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45th Annual Grey Bears Harvest Picnic, Sept 18, 10:30 am

Join Grey Bears at Harvey West Park for the 45th Annual Harvest Picnic. Volunteers needed to make this a great event. Lots of small  and quick jobs or spend your volunteer time focused in one area. All help will be appreciated.There will be a savory barbecue lunch (veggie options), canopy seating, live music,  dancing, raffle, mingling and fun. Ride a bike in or carpool with friends, parking at Portuguese Hall with van shuttle to/from picnic area and valet bike parking. Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen St, Santa Cruz 95060 Contact  Tina Forest at  831.479.1055 ext 235, to Volunteer.


City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation, Sept 18, 7 – 8:30pm

Schedule: 9 minutes each for  Opening statements;  What is your position on the proposal for a 600 space parking garage Downtown?;  What is your position on the use of the rail corridor?; CFST’s vision includes support for “measures to protect and increase the supply of affordable housing near jobs to reduce demand for motorized transportation and encourage stable and healthy communities”. What specifically can the Council do to protect and increase the supply of affordable housing?;  What can the City do to reduce UCSC traffic?;  What is your position on the Regional Transportation Commission’s plan to widen Highway 1 for 4 miles of auxiliary lanes?
15 minutes  for audience questions directed towards some or all candidates
30 seconds each closing statement

Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St.


Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Sept 20, 7 pm   INFO


Climate Change – What’s at Risk? How Will We Adapt?, Sept 20, 7 PM

Climate change is a given, but what is needed now are tools and techniques to help cities evaluate the complex risks and to make equitable decisions in order to adapt to its impacts. We are fortunate to host a scientist who can explain how these support strategies are designed and implemented.

Dr. Juliano Calil will give us an overview of already observed climate   changes and share approaches to identify coastal areas with the potential to meet multiple objectives including flood risk reduction, natural habitat conservation and social vulnerability remediation. He will also show the latest 3D models developed to support coastal adaptation in Santa Cruz. He is a senior research fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy and Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. He received his Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences and Coastal Adaptation from UCSC. He was responsible for incorporating Social Vulnerability in the Climate Adaption Plan for Santa Cruz.

Come at 6:30 for healthy snacks and socializing with other environmentalists. The Live Oak (Green) Grange Hall at 1900 17th Ave. near Capitola Road in Santa Cruz. Sponsored by Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group


Workshop – Baskets: Then and Now, Sept 22, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Explore the history and art of basketry in California by taking a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum of Natural History‘s Collections, touring the Museum’s native plant garden, and learning about local botanical resources and how to steward them—all while creating your own basket!
During this hands-on workshop led by Museum’s staff (not of Native descent), participants will be offered a unique look into the Museum’s extensive basketry collections led by Collections Specialist Kathleen Aston, after which Museum Education Coordinator Marisa Gomez will guide participants in the construction of their own pine needle baskets. Everyone will go home with their completed basket and a tapestry needle to start their next project.
Not recommended for children under 12. 1305 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz




Garage Alternatives Party, Sept 22, 3 – 5 pm

More info at


Honey Bees & Native Bees for the Bee Enthusiast, Sept 26, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Honey bees are in the news and at the center of attention because of their crucial role as crop pollinators; however, we don’t hear much about our native bees who also play an important role in pollination. Join Ornella Bonamassa as she explores basic bee biology and ecology with us. Topics include biology of non-managed bees, their habitats and conservation, similarities and differences among the different types of bees, how to provide pollinator habitat, the impact of pesticides, diseases, and pests, and basic plant biology.  This talk is perfect for beginners to the world of bees who want to begin to delve-in and expand their knowledge base. Please note, we will not be touching on beekeeping itself. Presented by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

From 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus located at 500 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.  Seating is limited. Attendance is free, but you must reserve a seat at



 Monterey Bay Birding Festival, Sept 28 – 30, all day

Welcome to the home of one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America, The Monterey Bay Birding Festival. The extraordinary Field Trip Leaders, Presenters and Workshop Leaders are all extraordinary birders who delight in sharing their love of birds and favorite birding venues with you. Each year we have a stellar line-up of evening presentations and daily workshops to augment your birding festival experience. Over 150 events! Watsonville Civic Plaza, 275 Main Street, Watsonville. To Register

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50th Anniversary of Castle Rock State Park, Sept 29, 10 am – 4 pm

California State Parks and Sempervirens Fund invite you to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Castle Rock State Park with a public event featuring the grand opening of the Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance. The event features speakers, rock climbing demonstrations, live music, food, tours, and volunteer opportunity information. “Creating this new entrance is a fitting way to mark the 50th anniversary of Castle Rock State Park, which Sempervirens Fund was instrumental in establishing in 1968. We look forward to celebrating this beloved park and walking with you through its new gateway to the Santa Cruz Mountains later this year,” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Sara Barth. At the new Castle Rock State Park entrance, 15451 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos


Sea Otter Awareness Week Photography Workshop, Sept 30, 7:45 am to sundown

What better way to celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week than among the resident sea otters of Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough accompanied by a husband and wife team of sea otter biologists?  Sea otters are some of the most charismatic and photogenic residents of Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough on Monterey Bay in California. In this unique photography workshop, you will be guided not only by a skilled wildlife photographer, but also by a sea otter biologist, all in one. Joe Tomoleoni (; @ecoexposurephotography) has traveled the globe, exploring the reefs, kelp forests, mountains, and deserts to document not only the charismatic but also the often-overlooked denizens of nature. As a biologist, Joe has been studying sea otters since 2008. He is an expert in their behavior and natural history and is a well-rounded naturalist.

