From our blogs

National River Cleanup Day • May 19 2018, 9am – 12pm

Saturday, May 19, 2018 is National River Cleanup Day. Come help out with litter collection as we join others around the world in an effort to keep our rivers clean. Together with other concerned citizens, we’ll pick up trash and tidy up a local body of water. Come with a hat, sunscreen, and a great attitude, and we’ll provide the rest.

Plastic bottles and bags, fast food packaging, cigarette butts and other litter along Santa Clara County’s waterways is not only awful to look at, but affects local creeks and streams as well. If and when it does rain, this litter is swept off the roadways and into storm drains that flow directly to local waterways, posing a threat to both the local habitat and water quality. Also, when the accumulation of litter is paired with natural occurrences, such as broken tree limbs and erosion along creeks and streams, debris can impair the flow of water, increasing flood risks.

Each year the Santa Clara Valley Water District partners with Creek Connections Action Group, a consortium of five public agencies and non-profit organizations in Santa Clara County, to host cleanup sites for National River Cleanup Day. Santa Clara Valley Water District coordinates site selection, volunteer recruitment and marketing efforts.

In 2016 more than 1,124 volunteers at 48 sites across the county cleaned up more than 61 miles of waterways and picked up more than 3,135 pounds of recyclables and 30,292 pounds of trash.

For cleanup day, wear long pants, sturdy shoes and don't forget the sunscreen. Clean-up supplies and light refreshments will be provided. Volunteers will need to bring their own pick-up sticks and all youth under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

For a list of cleanup locations, registration information and more details about National River Cleanup Day, visit

Date: May 19, 2018 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Organizer: Ricardo Barajas
Contact: | Office: 408-630-2239 | Mobile: 408-681-9265

Mother's Day at the Refuge • May 12 2018, 10am – 3pm

Join us at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge for a free Mother's Day event!

The eggs have hatched! Let’s celebrate the new mamas! Come with your family to experience the refuge for FREE guided nature walks, a live bird show, crafts for mom, and games.

Spread your wings for bird conservation as you get up close and personal with live refuge wildlife and their habitats.

Fun for the whole family, especially mom! Bring a picnic and enjoy the wetlands and wildlife!

Priority to those who register early: For more information call 408-262-5513 ext 102 or 104.

Environmental Education Center, Alviso
1751 Grand Blvd, Alviso CA 95002
Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 10:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Bay Area Bike to Work Day • May 10 2018

Bay Area Bike to Work Day 2018

On Thursday May 10, 2018 join tens of thousands of regular and first-time Bay Area residents who will bike to work for the 24th Annual Bike to Work Day, part of the National Bike Month.

More than 90 Energizer Stations in Santa Clara County and 40 in San Mateo County will give people on bikes a chance to stop and get a snack, a tote bag, goodies, and a few words of encouragement.

Stop at our energizer station on Marshlands Road at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and pick up a free tote bag, while supplies last.

Walking Tour of historic Alvarado in Union City • April 21 2018

A historic building at 3862 Smith Street in Union City's historic Alvarado district. Photo credit Timothy Swenson / Washington Township Museum of Local History

A historic building at 3862 Smith Street in Union City's historic Alvarado district. Photo credit Timothy Swenson / Washington Township Museum of Local History

Join a walking tour of the historic Alvarado district in Union City, CA led by Timothy Swenson of the Washington Township Museum of Local History (WTMLH), Fremont.

Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Time: 11:00am
Venue: Meet in the parking lot of Alvarado Elementary School at 31100 Fredi St., Union City, CA.

The half-mile tour will take walkers through 4 streets in old Alvarado while Swenson shares details about 43 historic buildings, many of which are now gone. It will start at one end of Alvarado, go down Smith Street, divert to Vallejo Street, then down Union City Blvd, and finally end up on Horner Street. The tour covers the core of old Alvarado as it existed for many years, before housing was built around it, starting in the late 1970's.

24th annual Ducks for Bucks Benefit Race • April 28 2018

24th annual Ducks for Bucks Benefit Race 2018. Photo credit James Sakane / East Bay Times

Help raise funds for the 24th annual Tri-Cities Ducks For Bucks Race benefit, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Fremont.

Date: Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Time: Family games start at 11:00am while the duck racing would start at 1:00pm.
Venue: The boat ramp of Lake Elizabeth at Central Park in Fremont, CA.
Entry Fee: $5 per Duck or 6 Ducks for $25. Entry form required by Friday, April 20, 2018.

