The California Conservation Corps spreading wood chip mulch to prepare the project area for planting
Work on the second phase of the Middle Struve Slough Habitat Restoration Project is underway. This project will restore an acre of native oak woodland, grassland, and wet meadow habitat along Struve Slough and improve water quality, just downstream from Main Street. The project is a collaborative project with the City of Watsonville, who received funding from the California Habitat Conservation Fund in the summer of 2015. This year's work will involve the removal of invasive plants and the installation of over 1,500 native plants to enhance the slough's habitat and beautify the adjacent Middle Struve Slough Trail and Main Street corridor. Project activity over the last two years has involved a large amount of garbage and debris removal in addition to habitat and water quality improvement, and has been met by many honks and cheers by passing motorists heading to and from downtown. We're grateful the California Conservation Corps was able to help to get this project underway on their first day back from their hard work on the Soberanes Fire!
2016 Habitat Festival
and Native Plant Sale
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch presents the 4th annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale, which will be a fun-filled day for the entire family. With a theme this year of Green Gardening, the Festival will offer a great series of talks and workshops, a fun Eco Kids Zone, live animals, nature walks, and fabulous live music including the exciting band ZunZun. The presentations and workshops will feature expert speakers on compost and soil management, permaculture, birding in your backyard, rainwater catchment, cooking with native elderberries, tool sharpening, falconry and more! We’ll also have over 1000 native plants for sale and our staff will be on hand to offer great advice and plant selection tips. 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 3 p.m.
“Green Gardening” Presentations
at Habitat Festival
Habitat Festival Keynote speaker
At the Habitat Festival on Oct. 1, there will be a full schedule of presentations by expert speakers on the theme of “Green Gardening.” The keynote presentation will be given by Rich Merrill, the founder and former Director of the Horticulture Department at Cabrillo College. In his talk“On Beyond Compost: Soil Management for Green Gardening,” Merrill will discuss the concept of “Green Gardening” as a method of designing and managing landscapes as cultivated ecosystems, both above and below ground. Merrill will focus on the use of “full-spectrum carbon amendments” for the soil leading to plant health, water conservation, and a mature soil-life ecosystem.
Full Schedule of Presentations and Workshops
Permaculture and Whole Systems Design — Dave Shaw, permaculture and whole systems designer, facilitator, and educator, founded Santa Cruz Permaculture and the UCSC Common Ground Center, and has taught ecological horticulture at UCSC since 2004
Cooking with Native Elderberries — Laurel Pavesi, award-winning jam maker
Birding in Your Backyard — Nanci Adams, local birding enthusiast and educator
Monterey-Bay-Friendly Landscaping Ideas for RainwaterHarvesting — Sherry Lee Bryan, specialist with Ecology Action’s pollution prevention/zero waste division
Keynote:On Beyond Compost: Soil Management for Green Gardening — Rich Merrell
Garden Tool Sharpening Workshop — Sharon Hazel. Bring your garden tools and sharpen them as you learn
Habitat Festival Attractions
for the Whole Family
In addition to our Eco Kids Zone, filled with fun crafts and activities such as face painting, solar cookie baking and bicycle smoothie-making, we are excited to have the lively musical group ZunZun at our Festival this year. ZunZun celebrates the environments and cultures of the Americas through music. Along with expert musicianship, ZunZun uses comedy and audience participation in their excitingbilingual performances for kids of all ages. They will play at 12:15 p.m.
Festival attendees will have the opportunity to see and interact with live animals, with falconer Kenny Elvin talking about and flying his raptors at 10 a.m, and herpetologist Paul Haskins providing a meet-and greet-with snakes and other reptiles, happening all day. Also, Patrick Orozco, the chairman of the Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council, will present the traditions of local native people through stories and songs, starting at 1:15 p.m. For the complete schedule of events, click here.
The new Watsonville Wetlands Watch Annual Report is now available for review. The Annual Report is an important document for you, our current supporters, as well as grantors, and potential donors to understand how the organization operates. In a succinct format, it shows the organization’s major accomplishments, the sources from which operating funds are received and how those funds are spent. Watsonville Wetlands Watch strives to use funds in the most efficient and effective manner possible to achieve our mission and goals.
We invite you to take a look at the Annual Report and let us know if you have questions or comments about any of the information it contains. Thank you!
Fourth Saturday 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 Saturday, September 24. 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.
Celebrating Our Silver Anniversary!
Twenty-five years ago, a group of concerned citizens gathered around a kitchen table and took action to preserve the Watsonville Wetlands and their wildlife. Now, fresh water is sparkling in the wetlands, flocks of birds are soaring overhead, feeding along the shores, and nesting in the rushes.
Our efforts over these 25 years have dramatically renewed this precious habitat, but we still face many challenges. Climate change looms and there is much work to do to continue to foster the health of our precious wetlands. Help us celebrate our Silver Anniversary! Your tax deductible gift supports our mission to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley. Please make a special donation today. Thank you!
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.