by Robin McKillop
The Marin-Friendly Garden tour was a huge success with over 600 guests making 2,200 visits to nine diverse gardens on Saturday, May 18. Gardens featured native plants, edibles, rainwater catchment, smart irrigation, wildlife habitat, salvaged materials and more. In addition to strolling through these inspiring gardens, guests had the opportunity to attend on-site presentations by local experts on rainwater harvesting, defensible space and gardening with California natives. We hope the tour inspires visitors to embrace gardening practices that are easier on the environment, in particular ones that conserve and protect our precious water resources.
The garden tour was made possible by the generosity and talent of our host gardeners who shared their amazing gardens and vast knowledge with all of us on tour day. Thank you host gardeners for going above and beyond! Also, thanks to all of the volunteers who donated their time to make this tour possible. Many of these volunteers have been supporting MMWD garden tours for several years, while others just joined. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our sponsors for helping to make this tour possible:
The Urban Farmer Store
Bayside Garden Center
Marin Art and Garden Center
Marizco Landscape Management
O’Donnell’s Fairfax Nursery
Point Tiburon Plaza
U.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners
Last, but not least, we would like to thank everyone who attended. We hope you enjoyed the tour as much as we did!
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by Jaimie Baxter
Do you love learning about Mt. Tamalpais and its plants and animals? Explore the northern side of the mountain, participate in fun activities and become a Citizen Scientist.
The Marin Municipal Water District believes that exposing youth to real scientific projects and the outdoors is the best way to instill environmental stewardship. And, lucky for us, the California Academy of Sciences does too! Citizen science is a big part of what we do on Mt. Tamalpais, so we welcome you to join us for a very special event on the first Saturday of May. What is Citizen science? In essence, it is “the study of nature by the people who live in it, which means YOU!” We encourage you and your families to join us in being environmental stewards to Mt. Tamalpais.
In 2012, the Marin Municipal Water District and the California Academy of Sciences teamed up to conduct a Botanical Bioblitz—a large scale survey of every single plant species on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. This multi-year effort involves citizens, botanists, nature photographers and students alike. Click here for more information about this project.
On Saturday, May 4, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., MMWD and the California Academy of Sciences are hosting a “Sprouting Scientist” event at Lake Lagunitas in Fairfax. Both organizations will be on top of the dam at Lake Lagunitas to facilitate family-friendly, hands-on, science-based activities. Our Botanical Bioblitz, a real scientific project, is occurring on the same day, so families can come join the fun of collecting and recording all the plant species in the surrounding area. Come find out what it means to be a Citizen Scientist! Prizes will be handed out to all families who participate. The event is free, although the usual parking fee of $8.00 per vehicle still applies.
For more information, visit our website or contact email@example.com or (415) 945-1128.
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by Trang Bach
Can you imagine that before 1970 it was perfectly legal to dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream? There was no legislation to prevent such acts or to stop big companies from pumping dark clouds of fumes into the air. Concerned about Earth’s fate, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin decided to create Earth Day as a way to celebrate planet Earth while bringing attention to the environment. His purpose was to rally people to improve our environment and preserve our natural resources. On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million people participated in Earth Day. Since then, Earth Day has become a global event and is celebrated in over 192 countries each year. Millions of people continue to come together to celebrate the earth and promote sustainable activities because of the foresight of Senator Nelson.
This year, Earth Day Marin 2013 Festival will take place on Sunday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Redwood High School in Larkspur. It will be a fun, free, family-friendly event and a day of action on climate change solutions. There will be speakers, comedy, music, local organic food and hands-on activities, including Sea Party, a carnival for kids developed by Greenwood School 7th and 8th graders. This event will take place rain or shine. For more information visit earthdaymarin.org.
MMWD will have a booth at Earth Day Marin. Stop by and visit and we’ll give you some tips on water conservation and tell you about our upcoming Marin-Friendly Garden Tour on May 18. Let’s conserve and preserve our lovely planet!
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Where will you be when an emergency strikes? At the grocery store, at work in another county, driving home, or hiking on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed? If you are not near your landline or no longer have one, you’ll miss the critical call from the Office of Emergency Services with important instructions that could affect you and your family.
If you live, work or go to school in Marin County and are 18 and over, you can now register your cell phone and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone number on the secure self-registration portal, alertmarin.org, to receive emergency alerts by text, voice and email.
The cell phone self-registration portal is an important upgrade to Marin County’s Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS). TENS is a high-speed communications system that can quickly notify members of the public by phone of critical emergency information in situations where property or human life is in danger. MMWD is partnering with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services to spread the word about this expanded notification system.
Landline phone numbers are already included in the emergency notification system, but cell phone numbers are not in the system until you register them. You may register multiple street addresses for notification, such as home, work or your children’s school. However, each street address requires a separate registration with a unique primary email. You may list two cell numbers and one VoIP number per email address.
Don’t take chances. Visit the self-registration portal today.
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Before: Graffiti on an MMWD facility (photo courtesy of John Lannom)
Graffiti is on ongoing challenge for MMWD. We do our best to clean up obscenities and respond to customer complaints. But with over 200 storage tanks and pump stations throughout our 147-square-mile service area, including many in remote locations, the district simply doesn’t have the staff and resources to remove every tag.
After: The same site after graffiti was painted out. Thank you to MMWD’s awesome neighbors who help keep our tanks graffiti-free!
However, a small group of volunteers is making a difference in their own neighborhoods, “adopting” their local tanks and painting out graffiti when it appears. MMWD supplies the paint and equipment, while these unsung heroes give their time and labor. One dedicated volunteer has been keeping his local tank graffiti-free for eight years.
The district is also taking steps to cut down on graffiti, such as putting in plants to cover blank walls and installing security cameras. You can help, too. Keep an eye on the water facilities in your neighborhood—after all, they belong to all of us! If you see vandals at work, contact the MMWD Operations Center at 945-1500, 24-hours-a-day, and we will notify police.
If you are interested in volunteering to clean up graffiti on your local tank, contact our Volunteer Program at 945-1128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Posted in Think Blue Marin, tagged community on August 8, 2012 |
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Fire hoses donated to the San Francisco Zoo by MMWD
Thanks to a suggestion by MMWD Utility Systems Specialist Frank Figone and coordination by Maintenance Worker Lou Sangervasi, in July the water district was able to donate old fire hoses, otherwise destined for the landfill, to the San Francisco Zoo.
The zoo uses the fire hoses in various ways such as sleeping hammocks for bobcats, chimps and bears; as toy balls for lions; as climbing toys for chimps; and as hanging feeders for browsing animals like giraffes and antelopes. Zoo curator Ingrid Russell-White, who works with volunteers to repurpose the hoses, oversees enrichment and training programs for the zoo to keep the animals challenged, healthy and content.
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