Archive for the ‘Earth Day’ Category

A glorious day

Posted by heidi08 On April - 23 - 2017Comments Off on A glorious day

IMG_9753Yesterday was an extravaganza of beaver support from a huge Earth Day event at the John Muir House. The activity of creating a ‘Martinez Loves beavers’ locket was so popular that we ran out of our 150 supplies by 11 and had to restock by sending Jon home to get backups which we nearly ran out of all over again. The beaver annIMG_9804iversary card was hugely popular and literally signed by hundreds and hundreds of people. Including two city IMG_9939council members.

Our volunteers were hardworking, cheerful and thank goodness had the stamina to keep up with demand. Champion Leslie Mills maintained her inviting cheerfulness long after the rest of us were worn out and ready to pack up the day. As always, Cheryl’s great photos recorded glory perfectly.IMG_9935

Our beaver as Ecosystem posted was a big hit, John Muir and the park superintendent wore their locket all day, April an Alana did beaver puppet IMG_9868shows in addition to drawing some amazing beaver art, and someone told me that they had learned all about beavers from reading friend Rob Rich’s article in the Earth Island magazine!

I talked to a woman who had attended my talk in Portland, children who knew more about beavers than I did when they moved into Martinez, a teacher who worked was the colleague of the mother of the artist doing our art project this summer, and  someone who reported seeing a beaver in San Ramon creek! I thought you would appreciate seeing some  photos of the wonderful, jubilant, exhausting day.

I was planning to share the cool beaver pendants we were donated for the silent auction, but good lord I’m still tired an that’s enough good news for one day. Mean while Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist of the OAEC were marching for science!

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And a little child shall lead them…

Posted by heidi08 On April - 17 - 2017Comments Off on And a little child shall lead them…

Let me start right off by being all meta and saying might just notice something new this morning. It’s the appearance of our ‘links’ which was kindly updated by a new beaver friend who happened to cross our paths. Christopher R. Scharf is a web designer and avid wildlife photographer who contacted me after the recent Times article hoping to photograph beavers. I introduced him to Rusty took him on a beaver trek and afterwards suggested he might not be adverse to lending a little hand. So Chris spent a couple weekends peering at the funky CSS on this site and tweaking the way links appeared (like that one right back there, watch what happens when you scroll over it with your cursor) so they would be easier for you, the very important readers of this page, to follow.

Because beaver friends come and many mysterious packages. Thank you, Chris!

Websites and technology are so important when it comes to saving beavers. Just look at this film which was made of the recent 4th grade visit to the Draper Utah wetlands by the Mapps lab with the Childrens Media Workshop. They even incorporate our favorite clip from Leave it to Beavers with our friends Suzanne Fouty and Carol Evans. Ahh, Jari Osborne’s masterpiece really is the gift that keeps on giving!  Looks like Kelly visited the classroom first, then students visited his property to learn about the wetlands in Draper, Utah.

I particularly love the teachers in this video, who are patient, cheerful and informed about all the way beavers matter. Not to mention the students, who all deserve to attend their very own beaver festival soon. On Earthday the McAdams family will allow visitors to their property to see the wetlands for themselves. He is doing an expansive, admirable job to keep what matters. Here’s another video slideshow made about the day and sent by the class System Support Coach, Patti White. Why not leave some nice comments so they know how wonderful this is?

And they say one person can’t make a difference…

Posted by heidi08 On April - 15 - 2017Comments Off on And they say one person can’t make a difference…

You know sometimes, your hard work gets ignored or something you wrote and really feel proud of gets tossed aside as “grey literature”, or a program you really hoped would say good things advises folks that flow devices never work and they should eat beavers, and you think, maybe this is just too hard. Maybe saving beavers is too much work. Maybe it can’t be done or if it can be, it needs some one better than me to do it. And you think about throwing in the beaver towel once and for all.

And then you see something like THIS and it changes your whole attitude.

Draper homeowners fight to preserve backyard wetlands despite flood risks

DRAPER — Dozens of students from Oakwood Elementary gathered in the backyard of a Draper residence Friday to see a beaver dam that may soon disappear.

Kris and Kelly McAdams are hoping their backyard wetlands ecosystem can stay, despite calls to remove the natural beaver dams behind their home. While the McAdams see the wetlands as a beautiful feature that adds value to their property, Salt Lake County Flood Control officials are concerned that a failed beaver dam could clog man-made drainage downstream.

 The McAdamses received notice from flood control engineers on Christmas Eve, asking them to remove an “unauthorized deposit of materials,” the beaver dams that they say have been around for years.

“They say the beaver dams are unstable structures, although these have been here for at least 20 years and they have withstood hundreds of high-water events over that time,” Kelly McAdams said. “The dams are well-built here and rather than removing them, they could fortify them, and I suggested putting in a grate system downstream.”

Despite his assertions, county flood control officials worry that debris from the dams could flow down Willow Creek, clog a culvert and cause flooding to nearby homes.

Alyson Heyrend, communications director for Mayor Ben McAdams, said Salt Lake County’s Flood Control authorities have the responsibility of keeping streams and channels clear of any obstructions.

She said a compromise was offered to the property owners near the dams to support the wetland features while removing the dams, but Kris and Kelly McAdams have maintained their opposition to the removal.

They have appealed the notice to remove the dams and have rejected the compromise offer, taking their case before an administrative law judge, who will rule in early May on whether the beaver dams will be removed.

Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Holladay, also arrived to lend her support to the property owners.

The county needs to look at the bigger picture, and see the effect that it would have on the wetlands,” Spackman-Moss said. “For these students to come out here and see what they have been studying and get a sense of the damage it would do and how this would all disappear, they would lose something so valuable.”Confe

Spackman-Moss said the county would need to address the issue, and said council members for Salt Lake County ought to come see the property for themselves as they address property and public issues.

Confession coming: either tears of joy are streaming down my face or I just climaxed twice. (Or possibly both). Oh my goodness! This is POWERFUL stuff. Spackman-Moss is a democrat from the 37th district, life long teacher and grandmother. And the class full of fourth graders are FOURTH graders who wrote save the beavers on their hats!

I need to sit down.

In my conversation with Kelly on Saturday I had lots of praise for what he was doing. And two learned-the-hard-way pieces of advice. Have his attorney talk to Mitch, and BRING CHILDREN. “We didn’t know it would be so powerful” I told him truthfully. But it always is. Kelly’s a father with grown sons. But I told him to find some youth. Boy scouts, kindergarten, daisy princesses, and have Allison work with them to draw pictures, make hats, what ever activity that looks cute enough for the media to take photos of.

And guess what?

Kelly you are doing an awesome, awesome job.  I’m so impressed with your ability to pull this together, not get intimidated or overwhelmed and still seem so very reasonable. You are a credit to your state and a true kindred spirit of Martinez. I would only offer one criticism at all, and that is that last Earth day OUR hats were a little cuter. :-)

i-dont-need-teethCAITLIN


 

Oh and for those who might be interested I sent these comments and corrections to the edible beaver program Outside/In yesterday. Felt good to get it off my chest and even if it changes no one’s mind, I dare say someone will definitely read it anyway.