Freedom Rotary and community volunteers building the Hanson Slough Uplands loop trail
Work to build a new educational trail through the Hanson Slough uplands began in late summer on the nature preserve surrounding Pajaro Valley High School. This exciting new trail will provide easy access for students, teachers, and Watsonville Wetlands Watch education and restoration programs. Thanks to generous grants from the Freedom Rotary and Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Conservation Action Fund, and the Rotary’s very enthusiastic and committed volunteers, this trail will allow educational experiences within the restored uplands of Hanson Slough. The trail will offer new and varied opportunities for environmental education, featuring a seasonal wetland, restored grasslands and riparian areas, a seasonal spring, and ridge line trail. We extend our thanks to the Freedom Rotarians and the Monterey Bay Aquarium for helping us to get this trail underway.
Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale Draws a Crowd
Photo by Bambi Jones
By any measure, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s Habitat Festival and Native Plant on September 27 was a true success! Over 400 attendees enjoyed a full day of informative presentations and workshops, wetlands art and photography, storytelling, solar cookie baking, bicycle-powered smoothie making, bluegrass, live snakes, and of course, a wide variety of gorgeous native plants for purchase.
The Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale was generously underwritten by Patrick Fitz of Fitz Fresh Mushrooms and many community businesses and sponsors. The Watch is also grateful to the many dedicated docents, volunteers, and local businesses and organizations which were instrumental in helping us put on such a great community event celebrating the native habitats and wetlands of the Pajaro Valley. Proceeds from the plants sale directly support our mission, to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley.
On Wednesday, Nov. 5, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch is hosting wildlife photographer Kathy Frandeen, who will show her wonderful photographs of bobcats taken while studying them for the past 10 years in the Monterey Bay area, and particularly at Fort Ord. Kathy will talk about her bobcat adventures while showing you the identifying markers, and tell you about the personalities of the cats she most commonly observes. Before Fort Ord became a National Monument, Kathy was asked by the BLM to document the populations of bobcats and their territories, and her photographs were used as evidence that the lands of Ford Ord needed to be protected.
Docent Pat McVeigh had a wonderful answer to last month’s question; “What do you wish other people knew about the wetlands or the Watsonville Wetlands Watch?” Pat will receive a copy of the book, Watching the Watsonville Wetlands for her thoughtful response:
“There is a treasure right here in Watsonville; a protected area of fresh water extending through the land along the coastal plains. The community of Watsonville shares in the enjoyment and preservation of this local treasure. A connected pathway winds through the wetlands and into the community, benefiting all who use it. The Wetlands provide education for volunteers so we may share our love of this area, and children of the local schools benefit through programs and field trips.”
Tell us what you think! Answer this question:
How are you involved with WWW, and what does your volunteer work mean to you? Your opinions are important to our WWW community, and you could win a book! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make a Difference Day —
On Saturday, October 25, participate in Make a Difference Day by helping to restore critical wetland habitat. You will be removing exotic invasive plants and mulching in preparation for the planting and growth of native plants. We will work from 9 a.m. until 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..
Support Us When You Shop Online
We like to “buy local” and encourage others to do so, but for those hard-to-find items, sometimes we shop online. If you shop online through Amazon.com, a percentage of your purchases will be donated to Watsonville Wetlands Watch if you log in through the AmazonSmile program. The shopping experience, prices, and products are identical to Amazon.com and there is no cost to WWW or to you as an Amazon customer. The only difference is that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to WWW.
To participate, go to smile.amazon.com and log in as you normally would to your Amazon account. If you have not shopped online at Amazon, it costs nothing to create an account using your e-mail address and a password of your choosing. Once logged in, scroll down to the box titled “Pick your own charitable organization,” type in Watsonville Wetlands Watch, then click enter. Once you’ve selected WWW as your charity, AmazonSmile will tally your eligible purchases and send .05% of the total directly to Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
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.