Would you like to be more involved in your community and watershed? Check out the following volunteer opportunities with these organized watershed groups in Marin County to find out how you can chip in!
~Home Landscaping in a Changing Climate: Fire Smart, Water Wise, Biodiverse~ Marin Art and Garden Center
As the climate warms and the weather gets less predictable, Bay Area home gardeners find themselves facing contradictory directives from public agencies that are each trying to address one part of the looming problem. It seems as though we may be facing a lot of hard choices. Or can we find a way to work with nature to have home landscapes that are resilient to fire and drought, yet still thrive and offer beauty and habitat both for us and other creatures?
Date: Saturday, February 29th 2020
Time: 9 am-4 pm
Cost: $75 general, $60 student (includes lunch from Panera Bread, and wine and cheese reception 4p-6p)
Where: 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross, CA 94957
Click HERE to learn more about the event.
Click HERE to learn more about Marin Art & Garden Center.
Sponsored by Marin Art & Garden Center, Marin Conservation League, and CA Native Plant Society.
Streambank Stabilization Workshop
If you live next to a stream, a typical problem experienced is creek bank erosion. Soil bioengineering includes many biotechnical techniques that combine plant materials and soil to accomplish bank stabilization, erosion control, and improve habitat and water quality. This approach has many benefits over “traditional” erosion control methods that include the following but are not limited to:
– It is cost effective: Many of these techniques can be done by homeowners. Willow stakes can be locally harvested. It is cheaper in relations to long-term maintenance when compared to the traditional structural, hard engineering techniques such as rip rap, retaining walls and/or concrete.
– Long-term stability: Planting riparian vegetation can offer long-term protection against erosion due to roots having similar to greater strength than concrete. Roots can absorb erosive energy from the stream without deflecting the problem to another section of the creek bank or channel. Rooting can also quickly control channel incision.
– Improve habitat for wildlife: Riparian vegetation provides food and shelter for wildlife. When trees are established, they provide canopy cover over the channel, which keeps the water temperatures cool, and allows stream life to thrive.
When: Saturday, March 7th 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Private Residence– address will be provided upon successful registration (see below for registration link).
SPACE IS LIMITED and ADDRESS WILL BE PROVIDED UPON SUCCESSFUL REGISTRATION. PLEASE REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/streambank-stabilization-workshop-tickets-94728616843
Click HERE to view the flyer.
For questions, contact Arianna at: Arianna.Topbjerg@waterboards.ca.gov (510)-622-2406
~Plant, Protect, and Prosper~ Marin Municipal Water District is holding a Habitat Restoration day!
Their AmeriCorps members (with the Watershed Stewards Program) cordially invite YOU to come join in on planting willow stakes in order to protect salmon habitat and prevent erosion. Willows are a native riparian species (growing near and around waterways) that provide a multitude of benefits to water quality and provide improved habitat conditions for federally listed salmonid species found in the Lagunitas Creek watershed. Come check out a major restoration project success along the Tocaloma Reach to learn more and lend a helping hand with planting willows!
Date: Saturday, January 25th
Time: 10 am-2 pm
Where: 702 Platform Bridge Rd. Point Reyes Station, CA
Click HERE to view their flyer.
On behalf of Point Reyes National Seashore, its Association and Marin Resource Conservation District, together we have carried out 4 years of a volunteer-based nursery program to support resource management at the Seashore and residents living streamside in the Lagunitas Creek watershed. The nursery is a native plant nursery supporting the range and vegetation management programs in the Seashore and restoration in the overall Lagunitas Creek watershed. Since 2016, we have been organizing FREE monthly native plant propagation classes at The Red Barn near the Bear Valley Visitor Center, taught by Charlotte Torgovitsky with Home Ground Habitat Nursery (member of CNPS Marin Chapter) and Sarah Phillips, Urban Streams Program Manager with the Marin RCD. You can RSVP by contacting Sarah Phillips at Sarah@marinrcd.org. 2019’s classes have come to an end, stay tuned for classes in 2020 at a new location!
