The 9th annual World Wetlands Day celebration by Watsonville Wetlands Watch was a huge success thanks to the over 250 volunteers who joined us and the City of Watsonville for a day of tree planting throughout Ramsay Park and the installation of a native plant demonstration garden around the City’s Nature Center.
In total 43 native and drought tolerant trees and hundreds of native plants were planted throughout the park, which is no small feat!
Once again this year, the Alma de Mexico youth mariachi band roamed throughout the park serenading volunteers as they planted. There were free educational games and booths encircling the Nature Center along with refreshments and prizes for all.
World Wetlands Day is an international day of action in recognition of the vital role that wetlands serve throughout the world. It commemorates the signing of the 1971 United Nations Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
This project was the kick-off event for our the Watsonville Urban Forest Revitalization Project, for which we recently received a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California Climate Investment Carbon Off-set Program in partnership with the City of Watsonville.
This funding source is designed to ameliorate the impacts of climate change throughout the State.
Over the next two years we will be partnering with the City and other community partners to install a total of 300 new trees and hundreds of native plants on 10 park sites and 3 street corridors throughout Watsonville. We’ll also be hosting many public volunteer events, school field trips, and job training programs for Watsonville youth.
It’s an exciting new project that will improve water quality in the Watsonville wetlands and the Monterey Bay, improve Watsonville’s air quality, streets, parks and trails for bicycling, walking and recreation, enhance native habitat throughout the City and sequester tons (literally!) of carbon from the atmosphere as the trees grow and mature.
Wetland Stewards Corner
WWW is starting a new series in which we highlight some of the Pajaro Valley High School students participating in our Wetland Stewards program.
Jesus joined Wetland Stewards because his sister was a part of the program last year and told him what a transformative experience she had. He even hopes to continue the legacy by inspiring his younger brother to join next year. Jesus is grateful for the skills he has gained in public speaking, communications and leadership and hopes to translate that into his next steps toward college after high school.
Karen is no stranger to protecting lands in Watsonville as she came to the Wetland Stewards program after spending a year in the Monterey Aquarium’s WATCH program. While she plans to pursue a career in nursing, she feels that her time working to preserve local habitats has inspired her to always be an active member of her community.
Nissa joined Wetland Stewards because she feels passionate about youth education and the environment. She believes that kids need to be informed about how they can make a difference at a young age. She hopes to become a trauma surgeon in the future and greatly values the skills she has gained in multitasking and leadership as a mentor in the Wetland Stewards program.
Be sure to say hi to these amazing young people when you see them!