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.

Lake Chabot Needs Your Help!

Volunteers help clear tules along the shores of Lake Chabot.

Saturday, March 28 9 a.m. to Noon

Dan Foley Community Park : Boat Launch

Families are coming to Lake Chabot soon for the Inner-City Fishing Program, and we need to do a little shoreline improvement so they can reach the water. Wear sturdy clothes and shoes (waders if you have them), hat, sunscreen, and gloves. Bring a refillable water bottle if you have one. We’ll provide water and refreshments, as well as any tools that are needed. Enter the park at the east end of North Camino Alto, off Tuolumne past the Sutter Solano Medical Center. Please RSVP by emailing info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org or calling (707) 652-7812.

EXTRA CREDIT! Alliance volunteers are also planning to help at the Vallejo Beautification Commission’s annual Beautify Vallejo Cleanup on Saturday, March 21 from 9:00 to noon. Meet at the west end of Sereno Drive (Off Sonoma Blvd, between Carl’s Jr. and Smart & Final). Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, buckets, and pickers. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to this event at tinyurl.com/uf4msay.



Lake Dalwigk Tree Planting

Join us for tree planting!

Saturday, February 15                9 a.m. to Noon

We’re in the second year of habitat restoration at Lake Dalwigk, and we need your help! For this portion of the work, we will be planting trees around the perimeter of the lake. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, hat, sunscreen and gloves. We will provide all the necessary tools, as well as refreshments. Park on Fifth Street, near Lake Dalwigk Park. Walk down steps into park. Please RSVP to Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org or call (707) 652-7812.

Lake Dalwigk Restoration

Major restoration efforts will improve wildlife habitat at Lake Dalwigk.

Saturday, January 18            9 a.m. to noon

We’re heading into the second year of habitat restoration work at Lake Dalwigk, and we need your help! For this portion of the work, we’ll be planting grass and sedge plugs along one side of the park.

Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, hat, sunscreen and gloves. We will provide all the necessary tools, as well as refreshments. Park on Fifth Street, at Bennett Ave. Walk up the park path towards Curtola Avenue, and you’ll see our group.

Please RSVP to Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org or call (707) 652-7812.

Seasons Greetings!

Happy holidays!

Thank you for volunteering this year! We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season, and look forward to our next activity on Saturday, January 18, 2020. Details will be posted here in early January. If you’d like to be on our mailing list, use the link on the home pages of this site, or email us at Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org.

Trail Improvements

Building a bark trail in the native grass meadow.

Saturday, November 16     9:00 a.m. to noon

It’s time to refresh the bark path in the native grass meadow, so that park visitors can enjoy it and reduce damage to native plants. We’ll meet in Hanns Park (entrance lot is on Skyline off Redwood Parkway). Wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and gloves. We’ll bring water, refreshments, and tools. RSVP to Info@VallejoWatershedAlliance.org.