURAL RESOURCE: John Siperek, a wildlife program manager for the Department of Fish and Game, stands on property the agency recently acquired near Anderson.He is working on having students from Anderson New Technology High School and other students study the land.
Click here to view a larger image.NEW LOOK: John Siperek of Red Bluff headed the landscaping project at Anderson New Technology School.He
time as well as found volunteers, funds and material for the project.
lauded for landscaping project at Anderson New Technology High School
, 55, stepped in.
Meeting with local businesses, organizing parent and student volunteers and working with city officials, Siperek
reduced the project cost to $30,000 and secured all the labor, materials, tools and plants to get the job done , at no cost to the school district.Most of the project was completed by wintertime and Siperek received recognition and a plaque in May from the Anderson Union High School District board of trustees.
...Siperek was serving on the school's advisory board at the time and so he was aware of school officials' desire to landscape and the district's inability to pay for it.He
could take on the project and landscape the school with student and parent involvement.In organizing and working on the project, Siperek
volunteered nearly 60 hours of his
"There was a real need there," he
said."I had some basic experience , that allowed me to do this." John Siperek
...Siperek grew up in Southern California and earned a two-year degree in engineering.But the degree did little to satiate his love of the outdoors and so he went back to college, attending Cal Poly, Pomona, where he earned a bachelor's degree in zoology and a master's degree in biology.
The degrees got him a job with California Department of Fish and Game
two decades ago.He moved up to Red Bluff to work from its office there and is now the wildlife program manager in the Redding office.He
wife, Linda and their two sons still live in Red Bluff where, in addition to everything else, they tend a small 20-acre walnut orchard.
"I've been a very fortunate person," he
said. He approached the landscaping project with the school with the same managerial style he's honed working with Fish and Game.He
designed landscaping plans and created an overall grounds master plan, overseeing the most difficult part of the project himself.
"The harder part of this whole thing was developing the irrigation lines," Siperek
had a little experience with sprinkler systems but had never designed one.So he
approached an area sprinkling company, promising to buy all their materials there if the employees would help them design the system.The company agreed. His
ability to negotiate deals and find parents and students to volunteer impressed nearly everyone at the school district.In the end, he
enlisted 100 volunteers who gave 718 hours of work.
is pleased with the results.With the trees and bushes planted, he
'll be able to return 10 or 20 years from now and still see the hard work he and the community accomplished.He
also knows he's
set an example for his
"We got a lot done," he