Letter from the Director
Thank you for helping to make 2016-17 an exciting year for The Watershed Project! As we celebrate our 20th year of watershed leadership, I am inspired by how the phrase “it takes a village” applies to restoring and protecting our natural world. Our accomplishments are only possible with the strength and dedication of our fellow members of the watershed movement, always striving to build a more sustainable and resilient Bay Area.
This past year, we are proud to have reached more Bay Area students than ever before. The curiosity and engagement of the over 1,600 students, including over 1,000 who came on field trips to explore natural spaces, makes me confident in the future of the Bay ecosystems.
In just one year, our programming has mobilized over 3,000 volunteers to join together with their neighborhoods, families, co-workers to make our Bay Area watersheds cleaner, healthier, and stronger. Through large events such as Coastal Cleanup Day and Earth Day to smaller crews hauling on boots to monitor urban creek water quality and oyster populations, our dedicated volunteers show me the power we have when we come together with a common purpose. Our mission of inspiring a watershed movement to understand, appreciate, and protect our local watersheds is being carried out everyday by our volunteers.
If you have not come down to the Richmond Greenway in a while, please do! We recently completed our 11th “bead on the necklace” on the Greenway, with low impact design (LID) projects including rain gardens, bioswales, and habitat gardens, linking the urban green space together. This spring was particularly vibrant after the rains, and our Second Saturday volunteers experienced the explosion of growth — both of the invasives and natives! — during the spring and into the warm summer months.
In our constant effort to make our communities more resilient to climate change, this year we undertook several community planning efforts to make sure our cities are greener and that integrated water management is considered as we plan for new roads, waterfront zoning, install new green infrastructure and expand the urban canopy.
While this year had challenges, many small moments, from a child’s curiosity examining a bug, to the impact of dedicated volunteers to the resiliency of the natural world, bring me optimism about the future. As this year comes to a close, I eagerly look forward to the next. More LID projects are breaking ground and over 1,500 new students will have the opportunity to explore the natural world and engage in STEM education outdoors.
Join us as we celebrate our 20th year anniversary and wish as well for the next 20 years to come!