ArtWorking with Our Wetlands

For more information, please view this short video: ArtWorking
with Our Wetlands VIDEO
or read more under “Events/Get Involved.”

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Wild About Wildflowers

CA NATIVE PLANT WEEK ACTIVITIES (April 11 – 19)

‘WILD ABOUT WILDFLOWERS’

Wednesday, April 15 – Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project

Meet at Hamilton Native Plant Nursery, 737 Aberdeen Road, Novato

10:00 – 12:00 - Tour of the nursery and the restoration site. Limit 30 people.

10:00 – 10:45 – Intro to project, nursery, and native garden

10:45 – 11:00 - Travel to site (by carpool or by foot depending on weather and group needs)

11:00 – 12:00 – Visit site points allowing observation of native plants and seasonal and tidal wetlands at various locations in Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Site

12:00 – 1:00 - Picnic lunch at Hamilton Native Plant Nursery; bring your own bag lunch

1:00 - 2:30 – Hands-on Transplanting of Local Native Plants for Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project; All materials and guidance provided; all ages welcome. Limit 40 people.

Restroom and drinking fountain available at nursery. Please RSVP to Christina McWhorter, Nursery Manager (415-382-0104; 1plantminded1@gmail.com), by April 10, 5pm – email preferred.

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North Area Planting Completed!

gold 1AmeriCorps   Over the past 6 weeks an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team has been at the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project.  They have been busy planting native plants to help restore the wetlands that once existed on the former Hamilton Airfield site. The team consists of twelve 18 to 24 year old individuals, from across the country, who have worked hard to plant 11,000 plants, rain or shine. Everyone on the team enjoyed planting, knowing they were helping to create a large and functional seasonal wetland. The team also enjoyed working with the project supervisor Christina McWorter.

Being outdoors was great and the team loved watching the sun rise over the bay.  The team liked to spend time discussing the conditions in which they are planting, and had debates as to whether wet or dry mud is better. Most NCCC members found that when it comes to planting, dry soil is the way to go. It makes for easy digging and easier backfilling. Corps member Elijah Rutledge said, ”Planting on dry land is heavenly.”   However, wet mud has its advantages. Even though the digging is sloppier, and the backfilling takes more time, smoothing the mud out afterward becomes so much easier after planting in wet mud. Stefanie Landman said, “ I like working in wet mud, taking my gloves off. Working with the plants and feeling the mud around them. Making it look like the plants just grew there.”NCCC Crew resize

Rain:  Soon after the team arrived in Novato, the rainy season began. In the beginning of the  project, the sun was out and smiling on the members. The last half of the project is when the rain really hit. AmeriCorps member Joshua Williams cheerfully announced, “It can be very difficult to work in the rain, but we can always find a way to make it fun. Plus a little rain has never hurt anybody.”

Plants, Plants, and MORE PLANTS!  As the AmeriCorps NCCC members will tell you, they were always planting a variety of plants, including pickle weed, gum plant, cattail, coyote brushes, salt grass, alkali heath, common rush and bull rush. They also spent some time pulling invasive species such the Russian tumble weed. There are so many joys to planting, from working in the mud and digging holes to the satisfaction of being able to see the progress that the team completed at the end of the day.

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Ribbon Cut!

ribbon cutting edited small file

Thursday Afternoon’s ribbon cutting event was a big success with a great turnout from the Hamilton community and local dignitaries.   The Marin IJ ran a story about the trail and we now have the “Point” smartphone tours available for trail users.

This new phone app. is the first of its kind and we are excited to get feedback from the public.   To download, just look for “Point by Canogle” in your Apple App  or Android / Google Play Store.  There are two tours available:  one more focussed on history and one focussed on the wetland and natural  history.

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Hard Work Continues

The work at Hamilton Wetlands is far from over, though the Big Yellow Machines will rove no more.  Most obvious are the planting crews who are planting native vegetation.  The plants are grown in the project’s greenhouse, located just offsite north of Reservoir Hill and the Newport Neighborhood and volunteers, including kids from local elementary schools, are helping to plant them around the site.  The vegetation work is managed by Christina McWorter who handles both the greenhouse and the field work.  Assisting Christina has been Emily Allen and several interns from Point Blue’s STRAW Program (Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed), which brought in hundreds of elementary and highschool students to help with the work.   The work follows a detailed script and an

Hamilton group

“adaptive management” approach, in which monitoring results feed back into decisions about future plantings.   If you are interested in getting your hands dirty and becoming a volunteer, contact Christina at: 1plantminded1@gmail.com

Vegetation plantings are marked with colored flags in order to monitor progress. Most plants will be watered and tended for three years from planting.  In addition to habitat plantings, this fall the nursery will be installing a row of shrubs along the northern portion of the Bay Trail to act as a barrier and visual screen.

 

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