In the July 2012 WWW newsletter, an article “Bird Surveys Take Flight in the Watsonville Wetlands” described how Noëlle Antolin, Director of Education Programs at WWW, had been working with Bernadette and Bob Ramer and Steve Gerow to develop a protocol for surveying habitats around the sloughs. At that time — with the help from a dedicated group of volunteers! — we had just completed our fourth census at various sites around the sloughs. Since then, we have increased our coverage from 10 sites to 21 sites and have now completed 12 censuses (5 in September, 4 in May, and 3 in February), with a total of 203 species observed. The September censuses occur during the peak of fall migration, while the May censuses look at birds that may potentially breed in the area, and the February censuses record the birds wintering around the sloughs. To learn more about this year’s bird count and trends from the past five year, click to read the entire article.
Raising Salmonids at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center
Students look into Corralitos Creek, home to breeding Steelhead
Springtime is often celebrated with bunnies and candy eggs. Here at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center we are going to celebrate with a different type of egg. On March 23rd the Wetlands Center will be picking up its allotment of Rainbow Trout eggs, thanks to a partnership with NOAA. Wetlands Watch Education Specialist Darren Gertler, a qualified Steelhead-in-the-Classroom Instructor, will be helping coordinate the raising and releasing of these trout. Click to read entire article.
Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with Tour
Join us as we celebrate one of the most magnificent wonders of the world — global bird migrations — on International Migratory Bird Day, Saturday, May 9th. We’ll explore the wildlife and beauty of the Watsonville wetlands, home to over 220 species of birds, on a walking tour through seldom-visited pockets of solitude and untamed nature on this special birding tour. We will meet at 10 a.m. at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center located at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus at 500 Harkins Slough Road in Watsonville (map/directions). Tours are free but space is limited. Register by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at email@example.com or 831-345-1226. To learn more about IMBD and the local relevance of this year’s theme, click to read the entire article.
Speaker Series: Ecological Lawn Alternatives — Inspiration and Techniques for Transforming Lawns into Ecological Landscapes
Alchemy Garden installation at Rosicrucian Park —
before and after lawn replacement;
On Wednesday, May 13, landscape architects Bobby Markowitz and Dakotah Bertsch will discuss the history of lawns in the landscape, why they are often inappropriate, and showcase attractive alternatives. They will then go through the process of lawn replacement, highlighting sheet mulching technique, sprinkler conversion, and plant selection. Rainwater and graywater as alternative water sources for landscape irrigation will also be briefly discussed.
The Watsonville Wetlands Watch Docent Class of 2015 on their first field trip
In March, twelve enthusiastic docents graduated after attending six weeks of training, including Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday field classes. The docent trainees saw Bald Eagles and a Burrowing Owl on their first Saturday field trip, planted native plants on World Wetlands Day, and accompanied Patrick Orozco with clapper sticks as he sang traditional songs during their “cultural history” outing. Now they are ready to assist with school field trips, lead tours, represent the Watch at special events, and participate in numerous other activities in service to the wetlands and the local community. The new graduating docents, shown in the photograph, are (l to r)Hannah Hodgson, Patty Ruppelt, Laurel Pavesi, board member and field trip leader Jim Van Houten, Emily Susko, Kitty Stein, Heather Allen, Nickie Zavinsky, Donna Gallagher, Declan Gallagher, and Justen Maltinsky. New docents Brooke Doverspike and Cheryl Daniels also graduated, but are not in the photograph. We would like to extend a hearty Welcome to our new docents.
Volunteers Make All the Difference
Docent Bill Best proudly displaying a specimen
created for the Wetlands Diorama project
In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 12-18), we wish to acknowledge our amazing and dedicated volunteers. Volunteers are integral to the work of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch and play a major role in our ability to do well the things that we do. The activities that volunteers support range from the board of directors to event support to wildlife habitat restoration to native plant propagation to data entry or caring for the snakes on display in the office. There are activities like the Native Plant Sale and Backyard Habitat Festival that require dozens of volunteers, and then there are smaller activities, like staffing our tables at community events, that only need a few hearty souls. Each of our activities is special in its own way, and we can't perform them without the generous support of our volunteers. You can see more information about our volunteer-driven activities by browsing our website at www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org or review specific volunteer opportunities by clicking here.
Fourth Saturday Community Restoration Day
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 on April 25. 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.
The Next Best Thing
Docents Linda Youmans and Becky Stewart prepare for water monitoring outing
We can't all give the gift of our time as volunteers. But we can still make a big impact in the wetlands. It's a fact; every dollar donated to the Wetlands Watch is multiplied five times by the work of volunteers. This means that every tax-deductible gift blossoms, supporting restoration, native plants, community tours and lectures, environmental education for youth, and so much more. If you'd love to volunteer but can't, do the next best thing; honor our volunteers with a gift during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18. You make their work possible! Click here to donate.
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.