Saturday, June 29th 2019 • 10 am – 1pm
Natural Connections are Everywhere!
There’s a new paradigm in the gardening world that is gaining momentum, and it’s all about viewing the garden as an ecosystem. In a series of short PowerPoint presentations, we’ll introduce some natural connections that can have both positive and negative impacts on natural ecosystems and in habitat gardens. These include non-native plants that can be invasive, why control is critical and which methods are most effective. Insect life can also be good or bad: knowing their role in a habitat is key. We’ll also help you learn about similarities within plant families, starting with a close look at seeds, and practice some simple methods for cleaning and storing seeds of native plants.
Instructors: Sarah Phillips and Charlotte Torgovitsky
Saturday, July 27th 2019 • 10 am – 1pm
Starting from Seeds
Seeds are one of nature’s miracles; think of them as earthbound starships. We’ll continue to learn about plant families and their floral formulas—easily identifiable traits found in both fruits and seeds. We’ll talk about the phenology of plants, ethical harvesting, cleaning, labeling and storing seeds. You’ll also learn a variety of pre-germination techniques and to ‘think like nature’ to help improve the results of your propagation efforts. Class includes hands-on lessons on propagating native plants from seeds and properly handling delicate seedlings, plus various mediums and soil mixes, containers, and propagation options, as well as best management practices to avoid problems with plant pathogens.
Instructor: Charlotte Torgovitsky
Saturday, August 31st 2019 • 10 am – 1pm
Vegetative Propagation or Cloning
Did you know that plants posses “toti-potency”? That means every living cell of a plant has the potential to grow all the other functional parts of a new plant! These methods of propagation are, in essence, cloning. In this class we’ll look at a number of different plant species to learn about specific methods and mediums, and the timing critical to getting the best results from cuttings. We’ll also discuss the important life support systems necessary to grow vigorous, healthy plants from cuttings. And we’ll practice one of the simplest methods of propagation by dividing some perennial plants. You’ll learn which species respond best to this method and when to do it.
Instructor: Charlotte Torgovitsky
Tomales Bay Association’s Fundraising Dinner
Date: Friday, August 16th
Time: Social Hour with FREE oysters and drinks will begin at 5 pm. Dinner is at 6:30 pm
Cost: Only pay for membership at $20 individual/$30 family. Donations for dinner accepted.
Contact Ken Fox with questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) 22nd Annual Coho Confab
Date: August 23-25
Location: Sandy Bar Ranch on the Klamath River
Cost: $200 (includes multiple field tours and workshops, healthy meals and camping)
You can register by clicking HERE
Join Environmental Forum of Marin’s September Class! Click HERE to learn more!
Please stay tuned on what upcoming workshops will be available free of charge to you, pending continued funding for the USC Program! If you would like to learn more on how YOU can help support the Urban Streams Coordination Program, please email Sarah Phillips at Sarah@marinrcd.org.
Please bring your canteens to refill your water at every event. In the case you forget, Urban Streams Coordination Program events are co-sponsored by Repurpose, who provides plant-based, compostable flatware to reduce our waste and carbon footprint! Their products are BPA-free and chlorine-free. Please click the logo to learn more about this wonderful business! Thank you Repurpose!
VOLUNTEERING WITH MARIN’S WATERSHED GROUPS
The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) has the following upcoming opportunities to volunteer with them, contact their Watershed Biologist, Preston Brown at email@example.com to RSVP or call at (415) 663-8590 ext. 111 to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities with SPAWN;
- EVERY FRIDAY 10 am-2 pm at the native plant nursery located at 9255 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Please RSVP to Audrey Fusco at Audrey@tirn.net
Click on any of the following organizations to go to their Events Page:
SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)
Marin County Open Space District (Parks and Recreation)
WORKSHOPS and FIELD TRIPS
There are a plethora of opportunities to get involved and learn with the Master Gardeners in Marin. Click HERE to see what’s up and coming ranging anywhere from learning how to compost, planting with natives to planting an incredible edible lawn and so much more!
