Friends of the Napa River joined forces with the Napa Valley Yacht Club to help with the international effort to keep our waterways and oceans free of trash. There were cleanup locations throughout Napa County.
Dinner plans? Here are some great photos of a young green heron eating a very large bullfrog tadpole. Rusty Cohn took these shots at the beaver pond on Tulocay Creek in downtown Napa. Rusty has documented a diverse cast of characters populating the beaver pond, and it is thrilling to see so much life in busy downtown. Bullfrogs are an invasive species: they displace (and eat!) our native frogs, so thank you green heron, for removing that one!
Learn more about the wildlife in our backyard by attending the WILD lecture series hosted by our local libraries. Next up for WILD Napa at the Napa Library on August 9, 7:00pm: Skunks! Skunks are common in California—most of us see (or smell) them often, but most know very little about these fascinating and underappreciated California carnivores. Skunks are among the most adaptable carnivores; they are found nearly everywhere, from wildlands to urban gardens. Join Jen Hunter as she shares her PhD research on skunks. She is an avid skunk enthusiast and promises that by the end of the night, you will have a new appreciation for our mysterious native skunks. Flier here: WNapa.Skunks
Join us up-valley for WILD St. Helena at the St. Helena Library on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 to learn about bats with Corky Quirk of NorCal Bats, featuring LIVE BATS! November will bring a lecture on owls. On July 18th, we heard about our local mountain lions from Felidae Conservation Fund’s Bay Area Puma Project at the St. Helena Library.
Here are a few more of Rusty’s photos from the beaver pond:
Great blue heron
Black-crowned night heron with a beaver swimming behind it
River School teacher Louann Talbert has created a wonderful watershed ecology program for her students. Her students raise salmon in the classroom, learn from classroom presentations (including from FONR) and go on a number of watershed field trips. At least one of her classes visited the rotary screw fish trap on the Napa River with the Napa RCD and FONR, and others planted oak trees at Alston Park. The program culminates with students working in groups to come up with a project to benefit the river. Four groups chose to have bake sales, a lemonade stand or collect donations as part of their project: 20 students raised nearly $400 for FONR! Other groups conducted river cleanups, made videos, created websites, and made and distributed fliers to educate the public about the Napa River.
Friends of the Napa River is delighted to lend support to this program, grateful for the support from the students and community, and heartened to see our local students learning about their watershed and taking action to keep our River clean. The little things add up. Well done! Or should I say, a work well begun…?
Thanks to a grant from the Whale Tail License Plate fund, Friends of the Napa River and the Napa County RCD took students from the Napa and American Canyon Boys and Girls Clubs out kayaking on the Napa River over the summer to let them learn first hand how our river connects to the ocean. The students felt the pull of the tide and noted the saltiness of the water as the high tide brought water from the San Pablo Bay to mix with the fresh water from the Napa River. They learned about the richness of estuary habitats teeming with life, the birds that feed in the mudflats during low tide, and about the salmon and steelhead trout that navigate from freshwater to saltwater and back again during their life cycle. Students also learned about the importance of keeping trash out of our waterways; and that the tide, runoff, and river’s flow carry trash into the ocean. Continue reading “Riding the Tide: the Napa River Classroom”→