As part of its efforts to re-establish the 100,000 acres of wetlands essential for a healthy Bay, Save The Bay regularly hosts mid-week volunteer events at our native plant nurseries in the Palo Alto Baylands and on the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. These events can often serve as a refreshing weekday reprieve from the typical work week.
We had a very special and successful volunteer program last Wednesday with over 50 employees from Google and Brocade joining us to restore the Bay. This event, which was part of GoogleServe‘s global week of service campaign, was held at the Palo Alto Baylands. These Baylands represent one of the largest pieces of undisturbed marshland left in the Bay Area. Being a key migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway, the Baylands provide resting, feeding and breeding grounds for a great diversity of traveling birds. It is widely considered one of the best birding spots on the West Coast.
The volunteers worked together transplanting and sowing 6,543 native seedlings, including Creeping Wild Rye and Pacific Aster. The day’s efforts helped bring Save The Bay closer to reaching its goal of 55,000 native plants in the ground for this upcoming winter. These native plants will provide critical habitat to a host of species, including the endangered California clapper rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse. The volunteers completed several other essential tasks, including: watering 600+ seedlings along the shoreline, weeding invasive mustard, digging a 25-foot trench and installing a drain for Save The Bay’s new nursery workshed, and painting 35 bench legs.
The work done over the course of the day is certain to have a significant impact on Save The Bay’s efforts to restore the Bay for years to come. It also had a significant impact in strengthening relationships among coworkers as the participating volunteers were having fun, bonding, and working together in a common goal, outside of their normal working environment. There was even some playful taunting from the volunteers digging the new trench (with pickaxes and shovels) toward their colleagues handling the less extreme task of transplanting seedlings. It was clear to see that all volunteers, trench-diggers and seedling-transplanters alike, enjoyed spending a beautiful sunny Wednesday afternoon out of their offices, helping to restore their Bay in a real and tangible way.
For more information or to sign up for one of our on-the-Bay restoration programs please check out our volunteer opportunities here!