Geography of Hope - Field Trips
Experts on water issues and local history will provide their special knowledge and insights about our watershed on March 18 at the kickoff of the Geography of Hope Literary Conference sponsored by Point Reyes Books and the Tomales Bay Library Association. Field trip space is limited, so sign up now! All participants must carpool from the Dance Palace at 1 P.M. Friday, March 18.
Confluence & Community with Historian Dewey Livingston
Local historian and author Dewey Livingston will offer a slide presentation about the agricultural and railroad history of the town, followed by a walking tour of Point Reyes Station to discuss the historic relationship the town has had with neighboring bodies of waters including area creeks and streams, Tomales Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.
Learning & Protecting with Watershed Biologist Carrie Sendak
Carrie Sendak, Watershed Biologist for the Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) will lead a walking tour of the scenic Lagunitas Creek and watershed. Learn about the ecology of our native coho populations. Hear about efforts to protect endangered salmon through grassroots action, habitat restoration, policy development, research and monitoring, citizen training, environmental education, strategic litigation, and collaboration with other organizations, landowners, and agencies.
Moderate hike (2 miles)
From Productive Pastureland to Wildlife Haven with biologist David Wimpfheimer & Point Reyes National Seashore Superintendent Cicely Muldoon
David Wimpfheimer—biologist, professional naturalist, and guide with a passion for birds and the natural history of the West—and Cicely Muldoon, Superintendent, Point Reyes National Seashore, will lead a walk along the edge of the newly restored Giacomini wetlands. The 550 acres of historic marshland at the southern end of Tomales Bay had been diked and used as productive pastureland since 1947. Learn why and how the site was restored to its natural state in 2008 and how wildlife—especially waterbirds—are responding to the reintroduction of tidal influence.
Easy hike (1.5 miles; first hour wheel-chair accessible; second two hours will be reached by carpool followed by an easy hike)
Cultivating Watershed Partnerships with Hog Island co-owner Terry Sawyer & Straus Family Creamery owner Albert Straus
Terry Sawyer, Hog Island Oyster Farm co-owner and a marine biologist, will lead a tour of the oyster operation he co-founded in 1984. He’ll discuss the historic cultivation of seafood on Tomales Bay and modern-day aquaculture. Today, Hog Island Oyster Farm leases 160 acres in Tomales Bay, raising more than three million Pacific, Kumamoto, and Atlantic oysters annually as well as Manila clams and mussels. Albert Straus, owner of Straus Family Dairy, which is located on the hills above the oyster farm, will discuss how surrounding ranches and dairies are collaborating with aquaculturists to protect the surrounding watershed.
A Heritage of Sustainability with Anthropologist/Author Betty Goerke
Lagoons, Herons & History with ACR Staff Gwen Heistand, Yvonne Pierce & Sarah Millus
J. Scott Feierabend, Executive Director of Audubon Canyon Ranch, invites us to explore the Martin Griffin Preserve on the shores of Bolinas Lagoon, an internationally significant ecological resource. The 1,000 acres of the Preserve are part of the eastern watershed of the tidal estuary known as the Bolinas Lagoon. Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons nesting there use the Bolinas Lagoon as feeding grounds.
Gwen Heistand, MGP Resident Biologist/Co-Director of Education will lead a tour through the preserve that will include hikes to the Henderson Overlook with views of the lagoon and the heronry. Gwen will be joined by Scott as well as Yvonne Pierce, Administrative Director/Martin Griffin Preserve Manager and Sarah Millus, Helen Pratt Field Biologist.
Moderate hike (1 mile)
Birds, Birds, Birds with Naturalist Claire Peaslee
West Marin naturalist Claire Peaslee will lead a walk exploring the Limantour marshlands and open waters of Drakes Bay, with their extremely rich feeding grounds for shorebirds, ducks, grebes, and other waterbirds. Expect insight and humor from Claire, who also leads custom nature tours and serves on the education staff of PRBO (formerly known as Point Reyes Bird Observatory).
Marine Influences with Retired Ranger Carlos Porrata and Biologists Dr. Bud Abbott & Dr. Ted Grosholtz
Participants will board two boats provided by Dixon Marine in Inverness and explore Tomales Bay with retired Tomales Bay State Park Ranger Carlos Porrata. A longtime steward of the Bay and the land that surrounds it, Carlos was one of the founding members and is Chair Emeritus of the Tomales Bay Watershed Council. Joining him are noted fisheries expert Dr. Bud Abbott, Environmental Biologist, and Dr. Ted Grosholtz, UC Davis, Dept of Environmental Science and Policy, both of whom have studied the Bay extensively.
A Bird’s-eye View of the Watershed with Resident Michael Mery with Cattlemen Dave Osborn & Mike Giammona
Join Michael Mery, longtime West Marin resident and first chair of the Tomales Bay Watershed Council to climb this West Marin landmark which is protected by a Marin Agricultural Land Trust conservation easement. Take in spectacular views of the entire Tomales Bay Watershed. Dave Osborn and Mike Giammona run a grass-fed beef operation on the mountain. They’ll meet climbers at the top to describe their business philosophy and practices. You might also meet a few of those grass-fed cows along the way.
Strenuous hike (elevation 1100 feet)
Watching the Water Flow with Naturalist/Author David Lukas
David Lukas, naturalist and author of Wild Birds of California and Sierra Nevada Natural History, will lead a hike at Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. The estero is the main drainage for the Point Reyes Peninsula and offers a remarkable habitat that’s home to diverse birds, sharks, rays, seals, and other wildlife.
Moderate hike (4 miles)