MARTINEZ — A segment of Martinez’ wetlands will soon be teeming with life, along with its myriad microorganisms, lush foliage and robust array of fowl and creatures that are already present.
The public will once again gather Saturday, Aug. 2, to celebrate an ever-expanding family of beavers who play a key role in creating such diversity — from one end of the food chain to the other — at the seventh annual Beaver Festival, featuring live music, wildlife exhibits from throughout the world, children’s activities and tours of the beavers’ environs.
This is a very good article. Not only does the author, Jennifer Shaw get the details right on the festival, she nails them remarkably on BEAVERS in general. The only thing this article is missing is photographs. Maybe they’ll be in the print version? But maybe there wasn’t space with all Jennifer’s awesome words. I’ll add some. Go read the whole thing. (The CC Times has a very bad habit of only keeping the article viewable for a month, so I’m making a backup right now.)
This year, an Amtrak train car of folks will be part of the coterie of beaver fans, as a retired curator of aquatic biology at the Oakland Museum of California — and self-proclaimed “chief creek snooper” at Flow Back in Time — helps to open their respective eyes about the eco-vibrancy of creek life.
Christopher Richards will lead the group out to Alhambra Creek’s inlet to put into context just how an industrious group of sleek-coated beavers have stabilized creek banks, decreased flooding risks through fostering the growth of the natural riparian vegetation, and assisted in restoring the natural function and hydrology of the stream.
”(Beavers) are the productivity, the agriculture for the critters in the creek,” he says, citing the beavers’ habitat as an illustration of how “we can manage, neglect or restore creeks in the urban Bay Area landscape.”
That should get some attention! I hope it gets picked up by a paper on the other side of the tunnel! In the mean time a huge round of applause for Deidre Martin who made the entire thing possible. She brought her children to see the beavers last summer and the furry ingrates didn’t even show up! But she decided then and there to contribute.
Deidre Martin, a San Francisco resident and volunteer natural sciences docent at the Oakland Museum, is among those beaver enthusiasts who will board the Wetlands Express, already championing the sanctity of this native animal.
”We need to dispel the notion of beavers as pests … They’re a keystone species. They create habitat for other animals,” she says.
Can I get an Amen? Deidre came to our planning dinner and was a delightful contributor -and that night she got to see the beavers before catching the train home. A San Francisco resident, Deidre first heard of our beavers from Kate Lundquist of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and decided she needed to come see for herself.
Jennifer also talked to Worth A Dam pillars Cheryl and Fro.
“They’re a family unit. They all work together,” says Cheryl Reynolds, a Worth A Dam board member, describing the beavers’ lodge-dwelling digs, vegetarian diet, and their average 35-pound size.
And, Pleasant Hill resident and artist Frogard Butler will once again facilitate a hands-on, experiential learning opportunity for the younger set.
Young artists will be making leather, textured, crisscross-patterned beaver tails in three sizes — adult, yearling and kit — and decorating them. Some participants have been known to return to the festival, sporting attached beavers tails.”
I love to see how everything comes together. I sure hope this article seeps outside the Record, But shhh this is my very favorite part!
The Martinez resident quickly segues from cute descriptions to basic science, always lobbying for the beavers that play a key role in creating the overall health of the ecosystem.
”The beavers are changing the invertebrate community; they’re forming nooks and crannies; and constantly moving mud,” says Perryman, noting that different insects flourish at different elevations of the terrain, and thus account for an ensuing “fish bloom,” and a greater diversity of birds.
I love segueing from cute to science! And I ADORE being called a beaver lobbyist. Let’s face it. When she’s right, she’s right.