Volunteer Spotlight: Alan Fishman

Teacher and Save The Bay volunteer Alan Fishman

Meet Alan Fishman, a Math and Environmental Leadership in Action teacher from Castro Valley.

How many years have you volunteered with Save The Bay? I’ve volunteered for several years in different capacities.  My Environmental Leadership class has volunteered in conjunction with EarthTeam in a number of restoration activities and my Druid Environmental Club has volunteered on Save The Bay’s Saturday Eden Landing restoration activities

Do you have a favorite site or experience? Eden Landing is my favorite site since it is relatively local and we’ve gone there several times.

What is the reason you got involved with Save The Bay? My initial contact with Save The Bay was participating in EarthTeam restoration activities that were conducted by Save The Bay naturalists.

What is the most important lesson or experience your class has gained from working with Save The Bay? If we all do our part in restoring our environment, the result of these actions could have a great positive impact.

How are you building the next generation of Bay stewards in your classroom?
We are developing approximately a two acre native plant garden at our school and have a nursery with a solar powered drip system. We’ve transformed the old swimming pool lot which was simply compacted earth with no life to a place teeming with wildlife and beautiful native trees and shrubs.

We are also involved in local restoration activities and environmental activism of all sorts.  It was my Environmental Leadership in Action class that was successful in getting Caltrans to plant redwood trees along the Hwy 238 Widening Project and our school’s athletic field, and install a drip system for these trees.  And in 2012 Caltrans will build a sound wall adjacent to these redwood trees.  We were also instrumental in getting Ora Loma Sanitary District to do food scrapping in their green waste.

The next generation of Bay stewards.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why? I would love to be a Fremontedrendrum since it has such beautiful, big, yellow flowers.

Who is your environmental hero? I imagine John Muir is my favorite hero since he brought to our consciousness the need to protect our environment.  Most of my heroes are local people who do things in a very quiet way, but make a significant difference.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area? The proximity to the ocean, wetlands, mountains, and bay relatively so close to an urban area.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment? I practice the 4 Rs, set a good example for my students by riding my bike to work everyday (rain or shine), providing my students with an opportunity to study and engage actively with the restoration of our environment.

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay? Going through Waldo Grade Tunnel in Marin and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge at my fingertips.

One thought on “Volunteer Spotlight: Alan Fishman

  1. Alan leads by enthusiasm. Rather than saying “we should do this” he asks “wouldn’t it be wonderful if…?” He presents a clear plan with attainable goals. He gives credit for other’s expertise. If he wants a watering system, he doesn’t insist that he knows all the answers. Instead he goes to the experts and asks all the right questions. Soon he has another excited volunteer.
    As he has been a high school teacher for many years, he is accustomed to herding cats. He can find a job for any volunteer no matter what resources they bring and make them feel valued and appreciated.

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