Watsonville Trails Restoration Projects Funded, Work Underway
Strollers enjoying the city trail along Struve Slough
Work is beginning on two new wetland restoration projects along Struve Slough where it passes by Main Street. Work over the next two years will include removal of several acres of invasive plants and dry brush along the nearby trails and planting of several thousand native plants. These projects will improve habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, beautify the trails system and improve public access and safety by removing large stands of invasive plants. Funding was provided to the City of Watsonville and Watsonville Wetlands Watch by the State’s Urban Greening Program and Habitat Conservation Fund. This work is a part of our larger effort to expand the trail network and restore the natural corridors surrounding the trails. We’ll be hosting several large planting events along the trails as planting gets underway this winter. We hope to see you out there!
Prolific Propagators Live Up to Name
Propagators Karen Robertson and Bob Leonard at work
Since 2009, a group of hardy volunteers have met under the Wetlands Educational Resource Center’s outdoor canopy each week to propagate native plants for our wetlands habitat restoration projects and to be sold at our annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale. The self-named “Prolific Propagators” have earned their moniker, propagating thousands of plants annually under the guidance and tutelage of the Watch’s Restoration Staff. Volunteers with this group learn many helpful hints for selecting and caring for native plants in their home gardens.
Prolific Propagators’ “adventures” include: cleaning and sowing seeds; planting cuttings; separating and transplanting seedlings; dividing and transplanting larger plants; trimming and weeding; and sorting and sterilizing containers and tools. This lively group enjoys sharing stories and snacks. Each week, volunteers “choose their own adventure” from a prioritized list of tasks prepared by WWW’s Restoration Staff. Veteran Propagator Cathy Gamble oversees paperwork and sends a detailed weekly status report, which often includes a researched native plant or insect profile.
The huge contribution of the Prolific Propagators is critical to the success of our native habitat restoration efforts and our annual Native Plant Sale. You too can enjoy the benefits of their labor by coming to the Oct. 3 Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale and buying one of the native plants carefully nurtured by their hands. Thank you, Prolific Propagators!
New Educator Joins Wetlands Watch Team
We are pleased to introduce our new part-time Environmental Educator/Citizen Science Technician, Hugo Ceja. He will be involved with the Wetland Stewards, Project Tierra, and the Cycles of Restoration programs.
Hugo comes to us with a background in science and education, and has interests that are compatible with the Wetlands Watch’s mission. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Cal State Monterey Bay. Over the years he has gained a wide range of experience working for a number of non-profit organizations. For example he performed bird banding in southern Oregon and northern California for the Klamath Bird Observatory, participated as a fellow with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge monitoring nesting seabirds on Año Nuevo Island, and collected shorebird surveys for Point Blue Conservation Science and Environment for the Americas (EFTA). Currently he also co-coordinates the California Central Coast Black Oystercatcher monitoring project. His last position was as a naturalist in the education program at Elkhorn Slough Reserve where he led third grade through college age students on thematic walks, performed inquiry-based learning inside and outside of the visitor center, facilitated a marine macro-invertebrate lab, and represented the reserve during outreach events to the surrounding communities.
As the Environmental Educator with the Watsonville Wetlands Watch Hugo hopes to inspire younger generations to become responsible citizens who will care for, protect, and manage our local natural resources. Some of his interests include bird watching, photography, mountain biking, and hiking. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Hugo!
Save the Date!
Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale
Plants from the 2014 Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale
On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch presents the third annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale, which will be a fun-filled day for the entire family. You will be able to buy native plants and learn about the possibilities for creating a delightful, drought-tolerant backyard habitat in your own yard or patio. Plus, we'll have on-going presentations and workshops with expert speakers, a fun Eco Kids Zone, free native plant consultations, live animals, nature walks and more. The Native Plant Sale begins at 9 a.m. and Festival at 10 a.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center in Watsonville (map/directions). Both events close at 4 p.m.
Native plants consume much less water than the non-native species. That's a big plus given the current water crisis. Also, native plants are the foundation for a rich diversity of animal life. Please visit our website at www.watsonvillewetlandswatch
.org or our Facebook page in the coming days for more information.
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 September 26. We will work from 9 a.m. to 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.
Did you know...
Docent Linda Youmans helping students identify aquatic invertebrates
...that every dollar you donate to the Wetlands Watch is multiplied five times in value by the work of volunteers? It’s true! Our dedicated docents and other volunteers plant, propagate, educate, restore, conserve, and connect our community every day with the beauty and benefits of the wetlands. Your donations support their work, and so much more.
If you haven’t yet joined our family of donors, please do so today by making a tax-deductible gift of any size. Keep our work —and our volunteers—going strong! Click here to make a secure online donation.
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.