Location: Moss Landing Harbor, Elkhorn Slough
Price: $350 Deposit: $100 (required to hold your spot, full payment due 9/29/2018)
Maximum Number of Participants: 5

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Forest Law Exhibition Opening Reception, Oct 3, 5 – 7 pm

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery and the Center for Creative Ecologies, is proud to present Forest Law, an exhibition by artist-researcher Ursula Biemann and architect Paulo Tavares.
Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares
Forest Law
 Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
 October 3 – Dec 1. Opening: October 3 5-7 p.m.
Extended remarks by art historian and theorist T.J. Demos at 6 p.m.
Forest Law, 2014, is a 38-minute video essay and book drawn from research carried out by Biemann and Tavares in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It considers the legal cases which plead for the rights of nature against the dramatic expansion of large-scale extraction activities in the region, including the trial won by the indigenous people of Sarayuku based on their cosmology of the living forest. The project creatively maps the historical, political, and ecological dimensions of these trials on behalf of the forest and the people who cultivate the forest, tracing the entanglements and frictions between the ethical and epistemic stakes these cases raise.


Native Plant Sale, Oct 6, 8:30 am – 1 pm

Join Watsonville Wetlands Watch for our annual Native Plant Sale.
• Let our expert staff and volunteers aid you in selecting plants to create your own beautiful drought tolerant garden that attracts birds, bees and butterflies.
• Over 60 species of plants native to the Pajaro Valley and the Monterey Bay
Located at the Fitz Wetland Educational Resource Center at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School 500 Harkins Slough Road. All proceeds directly support the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

For more information contact / 831-234-3210


Kayaking Elkhorn Slough, Oct 6, 9 am to noon

Elkhorn Slough is one of the best places in California to see wildlife. From your rented kayak, you’ll see seals, sea otters, and a variety of birds. Kayaking the slough is easy and one of the best ways to enjoy this amazing waterway.  Please join us for a morning paddle led by expert guide and citizen scientist Ron Eby — we’ll launch from Moss Landing Harbor to enjoy the wonders and wildlife of Elkhorn Slough. This is a great way to learn about the slough and the conservation work happening in the area.
There are 2 options when registering for this trip: BYOK=Bring your own kayak or Rent a Kayak
Rent a Kayak: The fee is $45 per person and sorry, no refunds. Space is limited, so please register by 5pm on October 2. Your registration fee includes kayak rental in a double kayak and water protection gear, as well as a guided tour by a slough expert and staff.
BYOK (Bring your own kayak): The fee is $20 per person and sorry, no refunds. Space is limited, so please register by 5pm on October 2.
Your registration fee includes a guided tour by a slough expert and staff. Sponsored by Elkhorn Slough Foundation


Introduction to Garden-Based Herbalism with Darren Huckle, Oct 12, 2018 – April 6, 2019

Herbal medicines abound in our bioregion. Herbs disguised as ornamentals and “weeds” await your discovery. By studying the foundations of garden-based herbalism, we will learn how to safely prepare and use garden herbs for teas, poultices, salves, tinctures, and more. In this course, you will smell, feel and taste your way to understanding the uses for dozens of plants from our unique bio-region. This class is not only educational, but also very engaging, entertaining and fun!

For thousands of years, people have been harvesting herbal medicines from their home gardens for basic family needs. Become part of this evolving tradition using the garden and wild lands as a classroom. This is a dynamic and hands-on introduction to the art and practical application of garden herbalism.

We will spend over half of our time outdoors, where we’ll harvest common herbs and discuss their uses and cultivation. We will then bring the herbs back to the classroom and learn how to make effective teas, oils and remedies for commonly encountered health challenges including stress, sleeplessness, indigestion, and minor wounds. Participants will leave with an abundance of practical and easily implemented information, and a sampling of herb plants to transplant at home.

Course includes nine sessions: 6 Fridays, 3:30 – 6:30 pm & 3 Saturdays, 10 am – 3 pm. Register soon before it fills up! Contact Santa Cruz Permaculture


Grassroots in the Wetlands, Book Talk and Signing, Oct 20, 2:15pm

Please join Watsonville Wetlands Watch Board of Directors members, Donna Bradford and Chris Johnson-Lyons, the authors of Grassroots in the Wetlands: The Saving of the Watsonville Sloughs Watershed as they talk about the historic role Watsonville Wetlands Watch played in the protection and restoration of the wetlands and the uplands surrounding them. In addition to this talk, Robley Levy will share her chapter entitled: Pajaro Valley Agricultural Lands: How Were They Preserved.
The chapter that Donna and Chris wrote is part of the recently released book, Landscapes: Activism That Shaped Santa Cruz County 1955-2005 published as the ninth book in the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s Journal Series. It chronicles the efforts to protect the slough’s environmental resources and promote the associated educational and recreational opportunities, all built on a foundation of community engagement.

This event takes place at Kelly’s Books located at 1838 Main Street, Watsonville, CA 95076. Note that the author talk will start promptly at 2:15 p.m. Books will be available for sale and signing by the authors.