Friends of Willow Creek will be hosting the fourth annual Earth Day Willow Creek Community Cleanup and Native Plant Restoration on Saturday, April 26th, from 9:00 am to 12:30pm. Each year, Friends of the Creek volunteers invite community members and families to join this annual event dedicated to clearing invasives and planting natives.
Willow Creek is part of a growing network of restoration efforts in Marin County led by volunteers dedicated to restoring and enhancing our natural resources and raising awareness of the importance of maintaining clean water and healthy watersheds to support and enhance the wellbeing of the communities they serve. In Sausalito, Willow Creek provides a unique opportunity to restore, enhance, and maintain a vital asset for education and scenic enjoyment for generations to come.
This year Friends of the Creek is extending a special invitation to families with children attending school or pre-school in Sausalito. Sausalito is now home to five schools and pre-schools including Willow Creek Academy, Le Lycée, The New Village School, Sparrow Creek Montessori School and the Sausalito Nursery School. Willow Creek Academy (WCA) was the first school in Sausalito to integrate the Creek into their school-day across all disciplines including math, language arts and environmental education and WCA has played a key role in creek restorations to date. Friends of the Creek welcomes the opportunity to bring the benefits of creek stewardship to others.
Willow Grove is located at the corner of Nevada and Bridgeway where the creek flows above-ground for a few hundred feet.The community has responded positively to the sustained success of these efforts and are eager to expand these effort this Spring.
The Earth Day cleanup event takes place at Willow Creek on Saturday April 26th, from 9am to 12:30pm.
Friends of Willow Creek is a 501c non-profit set up to assists the community of Sausalito in making improvements to the perennial Willow Creek watercourse to realize its full potential as a natural stream with flowing water year-round from its headwaters in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to its mouth at Richardson’s Bay, by restoring, enhancing, and maintaining a community asset for education and scenic enjoyment for generations to come
Thanks to all who joined us for a successful Earth Day/Global Youth Service Day event on Sat. April 27! It was another wonderfully successful event, where we cleared more space near the creek of blackberries and ivy, and also planted over 200 of our native plants that we nurture up on Willow Creek campus in the Hoop House Nursery (thanks again to Alisa Shor and the Marin Headlands Nursery for all these riparian, meadow and upland plants!). We hauled another 20 cubic yards of green waste off site. Although all volunteers are appreciated, we have to thank Reggie Ballard for bravery and performance on poison oak removal and Daniel Ruark for clearing difficult brush by the creek next to Bridgeway, which has really opened up both areas for the public to enjoy!
During the summer feel free to visit the creek and use creek water and the plastic buckets on site to water some of our native plants, marked by blue and orange flags. The more we spend time at the creek the better!
NOAA Ocean Guardian Grant – Third Year Obtained!
Our educational efforts, and some cleanup funding, are powered by the NOAA Ocean Guardian grant. Anne Siskin the 3rd grade teacher (and one of the Directors of the Friends) successfully obtained a 3rd year of grant funding to keep this important core program going at Willow Creek Academy. This year we hope to spread the education components of science, art, writing, and music about water resources into more grades at the school.
Jiji Foundation Creek Daylighting Plan Grant – The Work Continues to Bring Back the Forgotten Creek!
As we announced a couple months ago, Friends of Willow Creek obtained an $8000 grant to develop a Creek Daylighting Plan for the whole creek from Hwy 101 to the Bay. In May and June, about 2/3 of the creek was thoroughly surveyed in a professional topographic survey. By the end of July the Topographic Survey will be complete and this fall we hope to engage a local environmental consulting firm with these grant funds to develop plans and profiles of a restored creek channel through Sausalito, including visual renderings of locations on the school campus and in the public rights-of-way. The cost of such a plan is probably about $15,000, so we are still working on obtaining more funding to complete this exciting work! Please spread the word about our funding needs – this Creek Daylighting Plan, if successful, will be a story that can receive national attention because of how novel the idea is to completely restore a forgotten creek. This creek is not even on the USGS topographic maps, let alone the City of Sausalito Storm Drain Map. And it is not officially named. Amazing but true.
Upcoming Events, Board of Directors and Friends meeting, Sunday July 14 at 4pm, creekside
Every year we have been meeting on one Sunday in July to talk about the upcoming school year and community events. This year we have had some scheduling challenges, but Sunday July 14 has emerged as the best date for the majority of Board members of Friends of the Creek. We know this is last minute but we welcome anyone to join us who is interested in what we are doing, planning to do, and if folks in the community are interested in playing a more active role in our nonprofit’s activities.
