Over the past few months our restoration staff has been working on the second phase of a project to restore a mile of native riparian habitat along Struve Slough, West Struve, and Hanson Slough. This multi-year effort entails removal of over five acres of poison hemlock, an invasive species that reduces wildlife habitat along the edges of the sloughs. The Watch worked with field crews of the California Conservation Corps and many others to begin this year’s restoration projects, like the one pictured along the Struve Slough trail off Ohlone Parkway. In partnership with the City of Watsonville, we will be planting 1,600 plants along the slough and trail, a good start to the approximately 8,500 native riparian and wetland plants and 26,000 native grass and wildflower plugs that we’ll plant this winter throughout the slough system.
Great Fun at the Fall Brunch
Former Wetland Steward intern Samantha Patino
The WERC was packed with enthusiastic supporters of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) on October 12 for the annual Fall Celebration Brunch. Old friends and new gathered to enjoy delicious food by chef Rebecca Mastoris and a program that included Terry Corwin of the Land Trust, talking about the Watsonville Slough Farms project and the ways that our community is benefiting from the robust partnership of our two organizations. We heard from staff members Jonathan Pilch and Noelle Antolin about the strides being made in our restoration work and in our education programs, which continue to engage and inspire our students.
We heard from our dedicated docent and Northern Harrier Sonia Deetz who spoke passionately about her personal connection to the WWW mission. A highlight was hearing Marcela Uribe and Samantha Patino speak about their time as Wetland Steward interns, and the impact that the experience had on their lives. Samantha credited Noelle with inspiring her to become a teacher; a very moving tribute.
We would like to give our many thanks to the docents and other volunteers on our Outreach Committee for their invaluable assistance in putting on the brunch, and to the Board members who served as gracious greeters and hosts.
And finally, our warmest thanks to each of you who attended and to everyone who could not attend but sent gifts of support. The Brunch raised nearly $8,000 in gifts and pledges to support WWW. The vital work that is helping to build a healthier, happier community would not be possible without you, our friends and donors, and we are grateful.
Presentation — Living with
On Thursday, Jan. 16, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch is hosting wild cat conservationist and naturalist Zara McDonald, Executive Director of Felidae Conservation Fund, who will give a presentation about mountain lions and the work currently underway to study and protect them. These keystone predators (also called pumas or cougars) play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of our ecosystems. However, expansion of human populations is increasing encounters, conflicts, and local community tension. Zara discusses mountain lion ecology and history, the challenges of sharing the habitat with mountain lions, and offers essential tips for living and recreating without fear in puma habitat.
From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Fitz Educational Resource Center, at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus in Watsonville. Map/directions. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat by contacting Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign Up Now for 2014 Docent Training
In 2013, trained docent volunteers facilitated nature experiences for over 1500 young people during school field trips. Docents also helped with special events, propagated thousands of native plants, worked in the demonstration garden and on creative projects, and more. You too can become a member of our top-notch Docent Team by attending the 2014 Docent Training Program, starting in late January. Docent Training is fun and interesting, with local experts providing an inside look at the wetlands of Watsonville, including the ecology, history, and restoration of the wetlands. This 7-week program includes Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips. Not required, but we would love to add some bilingual docents to our team. For additional information or to enroll, contact Kathy Fieberling at email@example.com or 831-345-1226. Click to learn more.
Saturday Community Restoration Day Early This Month
We invite you to help restore wetland habitat by planting native plants and removing exotic invasive plants as part of our monthly community work day which will happen this month on Dec. 14, instead of the usual 4th Saturday. We will work from 9 a.m. until noon, and we always make time for birding or a short hike around the wetlands. We supply the gloves, tools, and a snack. Meet at our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). If you have questions, please contact Mary Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-566-4938.
Thank You for Your Support of Watsonville Wetlands Watch
We take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Watsonville Wetlands Watch, and to ask that you consider us in your year-end charitable giving.
Your gift to The Watch will help restore and protect precious wetlands habitats for the birds, animals, and people of our community, and support the education programs that are shaping our environmental future.
On behalf of our dedicated staff, volunteers, and board members; our thanks and best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday season.
Your tax-deductible gift of any size will help us make the most of a fund established by generous donors and board members to help match gifts received by December 31.
Click here to donate now.
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.