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PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION: Friends of Coleman NFH win Every Day Capacity Building Grant
California-Nevada Offices , October 20, 2012
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Coleman NFH truck on display for the annual Return of the Salmon Festival.
Coleman NFH truck on display for the annual Return of the Salmon Festival. - Photo Credit: (Cindy Sandoval/USFWS)
Bill Terschuren, vice president of the Friends of Coleman NFH, sells ice cream at the Return of the Salmon Festival to raise money for his group.
Bill Terschuren, vice president of the Friends of Coleman NFH, sells ice cream at the Return of the Salmon Festival to raise money for his group. - Photo Credit: (Cindy Sandoval/USFWS)
Members of Coleman NFH friends group supply temporary salmon tattoos and information to visitors at the hatchery.
Members of Coleman NFH friends group supply temporary salmon tattoos and information to visitors at the hatchery. - Photo Credit: (Cindy Sandoval/USFWS)

By Cindy Sandoval, External Affairs

Coleman National Fish Hatchery (NFH) held its annual Return of the Salmon Festival on Oct. 20, 2012. Among the crowds of parents and children, teenagers and many retirees, the hatchery volunteers and members of the Friends of Coleman NFH stood out with their blue volunteer vests, gold name tags and smiles that greeted friends and strangers alike. Friends of Coleman NFH is a grassroots non-profit group that provides outreach support to the salmon hatchery located in Anderson, Calif., and the group was a recipient of the 2012 Every Day Capacity Building Grant.

The Every Day Capacity Building Grants provide funding to strengthen the effectiveness of community-based nonprofits who serve public land sites in the United States. The grant, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., aims to “advance the organizations’ ability to carry out their strategic goals and make them more sustainable.” Friends of Coleman NFH have used grant funds to develop and print new volunteer recruitment brochures and are looking into classes on grant proposal writing at local colleges and universities to improve their chances to successfully compete for other grants and thus complete more projects at the hatchery.

Volunteers and Friend’s Group members managed several booths at the Return of the Salmon Festival where they educate the public about Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, the availability of hatchery tours and other general information about the hatchery and Battle Creek. There are also plenty of temporary salmon tattoos and Coleman NFH magnets to be given out. “While the Return of the Salmon Festival is big for us, it is not the only thing we do. Our volunteers work seasonally as guides and year round on things like trail maintenance” said Friends of Coleman President Jack Blanke.

Volunteers act as docents for school tours during the fall-run Chinook season. Students and teachers are given a guided tour of the hatchery, where they learn about the importance and role of the hatchery, learn about the salmon life cycle and the importance of clean water and good habitat in the ecosystem.“During the fall spawning season volunteers lead about 5,000 school children on tours of the hatchery, and sometimes we might have 700 kids out here on a single day ,” said Friends of Coleman Vice President Bill Terschuren in between selling ice cream to raise money for the group during the Return of the Salmon Festival.

With the Every Day Capacity Building Grant behind them, the Friends of Coleman NFH hope to improve recruitment of more blue vest volunteers to give the public back stage tours of Coleman NFH and demonstrate how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with partners to meet both human and ecosystem needs. Increasing the number of volunteers is especially important to decrease the size of the tour groups. With more volunteers, the tour groups can be divided up among different guides and smaller groups lead to increased visitor interaction, more questions can be answered and make it easier for everyone to hear about the history and happenings of the hatchery.


Contact Info: Cynthia Sandoval, 916-978-6159, cynthia_d_sandoval@fws.gov



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