The Marin Chapter of CA Native Plant Society organizes regular hikes and field trips to learn more about the local flora of Marin County and to enjoy the multitude of trails to hike with fellow enthusiasts. Click HERE to learn more about what’s up and coming!
CA Coastal Permitting Process, Navigating the Environmental Compliance Process in Coastal CA
Restoration Project Process Presentation by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Riparian Buffer and Upland Restoration with Woody Species
Marin Municipal Water District’s Power Point Presentations given at the Salmon & Banks Educational Evening on July 2, 2015;
Building a Rain Garden, Together!
- Reduce flooding
- Filter pollutants
- Recharge groundwater
- Provide wildlife& pollinator habitat
- Decrease creek bank erosion
- Save money on water
Marin RCD’s Urban Streams Program and SF Regional Water Quality Control Board’s AmeriCorps members carried out a FREE, fun, educational, hands-on workshop to learn about the various ways you can harvest rainwater and everyone had an opportunity to build a rain garden during that day… in the rain!
Presentation for Gallinas Watershed Council: Managing Urban Streams with Guest Speaker Sarah Phillips, Marin RCD
Gallinas Watershed Council invited and hosted a presentation from Sarah Phillips, Marin Resource Conservation District’s Urban Streams Program Manager, about how to manage urban streams in Marin County. Sarah talked about “Managing Urban Streams in Marin- Conveyance & Habitat Preservation” and go over the new URBAN CREEK MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES GUIDE. And shared about the delicate balance between providing flow conveyance to reduce flooding while still maintaining habitat integrity for wildlife in Marin that depends on a healthy, thriving riparian corridor.
PLANTING THE FLOODPLAINS WITH MMWD
Watershed Stewards Program members hosted a planting event on December 16th with Marin Municipal Water District. The AmeriCorps members led volunteers to plant native plants near large woody debris structures that have recently been installed in Lagunitas Creek to help stabilize the soil and create more habitat. These woody debris structures were put in the creek to provide shelter for juvenile salmonids including Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead Trout. The native plants that naturally occur adjacent to streams, creeks, and rivers – referred to as riparian habitat – not only play an important role in the life cycle of salmonids, they help to support an abundance of other wildlife species as well. Their efforts to revegetate these areas will improve the water quality and overall health of our watershed. Click HERE to learn more!
FREE WORKSHOP: Streamlining CEQA Permitting Process for Restoration Projects
Marin Resource Conservation District (RCD) and Prunuske Chatham, Inc. offered two free workshops for you to learn about our Permit Coordination Program (PCP) and how it or similar programs may offer you support with regard to expediting the CA Environmental Quality Act process for restoration and conservation projects. Marin RCD was able to host these workshops thanks to a grant awarded by the North Bay Watershed Association (NBWA) http://nbwatershed.org/.
- Thursday, September 14th at Novato Sanitary District. Click HERE for agenda.
- Thursday, September 28th at Marin County Civic Center. Click HERE for agenda.
This was the third annual clean-up event in the Murphy Creek watershed, led by residents taking the initiative and responsibility for their creek side properties by removing litter for water quality and debris to reduce the risk of flooding.
We met at the Sleepy Hollow Community Center for the annual event which is fun for all, especially the youngsters as this is the Cub Scouts’ annual service project and this year the Boy Scouts will also be joining in. We will be learning about water quality, steelhead trout and aquatic bugs, then enter the creek to remove non-native invasive species and litter together as a team.
Salmonid Restoration Federation’s Coho Confab Conference
Held at the Mattole Grange in Petrolia, CA within the Lost Coast region, one of the largest wilderness areas and the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the continental US, on the Mattole River!
Salmonid Restoration Federation, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mattole Restoration Council, Mattole Salmon Group, and Sanctuary Forest, held workshops and tours of off-channel slough restoration, forest and fuels reduction projects, water conservation practices, stream bank stabilization, large woody debris placement, and groundwater recharge projects.
