DIY Yes, Group Cleanup No

Due to Solano County moving back to the most restrictive COVID-19 tier, we have decided to stick with DIY Cleanups for the rest of November, but we are cancelling our planned November 21 cleanup at the Vallejo waterfront. Even though we’d been planning ways to keep safe and social distance for the cleanup, the new restrictions argue for staying safe and separate for now. We miss you all, and can’t wait until it’s safe to get together again. If you have any questions, please contact us at Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org.

Great Time to be Outside!

The weather is incredible, and it’s a great time to get outside. This month, the Watershed Alliance is offering a couple of volunteer opportunities, including our first get-together since this crazy COVID thing started. We will still host DIY Cleanups, but we’re also teaming up with the North Bay Ploggers for a safe cleanup along the waterfront. Here are the details:

Saturday, November 21 at 9:00 a.m. Meet us at the north end of the Ferry Building/Front Room parking lot on Mare Island Way. We’ll spread out and cover the waterfront for this cleanup. Wear closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing, mask, hat, sunscreen and gloves. Bring a trash picker if you have one. We’ll provide supplies, sanitizer, snacks and water.

All Month We are focusing this month’s DIY Cleanups on Hanns Park and Delta Meadows Park. You pick the location, day and time of your cleanup and email Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org with the info. Need supplies? We can provide disposable gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer, waiver and pickers, and we’ll be happy to drop them on your porch. Leave the filled trash bags next to the garbage cans at the park. Once your cleanup is complete, let us know how much trash was removed (# of bags filled + any other items that are too big for the bags, and how many people were there). We love photos – send us a couple of you in action! We will notify GVRD and they will dispose of the filled bags.

For all events, the rules of COVID still apply: Don’t do this if you feel ill or have a fever, face coverings are strongly recommended, keep at least 6 feet of social distance with people who aren’t in your household, and sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow.

DIY Cleanups Are Back!

Be a Watershed Hero!

Vallejoans are doing a great job staying safe while enjoying the outdoors and helping keep our waterways clean. The DIY cleanups that we debuted in April will continue over the next few months: we’ll suggest a cleanup location or two, and provide whatever supplies you need to make it happen and report back. In October, we are going to focus on Dan Foley Park (the Lake Chabot shoreline) and Lake Dalwigk; in November we’ll pick up litter at Hanns Park and Delta Meadows Park. Here’s how it works:

1.     Pick a day and time that you and your household or social-bubble-safe friends will pick up trash.

2.     Email Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance with your preferred location, day, and time.

3.     Need supplies? We can provide disposable gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer, waiver and pickers, and we’ll be happy to drop them on your porch.

4.     Leave the filled trash bags next to the garbage cans at the park. Once your cleanup is complete, let us know how much trash was removed (# of bags filled + any other items that are too big for the bags, and how many people were there). We love photos – send us a couple of you in action! We will notify GVRD and they will dispose of the filled bags.

6.     If you’re borrowing pickers, let us know when we can retrieve them from your porch.

The usual rules of COVID apply: Don’t do this if you feel ill or have a fever, face coverings are strongly recommended, keep at least 6 feet of social distance with people who aren’t in your household, and sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow.

Have fun, and keep in touch!

Coastal Cleanup 2020

Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers — this year’s cleanup will look very different!

This year, Vallejo’s Coastal Cleanup will take place throughout the month of September. Vallejo residents will help clean their community and the coast by focusing on their own neighborhoods, helping to prevent litter from polluting the environment and harming the ocean.

Last year, more than 800 Vallejo residents cleaned over 20 different sites. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state organizers recognized that hosting cleanup sites with large gatherings of volunteers would not be safe this year. But everyone can still participate!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to CleanupSolano.org and register, so we can track results and provide detailed information.
  2. Download and use the CleanSwell app or download and use the Trash Collection Data Cards, located on the CleanupSolano.org website.
  3. Guidelines for a safe cleanup and resources for more information are also available on the site.
  4. If you’re active on social media, share your experience at #CoastalCleanup and #KeepSolanoClean.

More DIY Cleanup Action!

Staying safe while enjoying and helping the outdoors … what could be better? The DIY cleanups that we debuted last month went very well. A huge “Thank You” to all who participated! We plan to do the same process for the next few months: we’ll suggest a cleanup location or two, and provide whatever supplies you need to make it happen and report back. In July, we are going to focus on Blue Rock Springs Park, where we usually host our annual July BBQ, and the shoreline around Lake Chabot that is accessed through Dan Foley Community Park. And, if you participate this month, we’ll have a special surprise for you! Here’s how it will work:

1.     Pick a day and time that you and your household or social-bubble-safe friends will pick up trash.

2.     Email Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance with your preferred location, day, and time. If your cleanup time is on a weekend, we’ll let GVRD know you’re coming so that your parking fee at Blue Rock or Dan Foley is waived. There are no parking fees during the week.

3.     Need supplies? We can provide disposable gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer, waiver and loaner pickers, and we’ll be happy to drop them on your porch.

4.     Leave the filled trash bags next to the garbage cans at the park. Once your cleanup is complete, let us know how much trash was removed (# of bags filled + any other items that are too big for the bags, and how many people were there). We love photos – send us a couple of you in action! We will notify GVRD and they will dispose of the filled bags.

6.     If you’re borrowing pickers, let us know when we can retrieve them from your porch.

The usual rules of COVID apply: Don’t do this if you feel ill or have a fever, face coverings are strongly recommended, keep at least 6 feet of social distance with people who aren’t in your household, and sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow.