That’s One Week From Today, Sunday, at 4:00 pm. Friends will bring water, wine, cheese and any other snacks you feel would hit the spot. We look forward to spending time with supporters of creek restoration and anyone that is interested in discussing our goals and objectives of integrating the year-round flowing water resource back into the school and neighborhood.
The Board of Directors is seeking other interested individuals to serve on the Board and assist us with becoming a more effective nonprofit organization and improving the local community.
The Friends of Willow Creek are honored and excited to announce our receiving an $8,000 grant to create a creek daylighting plan for the Willow Creek Watershed. Daylighting is when you remove a creek from an underground pipe and re-create its open, vegetated channel above ground. Since 2011, we have submitted numerous grant applications, including to the U.S. EPA Urban Waters Program, but we were finally successful in winning a grant from the fabulous Jiji Foundation www.jiji.org that supports community educational and environmental projects, including native plant restoration, from Baja California up to British Columbia. We know we can make these funds go a long way to create a technically feasible vision for a sustainable, daylighted creek with native riparian vegetation through the neighborhood to the Bay, including the Willow Creek Academy campus, where it can be studied and nurtured by students in perpetuity. Feel free to contact me (Steve Moore) if you are interested in helping manage this grant-funded effort, or if you know technical experts that would be interested in contributing to the design of this landmark project that we are only just beginning.
First, The Friends Board of Directors would like to wish you a happy new year and hope your holidays have been merry! Christmas for Willow Creek was a very wet and merry one, and the native plants are enjoying their inundation in the floodplain we are restoring and vegetating at Nevada and Bridgeway. This is just what we need to get a native wet meadow plant community going down there to replace the blackberry thorns & briars!
Second, we have scheduled a date, SUNDAY JANUARY 13, from 1 to 3 pm to plant native plants with our naturalists from Pt. Bonita YMCA. Willow Creek Academy Parents get volunteer hour credit for this time helping our local waterway. Please join us if you are in the neighborhood and would like to plant some willow, dogwood and other native California riparian/wetland plants and watch them grow! Bring the students of all ages and wear clothes that can get muddy! It will be fun as always!
Third, at the Sausalito Bay Model, there is a very exciting Marin creek photographic exhibit from January 15-February 23, described below, that our cousin Friends of Gallinas Creek (San Rafael) are putting on in our backyard (See announcement below). Please RSVP at the contact information below if you would like to attend the reception on Saturday January 26, 12:30-3:00pm. Rachel Kamman the speaker is somebody we have consulted about daylighting our creek through the City (and the school). We should keep talking to her about donating some design time to designing the creek through Willow Creek Academy campus! (We have tried to get grants to pay for her time to do this, no luck yet). All Friends of the Creek are warmly welcome to this great Creek Photography exhibit!
Fourth, we want to thank our neighbor BANK OF MARIN for donating $100 to Friends of the Creek! They really appreciate the beautification project that we are implementing just around the corner from their office. If you are interested in donating to the Friends (to help pay for naturalist assistance, plants and tools) please visit www.friendsofthecreek.org and click on the donate tab. It’s tax deductible! (EID 45-3709094).
Fifth, the Sausalito City Council has agreed to put us on their agenda in January but they have not yet scheduled their City Council Meetings. We will notify you when they have scheduled the Friends of the Creek and Willow Creek Academy middle school students on their agenda. It will be great to have our community show up to the City Council to show our support and love for our local creek.
Thank you for your support of Friends of the Creek, both in time and other resources that you can contribute.
See you down by the Creek (and hopefully at the Bay Model as well!)
Steve Moore, Director
Friends of Willow Creek of Sausalito
Save the Date!
January 26, 2013 –– 12:30 – 3:00 pm
Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito
Dear Friend of Marin Watersheds,
The Gallinas Watershed Council is sponsoring a photographic exhibit at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito from January 15 to February 23, 2013. These photos display the remarkable vision of photographer “Creekwalker” in showcasing the beauty of Marin Creeks. We look forward to sharing this images with you!
We will be hosting a reception on Sat. Jan. 26 from 12:30 to 3:00 pm. Rachel Kamman, local Bay Area hydrologist, will speak on the importance of creeks and why their protection is essential.
We hope you will join us! Admission is free to the Bay Model that has been recently remodeled placing a new emphasis on watersheds.
All proceeds from photo sales will go to Gallinas Watershed Council, thanks to the generous donation of the artist.
The reception presents a wonderful opportunity for the Marin watershed community to gather and take a moment to celebrate our remarkable landscape. Please forward this invitation to other creek groups, art lovers, and friends