Dates: August 24th-August 26th, 2017
Fairfax Creek Clean-Up
The annual Fairfax Creek Clean-Up that took place on Saturday, July 15th was a success! With 22 volunteers, over 2 cubic yards of litter removed and 3 reaches of the creek assessed and cleaned, the town of Fairfax and its residents can rest assured that their creek is looking in good shape! Thanks to the Town of Fairfax and Sustainable Fairfax for inviting Marin RCD‘s Urban Streams Program Manager and County Flood Control District to lead the day. We started with some great education around watersheds, water quality and flooding then got to work! Keep an eye out for next year’s creek clean-up event. Special thanks to Supervisor Katie Rice for joining in and leading the bicycling team to remove litter along the roadways and creek banks!
Cal-IPC (California Invasive Plant Council) Training
Cal-IPC is held a Weed Management for Volunteers Training throughout the Bay Area. The opportunity included identifying and learning about invasive species then out to the field to learn how to map occurrences and remove properly. It was held on Saturday, June 17 at the Mill Valley Community Center. Click HERE to learn more!
CNPS’s Marin Chapter Conducted Another Great Native Plant Week!
“Salmon in Marin: Current Status and Restoration Efforts” MMWD’s famous Aquatic Ecologist, Eric Ettlinger, presented about Marin County’s salmon and steelhead, how they fared 2016-2017’s floods, and the steps being taken to ensure their long-term survival. Eric provided a fascinating introduction to Marin County’s salmonid populations, monitoring efforts being conducted by the Marin Municipal Water District, local impacts on fish habitat, and ongoing restoration efforts being conducted in the watershed.
Soil Bioengineering Workshop taught by Dr. Ann Riley, Sarah Phillips and RWQCB’s AmeriCorps members took place on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Sir Francis Drake High School! We taught about Best Management Practices (BMPs) for nature-based creek bank stabilization in Marin. Click HERE to view the flyer. It was a collaborative partnership including the following partners;
- SF Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFRWQCB)
- MCSTOPPP (Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program)
- Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed Group
- WSP AmeriCorps Program
- CA Urban Streams Partnership
- Sir Francis Drake High School
- Marin Resource Conservation District
Restoration Day with Watershed Stewards Project AmeriCorps Program, Marin Municipal Water District, and the Marin RCD happened on Saturday, June 18th from 9 am-1 pm in Woodacre, CA. We celebrated summer with willow reed crafting, English ivy removal, and education on restoration in effort to enhance habitat for listed species such as the coho salmon, steelhead trout and CA freshwater shrimp! Families with children 8+ were invited to join and a raffle was held!
On May 31, 2016 there was a public program at San Geronimo Community Presbyterian Church. The group looked at color slides of Inverness Vision Fire and other firefighting actions. They heard about how to prevention and evacuation advice from Fire Officials and learned about preparation and response strategies. Presented by SGV Stewards For Info email firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 27th, we had a successful and maxed out hands-on workshop in Mill Valley free for residents led by creek restoration and design specialists; John Parodi with Point Blue Conservation Science, Harold Appleton with Prunuske Chatham Inc., Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) and Marin Resource Conservation District (Marin RCD). Participants who pledged to share information on how to protect Marin’s creeks received a goodie bag full of valuable resources and native vegetation to bring home to plant.
- Implemented erosion control methods for any landscape
- Learned how to catch rain and use it as a resource —‘Slow it, Spread it, Sink it’
- Learned about managing non-native, invasive vegetation
- Aquired effective techinques for planting native plants
- Collaborated to protect Marin’s creeks
The Environmental Forum held classes on CARBON CAPTURE STRATEGIES with John Wick and Dr. Jeffrey Creque talking about carbon farming and new studies recently released about riparian carbon sequestration among other topics and strategies. First lecture was on Wednesday, January 13th from 7p-9p at the First Presbyterian Church at 1510 5th Ave. San Rafael, CA. The second lecture was on Saturday, January 23rd 9a-12p at the Bay Model Visitor Center at 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA. Click HERE to view the flyer.
