Watsonville Wetlands Watch

Wetland Stewards Activities & amp; Events

Most of the Stewards' time is spent in the classroom, in the lab, in the field, and with middle school students. (See the Wetland Stewards page.)

Wetland Steward High School Intern Xianjia Huang

Steward interns Xianjia Huang and Pablo Robles arrange their mosaics with the help of mosaic artist Sandee Adams of Aromas Hills Artisans

The Wetland Stewards interns took a dive into creativity by making mosaic stepping stones for the Wetland Stewards' garden at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center. In the course of a few weeks Wetland Stewards designed and crafted their own mosaics of everything from the sun to birds, snakes, foxes, and even animal tracks.

Of course, the most enjoyable part of the most destructive step, the first step: smashing the tiles into small pieces. Next, the stewards glued the pieces together into the shape of their design. The tiles were donated by Paul Burns, the owner of Fireclay Tile in Aromas. Some of the tiles were recycled from porcelain. The Stewards got their dirty hands filled in the empty spaces of their mosaic stepping stone with grout. "Working on the mosaics was a great experience and I got to learn how to make something amazing," commented Mayra Hernandez, Wetland Steward.

This process was aided by professional stained glass artists Cathy Gamble and Linda Bjornson as well as by Sandee Adams, a professional mosaic artist. These volunteers had to climb many boxes to find the useful tiles. Linda commented that it was exciting and fun to help Stewards craft their mosaic stepping stones. Cathy felt that such activies are good counter weights to negative teenage stereotypes. The Wetland Stewards' designs were reviewed by these veteran artists as well.

This fun project gave the Stewards the opportunity to influence the generation to come in helping the environment, one stepping stone at a time. During a recent field trip to the wetlands, Mintie White and Radcliffe Elementary School students explored the cultural history of the native people of the Pajaro.

At Sotheby's Sandú Darié Untitled, c. 1950	Courtesy Sotheby's
At Sotheby's Sandú Darié Untitled, c. 1950 Courtesy Sotheby's

During the field trip, the students also went birding and did a photo scavenger hunt. The activities were led by our high school Wetland Stewards, with help from Donna Zavada, Sharon Clark, and Debbie Diersch.

Many local populations of native plants are relatively small and are suffering from a variety of threats that place them in danger of disappearing altogether. Because of these threats native plants should not be collected from the wild unless the collector is absolutely certain that the plant population is being collected from very healthy and will not be harmed by collection. The amount of material collected should never exceed the regenerative capacity of the plant population. Wetland Stewards 'Video Project

The following video was a student project presented at the Stewards' 2008 graduation, described further below . Brenda Hermosillo (9 grade) and Edgar Toledo (12 grade) created the video.

Two highlights of the Wetland Stewards 'year were the Stewards' graduation and celebration, previously, a two-day field trip to Big Sur:

Wetland Stewards Class of 2007 - 08

Seven Wetland Stewards, who are in high school, went out with our bang on our June 2, 2008 final presentations and celebration. They made their parents proud as they presented their personal projects to their families, Watsonville Wetlands Watch staff, board members, docents, and other guests. These presentations were the culmination of the students' year-long internships at the Fitz WERC. Each student pursued his or her personal interest and resulted in unique and diverse projects like video, bird boxes around the wetlands, on request to help protect our coastline, and an interactive plant guide.

Students present project

Cara Sundell, Teaching Assistant at the Fitz WERC, starts the Wetland Stewards award presentations. >

To reward the Wetland Stewards for all their hard work and further develop their knowledge and appreciation of their natural environment, the Stewards and two mentors spent two days camping and exploring Big Sur in May 2008. They walked thousands of beautiful redwood trails, discovered dozens of wildflowers, helped band birds with the Ventana Wildlife Society, roasted marshmallows, fell into creeks, and came home exhausted! A Lazuli Bunting.

the Stewards helped band at the Big Sur Ornithology Lab provided an exciting up-close look at bird life there.

More news: The dead bride - Wikisource

  • Adam Floyd