News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
Watsonville Wetlands Watch Welcomes New Wetland Stewards!
Each year before school starts, new interns meet to prepare for their role as Wetland Stewards. This training gives the interns a background in the plants and animals of the Watsonville Sloughs and prepares them to be wetlands mentors for elementary students.
This year's week-long training began with a tour of the Watsonville Slough System. The interns got an up-close look at the sloughs near their high school as well as the Last Mile of Watsonville Slough, where the slough system meets the Pajaro River. They also visited and learned about Watsonville Wetlands Watch restoration projects in the area. Later in the week, the interns had a memorable day of birding on the trails near the Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center. Some of the species observed were Sharp Shinned Hawk, Green Heron, Night Heron, and the elusive Sora. They finished the week participating in plant propagation and restoration.
We wish to extend a hearty welcome the new Wetland Stewards Interns! Learn More about Wetland Stewards.
Presentation — The Green Big Day: More Birding, Less Driving
Would you like to reduce your carbon footprint while birding? In April & May of 2011, birders from the US, UK, and Australia competed to see who could identify the most bird species in one day without jumping in a car. Some truly amazing stories came out of this “Green Big Day” event, as well as a renewed interest in greenbirding as a movement.
On Tuesday, September 13, biologist and avid birder Scott Smithson will share highlights of the event, some video footage of one of the “biking birders,” and his vision of the future of greenbirding. From 6:30 to 8:30 at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map), and you must reserve a seat. Learn more.
Come to the Last Wetlands Alive! Tour of the Year
Summer is winding down — don't miss out on the last tour of the year! Bring your friends and join us on a family-oriented tour of the wetlands and our Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). The tour date is Saturday, Sept. 10, starting at 10 a.m. Tours are free, but please call 831-345-1226 or email email@example.com by Friday noon before the tour to reserve a place. For more information, click here.
Linda Yamane Captivates Audience
Photo by Vivienne Orgel
During the Watch’s July Speaker Series event, Ohlone basketweaver, singer, writer and storyteller Linda Yamane shared traditional basketweaving techniques, song and stories.
In the first half of the program, Linda talked about the gathering, processing, and drying techniques needed to prepare native wetlands plants like sedge, bulrush, willow, and horsetail for basketweaving. She showed several of her beautiful baskets and described how to weave the various patterns. She discussed the journeys she has taken, as far away as Paris, to view and study early Ohlone baskets in museum collections so that she can replicate these traditional techniques.
After the break, Linda told a story and sang several songs, discussing the origins of each. Linda’s passion for restoring and keeping her culture alive is quite inspiring, and the audience walked away feeling that they had been a part of something quite special.
Departing Wetland Stewards Say Goodbye
with Camping Trip
This summer, the Watch took the 2010–2011 Wetland Steward interns on an end-of-year camping trip.
Our first stop was Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, where the interns observed four different species of marine mammals, many coastal bird species, and tide pool invertebrates.
The next stop was Arroyo Seco. After setting up camp, the interns headed out on a hike and cooled off in the beautiful, yet chilly river.
At night the interns learned how to build a fire to cook dinner. The evening ended with a visit from some bats, eating s'mores, and telling ghost stories. The following morning we headed to the redwoods for a stream hike and a nature scavenger hunt.
With a visit to three very different ecosystems, this trip was a great way to end the year. We would like to thank this stellar group of 2010–2011 Wetland Stewards interns for all their hard work!
You Can Support
Our Education Programs
School has started and we are ready to bring engaging wetlands education to students again this year through programs like Wetland Stewards. You can support our education programs with a generous donation. Contribute online by going to our website or send a donation to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and are greatly appreciated.
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.