This fall, Save The Bay’s Restoration Team had the opportunity to participate in one of the Presidio Trust’s restoration events at Mountain Lake in San Francisco as part of a workday trade. There our team had a chance to learn about freshwater wetlands both through hands-on invasive species removal around Mountain Lake and through a special lecture on wetland soils from UC Berkeley professor Stephen Andrews. In the coming months it will be our Restoration Team’s turn to host the Presidio Trust restoration crew for a day on the Bay, teaching them about salt marshes, and getting them dirty at one of our restoration sites. Rumor has it there may even be a Save The Bay vs. Presidio Trust softball game (I think we all know who would win)! In the end we will all be winners as we learn from one another and strengthen friendships with others working to improve the environment around the San Francisco Bay.
To try and catch the Presidio Trust team out with Save The Bay sign up for one of our restoration events today.
Meet Alexander Mustille, a Data Consultant for Kaiser Permanente from Pacifica, CA!
How many years have you volunteered with Save The Bay?
Do you have a favorite site or experience?
Favorite site is MLK Shoreline. I was able to eradicate many blackberry bushes on site 3 or 4 years ago.
How did you get involved with Save The Bay?
I first heard about Save The Bay through a friend, many years ago.
What is the best thing about volunteering with Save The Bay?
Meeting people who are passionate about ecological restoration!
What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?
The beach! Specifically, Linda Mar Beach for surfing. It’s great for beginners!
What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?
Not watering my lawn! And regularly planting in my front yard.
Earlier this month, my fellow restoration specialist and I had the privilege to lead a restoration education program with My City School, a new school in San Francisco created for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. I was contacted by the school’s coordinator, also a parent and founder, who inspired me with her story of how she sought out a way to provide a better learning experience for her child, as well as other young, challenged students in San Francisco. I was touched by her story and eager to offer My City School students the experience of a wetland restoration program with Save The Bay.
On their Bay Discovery trip at the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline, we transplanted gumplant seedlings, went for a “wetland walk” during which we explored the features of wetland ecosystems, and participated in a shoreline trash cleanup. As group leaders, we were able to spend one-on-one time with the students and teach them about the Bay, the wetland ecosystem, and measures we can take to help it thrive. We also watched terns diving for fish and manta rays swimming in the shallows!
All in all, the most memorable part of this experience came at the end of the program, when these students expressed how thankful they were for spending the day with Save The Bay and making the Bay a better place for us all. This event noticeably spurred their passion to protect, restore, and celebrate the San Francisco Bay. I speak for both my coworker and I when I say that this was a truly rewarding experience, and one that highlights the importance of our education programs for students of all varieties.
Learn more about our Restoration Education Programs here.
Recently I had the pleasure of leading a volunteer event with Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. at our newest restoration site at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. They showed up bright and early with positive attitudes and festive team shirts that displayed their iconic rabbit label (in case you were wondering, the rabbit’s name is Bernie).
As we drove out to our site through a maze of levees just south of the San Mateo Bridge we stopped to show them relics of the salt ponds that once covered the now ecological reserve and described future plans for the site, which will be open to the public in just a few years.
Once we arrived at our site we quickly got down to business. We worked hard as Willets searched for food in adjacent mud flats and flocks of sandpipers flew overhead in great numbers like a murmuration of Starlings. By the end of the day we were exhausted — and for a good reason. In total Annie’s installed over 100 native plants, including Marsh Baccharis (Baccharis glutinosa), Western Goldenrod (Euthamia occidentalis), and Creeping Wild Rye (Elymus triticoides). I am often impressed by how much gets done during our corporate volunteer programs.
After we cleaned up, we piled into our cars and drove back to the parking lot where we met. We said our thank yous and good byes and parted ways. My colleague and I reflected on the productive day and spoke longingly for next year’s program with Annie’s.
Little did we know we’d be hearing from them again much sooner than that. A little less than a month after our restoration event with them at Eden Landing, Annie’s sent us 2,500 organic granola bars to share with our volunteers! Now during our restoration programs we are proud to share these fantastic snacks made by a company that takes pride in sustainable, quality ingredients and cares as much about community as we do at Save the Bay. Our staff is so grateful for Annie’s contribution.
Come out and grab an Annie’s organic granola bar at one of our restoration events around the bay this spring!