Join us at these upcoming events:
Wild Napa Lecture: Wednesday, February 10 at 7 pm, Napa Library: Manzanitas, Animals and Fire. Join us with the Napa RCD to learn about another fascinating species found in our watershed: manzanita. Tom Parker, Professor of Biology at SFSU will discuss manzanitas and how they have adapted to flourish with wildfire and use animals for seed dispersal. View the flier here: wild napa – manzanita.
20th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, February 20-21 from 9-4 on Mare Island. This is a free, family-friendly event, not to be missed, featuring a birding and wildlife expo (come visit Friend’s booth!) guided birdwatching, history outings and self-guided walks. View the flier here: Flyway Festival Flier 2016 . For more details, visit the website: SFBayFlywayFestival.com
New York Times reporter Jim Robbins just published an interesting article: “In Napa Valley, Future Landscapes Are Viewed in the Past” which describes how historical ecology is used to inform restoration efforts in Napa Valley.
Friends of the Napa River are proud to have partnered with SFEI to investigate our Napa Valley historical ecology, to piece together how our landscape functioned before European settlement and the changes that have occurred over the past 180+ years. These lessons can inform our management of the land going forward, guiding efforts to restore key ecological features and functions within the modern landscape and providing greater resiliency for the future.
Some of the projects that have benefited from this historical ecology work include Napa River restoration and the Napa County Resource Conservation District partnership to re-oak the valley. We all benefit from a deeper connection to our landscape.
Will you help support Friends of the Napa River’s efforts to protect, restore, and advocate for the Napa River and its watershed? Donate here, and thank you!
Become a member of Friends of the Napa River and help us protect and celebrate the Napa River and its watershed in 2016! The start of the new year is a good time for reflection. Taking a moment to look back at a few highlights, in 2015 Friends of the Napa River:
- rolled out a bright new logo;
- hired Shari Gardner as Executive Director and Education Coordinator, and welcomed Rex Stults and Drew Dickson to our Board of Directors;
- after many years of advocating for a design that balanced both function for flood conveyance and an attractive space for the community, we celebrated the dedication of the new Oxbow Commons … will we see the flood gates on McKinstry close and the Napa River flowing through it this winter?
- collaborated with City of Napa for the dedication of the Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch in the Oxbow Commons;
- received a grant from the Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission to create the Napa Youth Stewardship Council in partnership with the Napa County RCD;
- continued our advocacy for public access to the river including additional Bay Area Water Trail designations and San Francisco Bay Trail expansion;
- provided information about the Napa River and its watershed to more than 500 school children and to the public at multiple events;
- worked with the Napa County RCD to “re-oak” the Napa Valley through education and student and community acorn plantings.
There is so much to look forward to in 2016! Friends of the Napa River will continue to advocate for the completion of the flood project, lend our support for restoration projects along the creeks and river, expand classroom and community watershed education efforts, collaborate on clean-ups to prevent trash from entering the river, champion incorporation of Living River Principles in developments along the river, and bring the community together to celebrate our Napa River.
We need your support! Donations are vital to our ongoing success. Click here to join us. We can also use volunteer help. Contact Shari Gardner or follow us on Facebook to learn more.Thank you and Happy New Year!
Steelhead and Chinook salmon are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and return to freshwater as adults to spawn. The Napa River watershed is home to both of these species and their presence and health is an indicator of our watershed’s ecological health. Many groups and individuals are actively involved in efforts to ensure the continued health of these species in Napa. During the December edition of WILD NAPA, local expert Jonathan Koehler of the Napa County RCD explained the life cycle of these species, local efforts to restore their habitat, and results of monitoring these species in our watershed.
If you missed the talk and/or want to learn more, visit fisheries monitoring page here: Napa County RCD.
Next month: January 13 – WHERE the WILD THINGS ARE –Exploring Wildlife at Pepperwood Preserve
Cost: Free. Note: voluntary donations are solicited at the talks to support coordination associated with WILD NAPA lecture series.
Planting oak trees is a gift to future generations. Our native oak trees provide habitat for hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, etc. Friends of the Napa River has partnered with the Napa County RCD for four years on projects (Acorns to Oaks and 5,000 Oaks Initiative) to “re-oak” the Napa Valley through classroom oak tree ecology lessons, field trips for students to plant acorns, and community planting events. The idea stemmed from findings from our historical ecology project: only a tiny fraction of Napa Valley’s Valley Oaks remain, and the trajectory was looking grime (check out the Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas.) Valley Oak populations are dwindling throughout their former range in California. We can knit these graceful trees back into our modern landscape: in our parks, our yards, along our roadways and along the margins of our vineyards; they can provide shade in parking lots and schoolyards while also providing valuable habitat, carbon sequestration, groundwater recharge, erosion control, cool shade and beauty. Plant a tree: leave a legacy of stewardship for Napa’s next generations. Contact Shari at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Help support these efforts with a donation by clicking here.
In this holiday season, we are taking a moment to reflect, give thanks, and ask for your support. It has been 21 years since Friends of the Napa River was founded by a group of passionate volunteers known as the “river rats,” who together raised their collective voice and said, “Enough is enough!” Thank you to the “river rats” for their vision and tenacity, and thanks to you for your support in helping bring the Napa River back to life!
Through the leadership and dedication of our founders, we successfully won the fight to get Measure A on the Ballot, which when passed by voters, raised local funds and guaranteed Federal funding to enact flood control measures along the Napa River and restore a “Living River”. It is amazing how far we have come in restoring the health and vitality of the river for people and wildlife alike. Multiple river restoration efforts are underway along the Napa River from Calistoga to the salt marshes near the Bay, and the river is rebounding.
Our ongoing work to give voice to the Napa River would not be possible without the support of people like you. There is still so much to do! Please join us and start or renew your membership today to ensure that Friends of the Napa River can continue its work to protect and restore our river and educate and inspire our next generation of environmental stewards and river enthusiasts.
Your membership contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or more will go a long way in ensuring our success in the year to come, and to protecting the health and vitality of the Napa River. Put your Giving Tuesday dollars to work locally. Your support will allow us to:
- Ensure the completion of the Flood Control Project;
- Advocate for improved public access to the Napa River;
- Engage our Urban Design Team to ensure that new projects integrate Living River Principles;
- Bring the community together to celebrate the Napa River;
- Inspire our next generation of environmental stewards and river enthusiasts through classroom presentations, project-based learning field trips, and community education and outreach;
- Collaborate with conservation groups, county agencies, and private land owners to monitor river health and restore creeks, tributaries and riparian habitat along the Napa River;
- Repopulate oaks throughout the Valley through our County-wide Acorns to Oaks initiative offered in collaboration with the Napa County Resource Conservation District; and
- Give voice to the Napa River to ensure that the river is protected for generations to come.
Click here to donate now. Thank you for giving generously.