From our blogs

Explore the Slough - online interactive field trip activity

Note: This the third in our series of online interactive field trip activities to explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Teachers can send this online, interactive field trip activity to students or parents can give it to their kids.

Today we will be exploring the Slough habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in this habitat, and some fun facts.

Explore and discover the Slough habitat of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Excited? Let's get started!

Step #1: ⮇ Download the PowerPoint presentation (PPT 12 MB) ⮇ or click here for Google Slides if viewing online.
The presentation has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information.
The PowerPoint will start in presentation mode, so it is ready for you to begin the activity right away! Click with your mouse or press the space bar key to move forward through the presentation. Clicking on button links will either play a bird call, or open up a webpage.

Step #2: ⮇ Download the worksheet (PDF 170 kB) ⮇
This will be used by the students to answer questions as they come up throughout the presentation. You can fill it in on your computer or print it out.
Read the Habitat information on the worksheet once you get to the habitat slide.

Step #3: ⮇ Download the answer key (PDF 180 kB) ⮇
Check your worksheet against this answer key.

Step #4 (optional): Once you finish learning about the habitat, send us your completed worksheet via an email to watershedwatchers@sfbws.com and we will send you a free sticker in the mail!

Explore the Salt Pond - online interactive field trip activity

Note: This the second in our series of online interactive field trip activities to explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Teachers can send this online, interactive field trip activity to students or parents can give it to their kids.

Today we will be exploring the Salt Pond habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in this habitat, and some fun facts.

Explore and discover the Salt Pond habitat of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Excited? Let's get started!

Step #1: ⮇ Download the PowerPoint presentation (PPT 4.2 MB) ⮇ or click here for Google Slides if viewing online.
The presentation has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information.
The PowerPoint will start in presentation mode, so it is ready for you to begin the activity right away! Click with your mouse or press the space bar key to move forward through the presentation. Clicking on button links will either play a bird call, or open up a webpage.

Step #2: ⮇ Download the worksheet (PDF 170 kB) ⮇
This will be used by the students to answer questions as they come up throughout the presentation. You can fill it in on your computer or print it out.
Read the Habitat information on the worksheet once you get to the habitat slide.

Step #3: ⮇ Download the answer key (PDF 177 kB) ⮇
Check your worksheet against this answer key.

Step #4 (optional): Once you finish learning about the habitat, send us your completed worksheet via an email to watershedwatchers@sfbws.com and we will send you a free sticker in the mail!

Explore the Salt Marsh - online interactive field trip activity

Note: This the first in our series of online interactive field trip activities to explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Teachers can send this online, interactive field trip activity to students or parents can give it to their kids.

Today we will be exploring the Salt Marsh habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in this habitat, and some fun facts.

Explore and discover the Salt Marsh habitat of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Excited? Let's get started!

Step #1: ⮇ Download the PowerPoint presentation (PPT 9.3 MB) ⮇ or click here for Google Slides if viewing online.
The presentation has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information.
The PowerPoint will start in presentation mode, so it is ready for you to begin the activity right away! Click with your mouse or press the space bar key to move forward through the presentation. Clicking on button links will either play a bird call, or open up a webpage.

Step #2: ⮇ Download the worksheet (PDF 245 kB) ⮇
This will be used by the students to answer questions as they come up throughout the presentation. You can fill it in on your computer or print it out.
Read the Habitat information on the worksheet once you get to the habitat slide.

Step #3: ⮇ Download the answer key (PDF 254 kB) ⮇
Check your worksheet against this answer key.

Step #4 (optional): Once you finish learning about the habitat, send us your completed worksheet via an email to watershedwatchers@sfbws.com and we will send you a free sticker in the mail!

Explore the refuge with online interactive field trip activities • May 4 - 8, 2020

Explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge!

Starting next week, May 4 through May 8, we will be sharing online, interactive field trip activities for teachers to send to students or parents to give their kids. Or for those just interested in learning more!

The activities will highlight each habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in each habitat, and some fun facts.

⮇ Click here to download the flyer (PDF 333 kB) ⮇

Each activity will have a PowerPoint presentation that has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information! A worksheet will be provided that students can use to answer questions throughout the PowerPoint activity. Don't forget to check your worksheet with the answer key once you finish!