Have fun, and keep in touch!

DIY Cleanups!

While coronavirus concerns and public health guidance continue to recommend against public gatherings, we are still actively engaged in improving Vallejo’s waterways and helping our community connect with the outside world. Like so many these days, we have re-imagined our activities – keeping the goals in sight while changing the paths to accomplish them. What does this mean for you, our wonderful Watershed Alliance volunteers? In June, we were planning to head to Lake Dalwigk to address any trash issues at the lake. We still can … just not at the same time! Here’s how it will work:

1.     Pick a day and time that you and your household, plan to go out and pick up trash around the lake.

2.     Email Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance with your preferences. (We don’t want everyone showing up at the time time.)

3.     Need supplies? We can provide disposable gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer, waiver and loaner pickers, and we’ll be happy to drop them on your porch.

4.     Leave the filled trash bags next to the garbage cans at Lake Dalwigk Park, which is on the corner of Lemon and 5th Streets. Once you’ve done your cleanup, let us know how much trash was removed (# of bags filled + any other items that are too big for the bags, and how many people were there). We love photos – send us a couple of you in action! We will notify GVRD and they will dispose of the filled bags.

6.     If you’re borrowing pickers, let us know when we can retrieve them from your porch.

The usual rules of COVID apply: Don’t do this if you feel ill or have a fever, face coverings are strongly recommended, keep at least 6 feet of social distance with people who aren’t in your household, and sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow.

Have fun, and keep in touch!

Watershed Wednesdays!

View of Mare Island and San Pablo Bay from the US Forest Service Office.

The Vallejo Watershed Alliance is filled with folks dedicated to enhancing our waterways and engaging people of all ages in outdoor education. Recently, the Solano Resource Conservation District (a long-time and deeply valued partner) announced new distance learning resources for teachers and caregivers.

The free resources include engaging, interactive videos featuring Solano RCD educators exploring nature as they shelter at home, virtual classroom visits, worksheets, and links to other meaningful activities. Details are available at SolanoRCD.org, on the Solano RCD’s website, under Projects/Programs and then Distance Learning.

Also offered are weekly online lessons called “Watershed Wednesdays.” During these virtual sessions, students can engage with Solano RCD staff and other Solano County students while learning about watersheds, how to think like a scientist, and the world of tiny freshwater animals. Although the online events are available to any Solano County student, the content will be geared towards upper elementary through lower high school grade levels. Registration is required to access the May 6, 13, 20, and 27 events but registration only needs to be completed once at SolanoRCD.org. The program is funded in Vallejo by the Vallejo Flood & Wastewater District (another VWA partner) and the City of Vallejo Water Conservation Program.

Getting Outside

Pelicans over White Slough

Thanks to longtime Alliance planning member Elizabeth Wilkie, for sharing a recent KQED Forum podcast about getting outdoors safely during shelter-in-place. It’s great to hear that so many folks around the Bay Area are finding creative ways to experience the outdoors under current limitations, and expressing why it is so important for people to connect to something that’s bigger than themselves. Go to KQED.org and search “great outdoors” if you want to listen. It’s filled with helpful tips on how to safely visit parks and open spaces, including:

  • Know what the rules are for the place you are visiting; each place is different. For example, parking lots at state parks are closed, but the trails are still open. Park leaders are asking for the public’s help to respect the restrictions so that parks can stay open.
  • Don’t go if you’re feeling sick!
  • Bring hand sanitizer and be aware of what surfaces – such as gates – might be touched by others.
  • Make sure to keep at least 6’ apart from others except family or house members.
  • Pick up trash along the way.
  • Can’t get to a park? Remember nature is where you are! Bird watching, safe-distance visits, and exploring insects and plants can also be done in one’s neighborhood.

Can’t get outside at all? You can bring nature indoors in creative ways such as setting up a tent or blanket fort in your living room. While inside, you can bring a tablet or laptop and play nature scenes from YouTube. Or, safely roast a marshmallow over a candle and enjoy a s’more!

However you choose to connect with nature, we look forward to seeing you at a Vallejo Watershed Alliance activity soon.

It’s Spring!

Native wildflowers bloom at Lake Dalwigk

Watching the seasons change is comforting, isn’t it? The dry grass turns green, the birds, bees, and butterflies are busy, and the clouds are amazing. In this time of global uncertainty and anxiety, it helps to go outside and breathe, exchange waves with the neighbors, and see what’s blooming.

At the Vallejo Watershed Alliance, we are very grateful for the work being done individually, and for the planning for the months ahead when we can dive back into the work together. At this point, we can’t pick up litter as a group, but we can do it individually in our neighborhoods. We can’t plant together at Lake Dalwigk — located next to the Curtola Park & Ride — but we can walk the paths there to see how the trees and wildflowers that were planted earlier this year are faring (beautifully, by the way!).

We had some wonderful plans for Earth Day: a festival downtown and a creek cleanup to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary. Unfortunately, those events were cancelled. However … you can still celebrate Earth Day virtually! Solano County and the Solano Resource Conservation District, in partnership with local wastewater programs, have teamed up to share tips and ideas for honoring this important milestone. Find out more at www.CleanupSolano.org.

Our wish for you is good health and good cheer, and making time in your day to appreciate spring!

March-April Events Cancelled

New lupine emerging at Lake Dalwigk.
Photo Credit: Natalie Muradian

Due to the COVID-19 virus, Vallejo Watershed Alliance activities have been cancelled for March and April. We encourage everyone to spend some time outdoors during this stressful time, and if you have any questions, please reach out to us at Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org.