Notes from the Field | Earth Day around the Bay

In celebration of Earth Day, this past weekend Save The Bay partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, REI, the Lucy Evans Nature Center, the Environmental Volunteers Eco Center, and a total of 76 community volunteers to clean up and restore habitat at several sites along the San Francisco Bay shoreline.  Each of our programs offered a unique opportunity to get outside and experience the beauty of SF Bay, as well as learn about our local ecosystems.

Ravenswood Pond in East Palo Alto

Earth Day at Ravenswood
Volunteers learn more about the Bay before helping to restore Ravenswood Pond. Photo: Judy Irving (c) Pelican Media

This pond is a top priority in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project – the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast – and has undergone construction to become a reconfigured managed pond that tests multiple approaches to nesting islands and habitat for shorebirds and other pond-dependent species. Save The Bay and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been partnering at this site since 2008 to remove trash and non-native species, and reestablish native habitat.

This past weekend 38 volunteers contributed to the restoration of Ravenswood Pond by removing over 600 pounds of invasive, non-native slender-leaf ice plant, as well as 40 pounds of trash from the along the road and tidal marsh transition zone.

Palo Alto Baylands

The Palo Alto Baylands consists of approximately 1,940 acres in Palo and East Palo Alto. This area was originally purchased in 1921 for the development of a municipal airport, salt-water swimming pool, yacht harbor and clubhouse, playgrounds, picnic groups, golf course, and game reserve. In the 1960s, local activists – including Lucy Evans and Harriet Mundy – fought for the protection of the Baylands’ natural habitats, halting a $30 million private development plan. In 1992, the Emily Renzel Wetlands restoration project was completed with a $1,000,000 grant from the California Coastal Conservancy. Save The Bay has been partnering with the City of Palo Alto at several sites in the Palo Alto Baylands since 2001 – removing trash and non-native plants, and planting native seedlings.

Weeding at Compass Point
Volunteers removed 780 pounds of invasive plants at Compass Point.

This past weekend 38 community members volunteered at the Save The Bay Palo Alto Native Plant Nursery, and Compass Point. They removed 780 pounds of invasive, non-native mustard and radish, watered native seedlings that were planted this past winter, and propagated over 700 new native plant species to be planted next year.

Thank you everyone who contributed their time this past weekend!

As Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

At Save The Bay we will continue to give back each weekend with the help of community members like you. Come join us!