Here is the schedule for the activities:

  • Monday, May 4, 2020: Salt Marsh
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2020: Salt Pond
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020: Slough
  • Thursday, May 7, 2020: Mudflats
  • Friday, May 8, 2020: Upland
Explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Earth Day • April 22, 2020

On April 22 people all over the world will celebrate Earth Day – a day to raise environmental awareness and inspire people to take action in making the planet healthy for this and future generations. Learn more about this special day and how you can join in the celebration.

Happy Earth Day!

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 2.2 MB) ⮇

Volume 1 Issue 3 of Tide Rising, our quarterly newsletter, is ready

by Ceal Craig

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020.

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is happy to publish the third issue of its digital-only newsletter, Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020. This issue’s theme is Endangered & Threatened Species.

In this issue:

  • Learn about critical work on the Ellicott Slough Dunes NWR from Diane Kodama, Refuge Manager for an endangered salamander.
  • Aidona Kakouros, USFWS Wildlife Botanist, takes you to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR, Warm Springs Unit, a site with vernal pools supporting many endangered and threatened species.
  • Return of the Terns (sounds like a novel!) by Alex Hartman and Josh Ackerman from USGS talk about decoys and nesting progress.
  • People of Note celebrates two women of note that made a difference for our Refuges and the environment, and the endangered species they support.
  • Hope Presley, SFBWS, provides ideas to Explore from Home with an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt activity to try.
  • Paul Mueller, USFWS Volunteer Coordinator, shares last year’s volunteer report recognizing the efforts of volunteers on the Refuge.
  • Both Friends group share their thoughts and plans for coming quarters.

Editors: Ceal Craig, PhD; Renee Fitzsimons
Contributors: Josh Ackerman, PhD; Ceal Craig, PhD; Alex Hartman, PhD; Aidona Kakouros; Diane Kodama; Paul Mueller; Hope Presley; Sharon Xiao

Thanks for reading!

Join free, live, online garden tours • April 26, May 3, May 10, 2020, 10am - 3pm

Join the 2020 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour free online this year via Zoom and YouTube!

Spend three Sundays in the Gardens — April 26, May 3 and May 10 — with passionate garden owners and the talented designers of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes will show us what’s happening in the garden now, feature their favorite natives, describe their favorite native plant gardening resources, and more.

This year’s Tour features 42 gardens, which can be seen on the Tour’s website. You can view photos of each of these gardens, read a description of the garden and print out its plant list at View the 2020 Gardens. You will be able to meet the homeowners and view about half of these gardens live online through Sundays in the Gardens.

This program will be hosted on Zoom, and live-streamed on YouTube. Registration is required. Click here to register for the online tour. Your registration email will contain links to join the live events.

The exemplary landscapes on the Tour hope to inform, inspire and motivate you to incorporate native plants into your own gardens. They contain at least 60% native plants, are pesticide-free, water-conserving, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Renowned ecologist and best-selling author Douglas Tallamy will open this event on Sunday, April 26, at 10:00, after which each garden owner will host a 25 minute long live visit.

Celebrate spring: Fill a coloring page showcasing local habitats and wildlife

Use your creativity to fill a coloring page that showcases the habitats and wildlife of Don Edwards SF Bay National WIldlife Refuge!

There are many different species found at the Refuge, including lots of migratory birds!

Print out the coloring page below, fill it with color, and also learn about the importance of the habitats and the wildlife that depend on them.

You can share your creativity by sending photos of your completed coloring page to us at watershedwatchers@sfbws.com.

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 1.7 MB) ⮇

Celebrate spring: Go on an outdoor sensory scavenger hunt

Use your senses to explore nature in your own backyard or neighborhood!

Print out the checklist in the guide below, make observations, and check off everything you find. You can also color in the pictures, or draw your own pictures of what you find on the back!

You can share your observations by sending photos of your completed checklist to us at watershedwatchers@sfbws.com.

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 375 kB) ⮇

Celebrate spring: Egg decorating with natural dyes

Make naturally dyed eggs just in time for the Spring Season and Easter!

Find a list of materials and instructions in the guide below to create your own natural dyes from a variety vegetables and spices.

Once you know the basic process to make natural dyes you can experiment with other fruit, vegetables, and spices – if it stains your hands it will dye egg shells!

Creating your own natural dyes, instead of buying kits from the store, ensures that artificial or synthetic dyes don’t get into our watersheds.

Once you are done dyeing and decorating your eggs, you can share your beautiful creations by sending pictures to us at watershedwatchers@sfbws.com.

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 1.8 MB) ⮇

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