Hofmeister Scholarship winner Gabriela Davidson introducing graduation attendee Ann Jenkins to Rusty, the gopher snake
Marcos Perez accepting the Freedom Lions Club Scholarship from Lions Club officer and Wetlands Watch board member Becky Stewart
Each year graduating Wetland Stewards are given a chance at a scholarship to be used for post-secondary education. This year we were able to award two $1,000 scholarships through the generosity of our longtime supporter, Laura Hofmeister, and the Freedom Lions Club. Recipients of the scholarships were chosen based on the quality of their essays, their involvement in the community, and their demonstration of leadership.
Gabriela Davidson, the Hofmeister Wetland Stewards Scholarship winner, said, “Before Wetland Stewards I didn’t really give the wetlands much thought or attention. This year, I’ve spent a lot more time walking in the sloughs near my house and I’ve gotten a deeper understanding of how everything in the environment is connected. This program also gave me a sense of pride I’d never felt before about living in a town surrounded by wetlands.”
In his essay, Marcos Perez, the Freedom Lion’s Wetland Stewards Scholarship winner, said, “I loved learning about mitigation and other environmental aspects, but what I loved even more was how Stewards allowed me to grow both as a student and as an individual.” We extend our congratulations to these future leaders and to the many other graduates of this year’s Wetland Stewards class.
Wetlands Watch at Annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House
June 20th, 2015, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House, free to the public, is an opportunity to tour Monterey Bay-area farms and greenhouses growing flowers, edible herbs, succulents, native plants, and more. This year the Watsonville Wetlands Watch has been invited to join this popular tour with a native plant sale and to highlight our native plant nursery and greenhouse. We will feature a large variety of drought-tolerant native landscape plants to help you create a stunning water-saving landscape or habitat garden, including a unique selection of plants for pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds and native edible and medicinal plants. We’ll also have tours of our greenhouse and Native Plant Demonstration Garden, a wetlands photography display and sale, and an Open House at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center. Please plan to join us! Click for more information about the Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House. Click for map/directions to our site.
Wetlands Photography Tour
White-tailed Kite. Efren Adalem
Wetlands Watch docent Denise Murphy and her husband Efren Adalem are award-winning photographers who love to take photos in the wetlands. On Saturday, June 20, they will lead a wetlands photography tour to some of their favorite spots, share photo tips, and show you how to see the wetlands through the eye of your camera.
Efren’s sea otter photographs are in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s otter exhibit; he was a finalist in the International Photo Exhibit in Varna, Bulgaria in 2013. Collectively Denise and Efren have won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the Santa Cruz County Fair for Wildlife Photography, Professional Class, and 1st place in the Monterey Bay Birding Festival photo contest. Visit http://www.oohlookphotography.com/ to see their beautiful photographs.
The two-hour tour starts at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. Tour size is limited to 10 so RSVP early. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rainbow Trout Released
Wetland Steward Rocio Sanchez-Nolasco
helping “fry” adjust to lake water temperature
After incubating and tending Rainbow Trout eggs for over a month at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center, Wetlands Watch Education Specialist Darren Gertler and three high school Wetland Stewards interns drove the baby rainbow trout, or “fry,” to Pinto Lake for a grand farewell. Johnson Lumicao, Rodrigo Garcia, and Rocio Sanchez-Nolasco helped to make the first Trout in the Classroom Program at the Watsonville Wetlands Watch a success. The three Stewards carried an insulated thermos full of 25 baby trout. They selected a piece of shoreline that had good vegetative cover as a safe release site for the trout. Before release, the miniature rainbow trout were slowly acclimated to the lake’s warm waters and then released to thrive and flourish. This project enabled the students to learn about the trout’s life history and biology in ways that no textbook could.
Tour—Exploring Native Traditions with Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council's Patrick Orozco
On Saturday, July 11, Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council chairman Patrick Orozco will lead a special tour along the Pajaro River. He will tell stories, sing, and share his experiences and knowledge about local native culture and history. Patrick, descendent of native Californians, has been researching and teaching about native culture for over 20 years. He delights and inspires students by visiting schools and sharing remembered songs and stories, dances and regalia.
This family-oriented tour, hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, starts at 10 a.m. Meet at the City of Watsonville’s Pajaro River Park, behind the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Clearwater Lane just outside of Watsonville (directions). The tour is free, but you must register by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling, 831-345 1226, email@example.com.
Outdoor Evening Talk
What the Robin Knows—How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
On Tuesday, July 14, join fascinating author and naturalist Jon Young as he tunes our ears, eyes, and minds into the nearly lost art of bird communication. Ever wonder what our feathered friends are squawking about? Jon reveals how to easily decode their messages and why this is an essential survival skill. Many report that training themselves in this ancient discipline gives them an edge in their modern lives, including their perception of complex human interactions, heightened creativity and understanding of entire ecological systems.
This talk, hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the outdoor classroom, overlooking the beautiful wetlands, behind the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (Map/directions). Please dress for evening temperatures. Click for map/directions. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Restoration Day
Volunteers make a difference by helping to restore our wetlands
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 June 27. 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 email@example.com or 831-566-4938.
Help a Child Experience Nature
Making friends through WWW wetlands education
You can help introduce young people to the wonder and importance of the wetlands. More than 2000 students will benefit from the environmental education programs of the Wetlands Watch this year thanks to your support! Donate here or mail your donation to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your tax-deductible gift of any size will make a difference!
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.