Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale — Saturday, September 27
The Watsonville Wetlands Watch presents the second annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale, a fun-filled day for the entire family. Buy native plants, learn about their striking benefits, and see the possibilities for creating a delightful backyard habitat in your own yard or patio. We’ll have over 1000 plants of 45 different native plant species all grown here at the WERC nursery by staff, volunteers, and students.
Plus, we’ll have new expert presentations and workshops, a fun Kids Zone, food, live music, live animals, nature walks, films, info booths, a raffle with valuable prizes, storytelling, and much more. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center in Watsonville (map/directions). For more information, click here.
Habitat Festival Presentations
Beyond Compost, Xeriscape Gardening, Wetlands Birds, Herbal Uses of Native Plants, Greywater Irrigation, and more
Habitat Festival Keynote Speaker
We have planned a full schedule of engaging presentations and workshops for the Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale on September 27.
Our keynote speaker is Richard Merrill, founder and former director of the Horticulture Program at Cabrillo College. Rich will talk about building a soil ecosystem that promotes plant health and water conservation: “On Beyond Compost: A new way to look at soil organic matter.”
Sierra Azul Nursery owner and landscape/garden designer Jeff Rosendale’s talk is titled “Xeriscape Gardening: Mediterranean Mounds with a Native Touch.” Jeff will cover landscape design and implementation using native and other Mediterranean plants to create naturalistic and water-wise gardens.
Expert birder and birding instructor Nanci Adam will teach a class on “Wetlands Birding Basics,” highlighting connections between wetlands native plants and the birds that rely on them.
Herbalist and teacher Linda Vaughn will explain how to use native plants and herbs for medicine, cooking and health.
Ecology Action’s Sherry Lee Bryan will talk about capturing and using grey water to irrigate your garden and lawn.
Workshops will include: “Snakes Alive” with live snakes by Paul Haskins, Tool Sharpening where participants can bring their own tools, Growing Native Plants, Rainwater Capture and Use, and much more.
For presentation and workshop times and other details, click here.
New Class of Wetland Stewards
New Stewards on camping trip with WWW staff members and State Parks Interpreter John Deer
We welcome nine new Wetland Stewards, this year’s class of high school interns, who will be helping with our after-school programs. During summer training in mid-August, the new Stewards listened to a variety of speakers and local experts. Veteran Wetlands Watch Board members Bob Culbertson and Jim Van Houten helped them understand the history of the Wetlands and the Wetlands Watch and, during a wetlands circumnavigation, explained why the wetlands are so imporant to the community. Cindy Scott, City of Watsonville Environmental Educator, led the stewards on a walk where they learned to identify birds and understand their behaviors. Summer training also covered such topics as plant-life and tracking wildlife, and included an introduction to teaching. Click to read entire article.
A Tour to Remember
Patrick Orozco. Photo by Shawn O’Donnell
It was a beautiful Saturday morning on the Pajaro River on August 9 when over 25 people, many of them local children, came to hear our local treasure, Patrick Orozco, the Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council Chairman.
Patrick walked the group through the Pajaro River Park, a new park created and managed by the City of Watsonville in partnership with Watsonville Wetlands Watch. We learned about the daily life of the people who lived in the Pajaro Valley for thousands of years, right up to the early 1900s. Patrick pointed out native plants and their uses, demonstrated songs and dances, showed us elaborate head dresses made from native bird feathers, and gave us a general idea of what life on the Pajaro River was like centuries ago. Read entire article.
Darren Gertler Joins Education Staff
By Ann Jenkins
Darren Gertler has recently joined the Wetlands Watch education staff. “I will be doing my best to replace [outgoing education staff member] Adrienne in her role as a teacher,” he remarked. Gertler is very enthusiastic about teaching the high school Green Careers ROP class as well as the middle school Wetland Stewards program. Read entire article.
Special Gift for a Departing Educator
Adrienne Frisbee with memory quilt
Departing Wetlands Watch Educator Adrienne Frisbee received a very special send-off from volunteers and staff. Besides an uproarious Mad Hatter tea party, she received a memory quilt created by veteran docent and quilter extraordinaire Pam Harris. Pam secretly passed pieces of fabric to fellow volunteers and staff members to sign and perhaps write a personal note or favorite quote. She then sewed the fabric pieces into a beautiful quilt, which was presented to a surprised and delighted Adrienne.
According to Pam, memory quilts, or signature quilts, have a long tradition. One of Pam’s ancestors came to the west in a covered wagon and she brought with her a memory quilt from her home in the east. These signed and quilted gifts were used when loved ones moved away and seldom, if ever, returned home to see their families. They served as a remembrance of precious friends and relatives back home. We send our special thanks to Pam for her generosity and creativity, and a big Thank You and Bon Voyage to Adrienne. While we will miss Adrienne we know that, thanks to the memory quilt, she will not forget us.
What do you wish other people knew about the wetlands or WWW?
How does your involvement with WWW make you feel?
What is the most important reason to maintain the health of the wetlands?
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering or supporting WWW? Click here for more about Watching the Watsonville Wetlands.
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.