The Marin Municipal Water District honored 40 volunteers at a special recognition lunch recently for contributing their valuable time to the protection and preservation of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed during fiscal year 2012/13. These volunteers donated nearly 7,500 hours—the equivalent of $185,625 in labor—to activities like trail maintenance, habitat restoration and endangered species protection on watershed lands between July 2012 and June 2013.
MMWD manages more than 21,600 acres of land on Mt. Tamalpais and in west Marin and counts on its volunteer workforce to help maintain and restore these lands. The Mt. Tamalpais Watershed is home to more than 900 species of plants and 400 species of animals, including 77 rare, threatened and endangered species. This abundance of life is threatened by many factors, including increased recreational use, invasive species and global climate change.
Begun in 1995, MMWD’s volunteer program recruits individuals, students and entire classes to help improve trails and habitat; greet and educate visitors; restore habitat and collect biological data; and map native and non-native plants, sudden oak death and aquatic species.
The 2012/13 fiscal year’s 85 volunteer events resulted in the following accomplishments:
- Dozens of trails were improved for visitor safety and erosion control;
- More than 700 school children and their parents removed acres of invasive broom, young Douglas-fir trees and other invasive plant species;
- 140 hours were spent monitoring native western pond turtles and educating the public about this species;
- More than 200 hours were donated to keep people and their dogs out of the breeding grounds of the native foothill yellow-legged frogs;
- One third of the 900 plant species on the watershed were surveyed; samples will be housed at the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences.
Without the help of volunteers, many of the important preservation and stewardship projects on the watershed would not be possible. For more information about our volunteer program and to find volunteer opportunities, visit our website.