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March 2017
News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
In This Issue
Families in the Wetlands
Presentation: The Fascinating Honeybee
2017 Tour Series Kickoff - Circumnavigation Tour of the Wetlands
Monterey County GIVES! Helps Wetland Stewards
Fun Was Had By All at World Wetlands Day Celebration
Saturday Community Restoration
Spring Fling
WWW Website
Join Our Mailing List



Families in the Wetlands
 Family enjoying time together in the wetlands

We are excited to announce that this month we are starting a pilot for a Family Engagement Program as a component of our Wetland Stewards and Cycles of Restoration Education Programs.
CSUMB Environmental Studies Capstone Student, Diane Gonzales, has designed and compiled fifty "nature kits" to send home with parents or guardians invited to attend wetland field trips with their child. While on the field trip, parents receive a watershed lesson and an invitation to become wetland steward families. The nature kit contains a wetland activity & coloring booklet, fun nature activities, and information on visiting local parks and reserves. 
Our goal is to encourage families to spend time outdoors together, explore nature and engage in stewardship of our wetlands. If the child brings back their family homework assignment, they win a prize and we get information on how they enjoyed their nature kit!
Presentation: The Fascinating Honeybee
Allison Gong working with her honeybees
Bees are ingenious creatures that are vital to the survival of many species on the planet, including human beings. With the serious decline of bee populations, it is time to take a close look at the fascinating life and needs of bees.
On Tuesday, March 28th, local beekeeper and CSUMB and Cabrillo College Biology Instructor Allison Gong will discuss the biology of honey bees, pollination ecology, and threats to pollinators. She and her husband have been keeping bees in Santa Cruz since 2010.
This talk, hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center. Click for map/directions. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fiebering at 831-345-1226 or kathy@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org
2017 Tour Series Kickoff
Circumnavigation Tour of the Wetlands
East Struve Slough
On Saturday, April 8th, Watsonville Wetlands Watch Board President and wetlands expert Bob Culbertson will lead a grand tour of the wetlands where you will visit spots rarely seen by the public.
You will discover how this extensive freshwater wetland system fits together, learn about the history of conservation, and be able to do a little birding at these scenic spots. This tour is great for beginners and experts alike.
The tour will start at 9 am and last until noon. Meet at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center map/directions. From there carpools will be formed for this driving and walking tour. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or kathy@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org

Monterey County GIVES!
Helps Wetlands Stewards
 Vanessa Rocha teaching students from Starlight Elementary
about aquatic macro-invertebrates

For the first time, the Wetlands Stewards program was awarded a grant from the Monterey County Weekly Community Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County as a result of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch participation in the 2016 Monterey County Gives! Campaign. We were chosen to participate along with 122 other local non-profits for the 2016 campaign.
WWW was selected for our "BIG IDEA" of fostering the next generation of local environmental leaders. The Wetlands Stewards afterschool program works primarily with Latino children from underserved families in the Pajaro Valley to foster young leaders who are knowledgeable about watershed ecology so they will help work towards restoring and keeping the wetlands clean, healthy, and productive. Over the course of the school year, our 12 high school mentors become teachers of wetlands and stewardship on after school field trips throughout the Watsonville wetlands and greater Pajaro Valley. Each year over 400 middle and elementary school students learn from these mentors, WWW docents and staff, and embark on their journey toward becoming the next generation of stewards of our environment.
The $1,422 grant will partially underwrite the $12,000 yearly stipends paid to the 12 Wetland Steward interns working with Monterey and Santa Cruz County school children.
We wish to thank our generous supporters who donated to the 2016 Monterey County GIVES! Campaign to make this grant possible!

Fun Was Had By All
at World Wetlands Day Celebration

Young volunteers enjoy planting
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and members of the community, we had another spectacular World Wetlands Day event this year. 
Over 280 volunteers braved the inclement weather, planting 1700 native plants while being serenaded by the talented Alma de Mexico Academy of Music as they worked along the Upper Struve Slough trail. 

We wish to extend many thanks to all of you who came out to help with the event and preparation for the festivities! And extend our thanks to our partner the City of Watsonville who was instrumental in making this event a growing success.

Learn more by clicking the links below.

Saturday Community Restoration

 Volunteers making a difference 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 monthly community work day on Saturday, February 25th.
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 yummy snacks.
Meet at our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). If you have questions, please contact Mary Paul at mary@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org or 831-566-4938.

Spring Fling
  Debbie's flower illustration  

Spring is in the air!
Celebrate the changing of the seasons on March 20th when the spring equinox takes place. This spring promises to be phenomenal after the tremendous rains we've had this winter that have filled the wetlands to record levels. Imagine how beautiful and lush it will be as the flowers bloom, the grasses grow, the trees leaf-out, and the birds sing.
As the days get longer, sunnier and warmer, it will be a great time to get out into the wetlands for a nature walk, a bike ride, and bird watching. Take advantage of the miles of easily accessible trails meandering along the slough system and enjoy in the glittering water vistas.
The trail systems along the Watsonville Wetlands were built for our enjoyment by the City of Watsonville and are restored and maintained by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch. Maps of the wetlands and trails are available at the Fitz Wetlands Education Resource Center located at the Pajaro Valley High School.
So don't wait! Plan your own spring fling with family and friends and enjoy the outdoors together on the trails along the Watsonville Wetlands.

If you would like to support the Watsonville Wetlands Watch mission of protecting, restoring, and fostering appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley, click here.


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.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, federal tax i.d. #77-0519882.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch, PO Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019