Erosion Control and Soil Bioengineering Workshop took place on December 5th at the Spirit Rock Center. Marin RCD and MCSTOPPP partnered to bring you several of the Bay Area’s top restorationists for a hands-on, how-to workshop with Dr. Ann Riley who is the author of Restoring Streams in Cities, the executive director of the Waterways Restoration Institute and a watershed and river restoration advisor for the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board. We also learned from John Parodi, Restoration Program Manager for STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) and Harold Appleton with Prunuske Chatham, Inc. They taught participants about shaded floodplain habitat enhancement through the planting of selected native species, how to prevent erosion on slopes and how to repair eroding creek banks with soil bioengineering. Check out THIS VIDEO to learn more on soil bioengineering. Thanks to the 56 folks that joined us that day! Click HERE to view the flyer. To read a write-up about the event from the San Geronimo Valley Planning Group’s December newsletter, click HERE and look at page 3.
Willow Staking Work Day took place on Saturday, November 14th. Sarah Phillips and Sally Gale with the Marin RCD in Chileno Valley taught a hands-on approach on how to restore riparian habitat with the use of willows! Thanks to the 15 hard workers that helped out that day and a big THANKS to Marin Conservation League for co-sponsoring the event with the Marin RCD. Click HERE to view the flyer.
Rainwater Harvesting at San Domenico School. Sarah Phillips, Urban Streams Coordinator with the Marin RCD and Dan Carney, Water Conservation Program Manager with the Marin Municipal Water District taught a hands-on approach to water conservation. Topics covered included; active versus passive rainwater harvesting for water conservation, stormwater pollutant filtration through passive systems, ground water recharge and flood water management! The successful event was packed with 30 participants and was held on Saturday, October 24th in the school’s garden at the back of the property.
Creek Clean-Up Event with San Geronimo Valley Stewards on Saturday, October 17th was a great success with about 14 volunteers! We focused on areas near the Forest Knolls post office, Lagunitas Bridge, The Papermill Saloon and Mountain View. Volunteers learned about aquatic invasive species prevention and identification as well as the salmonid life cycle. To view the flyer, click HERE!
The Civic Center Watershed Restoration group and the Gallinas Watershed Council launched their Floating Island during the Bioneers Conference to help clean/remediate the impaired water in the lagoon on Friday, October 16th. The event made the front page of the Marin IJ and was well-attended! Supervisor Connolly attended and spoke at the beginning of the launch. The audience was invited to help plant the islands with selected native wetland species that were donated by the Watershed Nursery in Richmond. If you wish to contribute, go to their indiegogo campaign page and contribute what you can by clicking HERE.
Murphy Creek Clean-Up with local residents, Marin RCD and the County’s Flood Control District!
On October 10th, about 20 members of the Kentfield community came together to improve the conditions of their creek by removing trash and recycling that would otherwise have impaired the water quality of the watershed and also impact the San Pablo Bay as that’s where Murphy Creek finds its way once it confluences with Corte Madera Creek at the College of Marin campus. Additionally, we cleared any debris that would impede flow while keeping in mind habitat value of riparian species, balancing flow conveyance with habitat integrity. We also transplanted native Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia) trees so that they could thrive along the tops of the creek bank to improve bank stability and road run-off filtration.
Sleepy Hollow Creek Clean-Up with the Marin RCD, Cub
Scouts and Creek Committee!
On October 3rd, about 40 members of the Sleepy Hollow community came together with the local Cub Scouts group to remove trash and recycling from the creek that would otherwise have impaired the water quality of the watershed and also impact the San Pablo Bay as that’s where Sleepy Hollow Creek finds its way once it confluences with Corte Madera Creek. Additionally, we cleared any debris that would impede flow while keeping in mind habitat value of riparian species, balancing flow conveyance with habitat integrity.
Healthy Creeks Workshop with Marin RCD and the Watershed Forum!
