Pajaro Valley Native Plant and Backyard Habitat Festival
Narrow-leave mule ears (Wyethia augustifolia)
Where can you...
buy unique local native plants?
build your very own bird box with your kids?
get up close and personal with a live raptor?
sharpen your dull garden tools?
learn about creating backyard habitats?
dance to local marimba band Sadza?
win cool raffle prizes?
Get the answers on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Pajaro Valley Native Plant and Backyard Habitat Festival. The Festival will feature a Native Plant Sale, where you can buy special locally grown native plants, learn about the striking benefits of these vital floras, and see the possibilities for creating a delightful backyard habitat in your own yard.
You will also enjoy fun and useful workshops with expert speakers, an Eco Kid Zone, food, music, a free raffle with valuable prizes, live raptors and snakes, local wildlife displays, a wetlands wildlife photography exhibit, and a tour of our new greenhouse. The Festival runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center building behind Pajaro Valley High School (map/directions). For more information and the complete schedule of events, click here.
Wetland Stewards go to Summer School
Wetland Stewards alumnus Esteban Guerrero (standing, rear) and docent Dan Merritt water testing with kids.
This summer our Wetland Stewards program brought some fresh air and sunshine to 100 lucky elementary students! For the first time, the Pajaro Valley Unified District invited the Watsonville Wetlands Watch to adapt our successful Wetland Stewards After-School program to summer school. We gladly accepted the challenge and our environmental educators, Rosemary Alvarez and Carmen Tan, each taught two classes once a week at Landmark Elementary and H.A. Hyde Elementary schools from mid-June to mid-July.
The summer program was also a great opportunity to bring our Wetland Stewards alumni back to the Watsonville Wetlands. This paid position saw seven of our former Wetland Stewards return to Watsonville, one of whom was a Steward in 2009! Our Stewards were retrained in the important wetland concepts and information and how to use inquiry-based learning to interest and engage students. Click to learn more.
Last Chance! Experience the Wetlands on a Wetlands Alive! Tour
The wetlands are ever changing with the seasons. Discover the natural wonders of the wetlands in the late summer on this fun, family-oriented tour of the wetlands and our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Saturday, Sept. 14 is the last tour date of this year, so sign up soon. Tours start at 10 am and are free, but please call or email Kathy Fieberling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-345-1226, by Friday noon before the tour to reserve a place. For more information, click here.
Presentation — Backyard Habitat Gardens and Landscape Design — What, Why, How
Rich Merrill’s backyard habitat
Local horticulture expert Rich Merrill will present “Backyard Habitat Gardens and Landscape Design — What, Why, How” at the upcoming Pajaro Valley Native Plant and Backyard Habitat Festival on September 28 at 11 a.m. at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Rich will take us on a visual tour of his own beautiful and fascinating backyard in Scotts Valley. He’ll describe the plants and microhabitats best suited for attracting and nurturing beneficial insects and other useful garden creatures.
Backyard habitats — created with both native and “exotic” plants — are delightful spots where you and your family can enjoy attractive plants, birds, beneficial insects, native bees, butterflies and other animals. Since many vegetables and herbs can also attract and feed beneficial wildlife, habitat gardens can also serve as a source of food for the family. And not least, they conserve water and support biodiversity — both essential to everyone's long-term well-being.
You can help us introduce kids to the importance and wonder of native plant habitats. Contribute online by going to our website; or by sending a donation in the mail to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and are greatly appreciated!
Watsonville Wetlands Watch advocates for wetland issues, educates elementary, middle, and high school students, restores degraded habitats, preserves what remains whole, and teaches appreciation for the unique beauty and life of the Pajaro Valley wetlands. In cooperation with numerous other agencies, we support studies of and planning for these sites.