Pollinator Week 2024: June 17 - 23, 2024 - BioBlitz at the Refuge

The month of June is National Pollinator Month, and June 17-23, 2024 is Pollinator Week this year.

Pollinator Week 2024 is a celebration of the vital role that pollinators play in our ecosystems, economies, and agriculture. Under the inspiring theme "Vision 2040: Thriving ecosystems, economies, and agriculture," this year's event urges us to envision a future where pollinators not only survive but thrive.

Pollinators visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot. Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators.

Pollinators play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables. Without the assistance of pollinators, most plants cannot produce fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds of flowering plants are an important food source for people and wildlife.

Self-Guided Volunteer BioBlitz at the Refuge

In honor of Pollinator Week 2024, please join us for a self-guided BioBlitz event, a volunteer opportunity that you can do outside on your own or with your family. It's a great way to explore nature and contribute to science. You may participate at any time from Monday, June 17 to Sunday, June 23. The Alviso Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent location for viewing local wildlife and checking out native plant species. Register here: https://PollinatorWeekBioBlitz2024.eventbrite.com and join the project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pollinator-week-2024-self-guided-vo...

Pollinator Week 2024. Photo Credit: Sirena Lao / SFBWS

The restoration and upkeep of our upland and salt marsh habitats is an ongoing project. We need your help to track and identify the California native plant and animal species that call the refuge home. We also need help observing which non-native or invasive plants have found their way into the area to help plan for future restoration that benefits our local pollinators. We are so happy to have you join us and are excited for you to get out on the trail and observe as many species as you can! We are looking to get as many quality observations as possible - please check out iNaturalist's recommendations for making observations via your smartphone: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/video+tutorials.

As the Mallard Slough Trail is closed around pond A16, we recommend doing your self-guided BioBlitz hike in our Butterfly Garden, on the Marsh View Trail, and on the New Chicago Marsh Trail (boardwalk).

Pollinator Week 2024. Photo Credit: Sirena Lao / SFBWS

Guided BioBlitz at the Refuge

This family-friendly event on Sunday, June 23, 2024 - 10:00am to 11:30am welcomes beginners as well as experienced users of the iNaturalist app. With this community science platform, you will get a guided experience observing and identifying our local flora and fauna as we venture along the all accessible trails at the Environmental Education Center (EEC). All you'll need is a smartphone, comfortable outdoor wear, and 1.5 hours of your time! Please go to https://EECBioBlitz-Jun2024.eventbrite.com to reserve your spot.


New to iNaturalist? Follow this link for instructions for setting up your iNaturalist account and how to make observations via your smartphone: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started. Once you create a username and password, you are good to go out and explore the trail. Then join our weeklong project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pollinator-week-2024-self-guided-vo... or search for "Pollinator Week 2024: Self-Guided BioBlitz at the Refuge" and join! This way, all of your observations will make it into our project for the week.

Tips & Considerations

* With respect to the self-guided volunteer opportunity, staff will not be on-site to assist, except during our Guided BioBlitz on June 23. Please keep this in mind as you make your plans. It's always good to practice responsible recreation and let someone know where you are going whenever you head out on the trail.
* For questions about volunteer hours, please email watershedwatchers@sfbayws.org. We will do our best to respond to all requests.
* Driving Directions: We recommend using Google Maps and mapping to the "Environmental Education Center (EEC)" or 1751 Grand Blvd, Alviso, CA 95002.
* The Refuge gates may close at 5pm in the evenings; please park outside of the gate if you plan on being in the area after hours. But please keep in mind that the Refuge officially closes around sunset.
* It is also important to note that the Alviso Unit is the home of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Levee Project, and while it has been quieter around the EEC, visitors should expect increased truck traffic on the roads and some minor noise disturbances. For more information, please email watershedwatchers@sfbayws.org.
* ADA-compliant parking spaces, trails, and restrooms are available on-site.
* Restrooms are available on-site in the form of an ADA-compliant portable toilet and hand-washing station.
* The information you are helping us to collect makes a difference! As we actively restore our upland habitats, the healthier and more resilient our ecosystems will be, and the more we can reduce water runoff and urban runoff pollution. For information on how you can help keep our watersheds and the Bay clean by preventing urban runoff pollution, visit: http://www.mywatershedwatch.org.

This program is brought to you by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS), the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP), and Cargill, Inc.