Become a Docent Volunteer —
Training Starts in January
Docent Sharon Clark birding with students
Our 2016 Docent Training Program begins on January 20. Docent training is a fun and interesting way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the wetlands from experts and to receive training for becoming a field trip facilitator. These interactive sessions include Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips, visiting sites not normally seen by the public. Join our dedicated team of trained docent volunteers who help with field trips, lead tours, participate in special events, work in the greenhouse and native plant demonstration garden, conduct water monitoring, and much, much more. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-345-1226 or click here.
Award for Jim Van Houten
Jim Van Houten preparing
to help build the greenhouse
At its annual Watsonville Wetlands Watch Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on December 3rd, a special awardwas presented to Jim Van Houten of La Selva Beach, a founding member of Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) and long-time member of its board of directors. The award from WWW volunteers, staff and the board of directors honors Jim’s service to the organization since its inception in 1992 and his dedication to helping preserve, restore, and appreciate Watsonville’s wetlands.
While announcing the award, Lou Rose, Presidentof WWW’s board of directors, commented, “With your long-standing passion for the wetlands and commitment to the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, you have been a model and an inspiration to us all. As a founder of the organization and an outstanding contributor in many ways for a quarter-century, we recognize you as a supreme example of unselfish leadership. Holding you in highest esteem, we congratulate and thank you for all that you have achieved for the community through the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.” Lou announced that in January Jim will also receive a proclamation from the City of Watsonville declaring World Wetlands Day, February 2, 2016, as Jim Van Houten Day in the City of Watsonville. Click to read entire article.
Volunteers Celebrated at Annual Dinner
Docents Declan Gallagher and Sharon Clark, and Wetland Stewards intern Hassyel Rangel
Our 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration and Holiday Party took place on Dec. 3 at the Pajaro Dunes Cypress House. Over 80 volunteers gathered for dinner and a special program, which included an award for Jim Van Houten (see above article). This annual event gives us the opportunity to express our deep gratitude for our dedicated volunteers and the wonderful work they do on behalf of the wetlands, the community (particularly youth), and the Wetlands Watch. We would like to thank Pajaro Dunes North Association, Capitola Whole Foods, Lakeside Organics, Safeway, Live Earth Farm, and chef Rebecca Mastoris for their generous donations which helped to make our event possible.
Wetlands Wildlife Photography
Elegant Terns. Efren Adalem
On Thursday, Jan 7th, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch is hosting local wildlife photographers Denise Murphy and Efren Adalem, who will give a slide show of their stunning photographs while they talk about their many adventures and the process of capturing action shots of wildlife in natural settings. They use the local wetlands as the source of their inspiration.
Efren’s sea otter photographs were used in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s otter exhibit and he was a finalist in the International Photo Exhibit in Varna, Bulgaria in 2013. They've both won several local photography contests and their photos have been used in the Elkhorn Slough Calendar.
We are observing World Wetlands Day on Saturday, Feb. 6, with a special event where we invite community volunteers to work on a restoration project on a portion of Upper Struve Slough along the City of Watsonville’s Trail System. In addition to the restoration project, there will be variety of things to do, including fun kids’ activities and a bird walk. This event is co-sponsored with the City of Watsonville. Volunteers will meet at 10 am on the Upper Struve Slough trail at the southern end of the Nob Hill Shopping Center in Watsonville, and work until noon. Gloves, tools, and snacks will be provided.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year in early February to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. Each year, a theme is selected to focus attention on a vital function of wetlands. The theme for 2016, under the banner “Wetlands for our Future,” is Sustainable Livelihoods, and was selected to demonstrate the vital role of wetlands for the current and future wellbeing of humanity, and to promote the wise use of all varieties of wetlands.
Volunteers making 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 January 23rd. 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 email@example.com or 831-566-4938.
Happy New Year!
Docents Linda Youmans and Becky Stewart preparing for water quality testing
Have you resolved to be more involved? The Watsonville Wetlands Watch is a wonderful place to meet like-minded people, develop new interests, and do something positive to improve our world. We want you to join us! Learn about native plants, habitat restoration, flora and fauna, culture and history, environmental science, and so much more. Our newsletter announces free opportunities to take wetlands walks, hear fascinating speakers, and pitch in wherever your interests lead you. Please read it and share it with your friends, and invite them to join you in getting involved in the Wetlands Watch. Volunteer, donate, explore, make friends, make a difference! Your Wetlands Watch journey starts here.
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.