The Kiwanis Club of Fremont has been organizing this annual charity rubber duck race since 1995. In 2017, around 7,000 yellow toy ducks were adopted and nearly $16,000 was handed out to participating Tri-City schools and charities. The goal for 2018 is to sell entries for 8,000 rubber ducks.

The Washington Township Museum of Local History (WTMLH) in Fremont, a participating organization, aims to raise funds for their continued archiving work as they make headway on their online photo collection, the Robert Fisher 8x10 photo collection, and much more.

Vernal Pool Tours at Warm Springs Unit on Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Are you interested in seeing the flower blooms around some of the last intact vernal pools in the East Bay? You will learn about the unique features of vernal pool grasslands, and hopefully observe the pools in what will likely be a good rain year! Participants will see endangered Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), Downingia pulchella, several Plagiobothrys, and other native vernal pool and upland species.

Tours will occur at the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in south Fremont. These walking tours are typically in April and will be conducted on a Saturday and a weekday with two tours each. The tour will last 1.5-2 hours. Total walking distance will not exceed one mile, but terrain is uneven. Participants also must climb up and down a short step ladder to cross over fencing. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress according to the weather. Heavy rain will cancel.

To optimize the botanical beauty on our tours, we will finalize the tour dates three weeks before the peak bloom. We will notify people on our email list, website, and social media. Peak blooms are dependent on the amount of rain we receive. To sign up for the email list, contact Ivette Loredo at

Once dates and times are released, you will need to register to reserve a spot (sign up information will be sent with dates). Once registered, directions to Warm Springs will be sent. Each tour is limited to 20 people due to the sensitivity of the vernal pool ecosystem.

Farewell Living Wetlands

Living Wetlands

by Colter Cook

Dear Teachers, Volunteers & Partners,

We regret to inform you that after nearly 20 years of environmental education and interpretation, the Living Wetlands program will be discontinued as of June 30, 2018. Recent changes to priorities, grant program requirements, and outreach strategies at the City of San Jose (City) and the Regional Wastewater Facility have resulted in the City’s decision to end the program.

Formed through a partnership between the City Environmental Services Department on behalf of the Regional Wastewater Facility, the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (Society), and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), Living Wetlands has offered Santa Clara Valley communities a unique connection to the South Bay and its habitats. The program touched the lives of many through its field trips, classroom presentations and special events.

Burton Y. Anderson (1935 - 2018)

Former board member of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, Burton Y. Anderson of Walnut Creek, California.

Former board member of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, Burton Y. Anderson of Walnut Creek, California. Photo courtesy Gary Anderson.

Former board member of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, Burton Y. Anderson died peacefully February 22, 2018 at home in Walnut Creek, California. He was 82.

Mr. Anderson was a dedicated board member, and very valuable to San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society. Our condolences go out to all of his family and friends. We would also like to thank Gary Anderson, his good friend, for this obituary.

A lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Mr. Anderson was born July 13, 1935 in Martinez to Oscar and Helen Anderson. After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1953, he attended the University of Oregon where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. Mr. Anderson graduated in 1957 with a Bacherlor's degree and spent the next 30 years in highway construction as a certified engineering geologist. He retired from CalTrans in 1987 after working there for 25 years.

Celebrating 115 Years of the National Wildlife Refuge System • March 14 2018

The National Wildlife Refuge System celebrates 115 years on March 14, 2018. In 1903, Pelican Island in Florida was the first federal land set aside to protect non-marketable wildlife, the brown pelican. Since then, the refuge system has morphed from three-acre Pelican Island to 566 national wildlife refuges, 38 wetland management districts, and three national monument areas encompassing more than 800 million acres of land and waters. The system is home to more than 8,000 species of wildlife.

How well do you know your national wildlife refuges? In honor of the refuge system’s 115 years, take our quiz to see how you fare. You might learn something new, or get inspiration for your next vacation!

GeoPDF maps on Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Refuge website

GeoPDF map of the Fremont trails at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

GeoPDF map of the Fremont trails at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

by Gregg Aronson, Refuge Docent

Did you know you can track hiking distances on maps that you can download to your smart phone? They are PDF maps that have geospatial data embedded in them (GeoPDF maps).

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge website currently has three such maps available on its website. These maps allow you to view your current location (within the map boundaries), track your hiking or biking distance, record your start time and duration, and place markers with precise GPS locations, just to name a few features. GeoPDF maps work without wi-fi or data connections, which means you can use them without incurring data charges. You don’t even need to be within range of a cell tower.