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DON EDWARDS-SAN FRANCISCO BAY NWR: Birds and fish and mammals. Oh my!
California-Nevada Offices , August 1, 2016
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Bird Day: Sulphur Creek Nature Center presenting live birds to campers.
Bird Day: Sulphur Creek Nature Center presenting live birds to campers. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Fish Day: Marine Science Institute (MSI) instructor, teaching campers about shark teeth.
Fish Day: Marine Science Institute (MSI) instructor, teaching campers about shark teeth. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Fish Day: Campers doing the Salmon Obstacle Course activity.
Fish Day: Campers doing the Salmon Obstacle Course activity. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Mammal Day: Habitat Hero leading his group in the Salty Board Game activity.
Mammal Day: Habitat Hero leading his group in the Salty Board Game activity. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Nocturnal Night: Habitat Hero leading his group in Ice Cream Making.
Nocturnal Night: Habitat Hero leading his group in Ice Cream Making. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Nocturnal Night: Campers making miniature tule boats for a morning Ohlone activity.
Nocturnal Night: Campers making miniature tule boats for a morning Ohlone activity. - Photo Credit: USFWS

By Hope Presley

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge held the 34th annual Marsh-In Summer Camp for 65 campers plus an additional 24 Habitat Heroes from August 1-5, 2016.

The Habitat Heroes program is run by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Environmental Education Specialist, Tia Glagolev and are 7-12th graders that help lead camp activities and camper groups. This was the 10th consecutive year of the program! This year’s summer camp represented the habitats and wildlife surrounding the bay with Bird, Fish and Mammal Day, as well as a Nocturnal Night for older campers. Activities for the days consisted of live animal demonstrations, hikes, crafts, and classroom explorations.

These first three days of camp are more structured with a tight schedule and a variety of activities. Campers spent Bird Day learning about local bird species and then identifying them while on a hike. The Salmon Obstacle Course was a majority favorite on Fish Day, simulating the difficult journey salmon encounter during their lifetime. They also learned about our resident endangered species, the salt marsh harvest mouse, during various activities throughout Mammal Day. Nocturnal Night was more flexible and time when the campers could let loose, have a bit more fun, and sleep under the stars.

Nature Play and Ice Cream making started the evening, followed by expanding our knowledge of the local Ohlone tribe. Our Environmental Education Center director, Genie Moore, gave a presentation of the Ohlone people, making the connection that they are people too, just like us, and their traditions are still carried out today. The campers then participated in various Ohlone activities including shell necklace and tule boat making.

This annual summer camp has proven to be a favorite by local families. Many campers come from nearby, but a few travel a long distance from either side of the bay just to come to our camp! Throughout summer, parents express desire for their children to be accepted into camp and consequently how much they loved it.

“My two children have really enjoyed the camp and have asked to sign them up again next year. The photos confirm that they were having a great time in nature. Thank you so much!” said one parent.

These words of praise and appreciation make all of the months of planning absolutely worth it. As camp councilor, it was my job to plan, schedule, and organize all of the different compartments that go into creating a successful camp. But what really brings camp together is the team work put forth by our staff, volunteers, and great group of Habitat Heroes! Without all of them, Marsh-In Summer Camp would not be possible.

Very special thanks to my mentors, Genie Moore and Tia Glagolev, as well as our partner, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society staff members Julie Kahrnoff and Colter Cook. Overnight security was provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers, Glendale Phan and Jesse Navarro. Additional thanks to long-time refuge volunteer and Fremont Police Department volunteer Ken Roux for his dedication to our program.


Contact Info: Hope Presley, 408-262-5513 ext 100, hope_presley@fws.gov
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