Marin RCD and the Watershed Forum had a successful workshop with 40 members from the watershed community coming out to learn about what local watershed groups are doing in Marin’s creeks using Citizen Science to measure stream health. It took place on Saturday, September 12th from 1:00p-3:30p on Miller Creek. We learned the following through a panel discussion plus two HANDS-ON sampling activities;
- Volunteer Monitoring Program Development
- Lessons Learned
- Sources of Funding
- Aquatic Invasive Species
- How to Measure Water Quality
- How to Sample Benthic Macroinvertebrates (important food source of aquatic species)
Salmon & Eroding Creek Banks! The Marin RCD held a free educational evening to learn more about salmon habitat needs, current population data in west Marin and how best to repair and restore eroding creek banks with nationally recognized specialists. Click HERE to see the flyer! The event was a hit with over 50 attendees and great feedback from both the speakers and those that attended. Many thanks to the Spirit Rock Center for hosting the event, to Eric Ettlinger at MMWD with Vincent and Patrick with Watershed Stewards Project for their presentations (PDFs of their presentations can be found above, under ‘Presentations’) and to Dr. Riley with the Regional Water Quality Control Board! The Marin RCD anticipates organizing another one in Southern Marin during Spring, 2016!
The Green Gulch Zen Center hosted a week of restoration September 13-18, 2015 for committed work on their trails and creek restoration projects. Participants were invited to stay at their guest house with amazing local meals provided, both free of charge. The Zen Center hosts complimentary lunches for their volunteers before the work begins, planting native riparian vegetation at its newly restored creek channel designed by Prunuske Chatham, Inc. For more information about the project or to sign up for emails about future work days, contact Sukey Parmelee at email@example.com.
The Gallinas Watershed Council is organized a successful 5th Annual Bike the Watershed event! Along the way they stopped at a few locations to discuss the watershed and its inhabitants. Click HERE or see below to learn more about this fun annual event.
Gallinas Watershed Council (GWC) recently tabled at the Marin County Fair on July 1st with their popular Watershed Model. They also had Ed from Floating Islands West demonstrating what a floating island can do to improve water quality at the Civic Center Lagoon! You can view a video about the floating island here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=482&v=NvxAJ2Il4FY.
11th Annual Kiss and Release This fun and exciting event was organized by Tiburon Salmon Institute on May 16th at Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon with Marin’s watershed groups like Mill Valley StreamKeepers, Watershed Alliance of Marin, and many others had booths set up to educate YOU on their good works in the watersheds! It included the release of over 2,000 baby salmon, live music and a BBQ! For more information about Tiburon Salmon Institute, click HERE.
Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed had an Earth Day Work Day on Saturday, April 18th. They worked at the College of Marin Ecological Study Area.
CA Native Plant Society’s Marin Chapter celebrated Native Plant Week from April 11th-19th with all sorts of fun activities open to the public.
Stanford Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS) met on Saturday, April 18th at Lake Lagunitas . Faculty, students and community members participated in a survey of local biodiversity! The festivities included bird watching, breakfast, tracking all animals, and identifying plants. Questions, contact Amy Zuckerwise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 451-9625.
The Green Gulch Zen Center had a volunteer event on Sunday, February 15th at 2 pm to celebrate Arbor Day/Restoration Day. The Zen Center hosts complimentary lunches for their volunteers before the work begins, planting native riparian vegetation at its newly restored creek channel designed by Prunuske Chatham, Inc. Plantings are directed by Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW). Over 150 individual plants consisting of at least 11 native species were planted on February 15th! For more information about the project or to sign up for emails about future work days, contact Sukey Parmelee at email@example.com.
On November 15th, Sleepy Hollow Homeowner Association partnered with Prunuske Chatham, Inc. and STRAW to provide volunteers with a hands-on experience working with bio-technical erosion control techniques that included: installing a willow wattle and planting willow starts to shore up an eroded bank, and clearing non-natives and planting an elderberry tree along with native grasses to hold soil in place. There was also information provided on permits required for working near watercourses, preventing soil from entering creeks during restoration projects, water quality factors (e.g. shade, nutrient loading), various erosion control techniques, choosing native plants (how, where, why), how to plant and protect native plants, soils, yard waste, fertilizer, weeds, local nurseries and more. To stay updated, contact Eric Riemer at 415-453-4818 or firstname.lastname@example.org on the Sleepy Hollow HOA Creek Committee.