Volunteers are wanted for the next “Wigi Wetlands Workday” of the Redwood Region Audubon Society on Saturday from 9 am to 11 am in Eureka.
“Wigi Wetlands is an area along the Waterfront Trail behind the Bayshore Mall. The Redwood Region Audubon Society has agreed to coordinate community-based restoration activities in the area. The city of Eureka and the Humboldt Trails Council help sponsor our monthly working days, ”said Susan Penn, who coordinates the Wigi Wetlands volunteer working days for the Redwood Region Audubon Society.
Penn notes that the city of Eureka maintains the walking path corridor, but its budget does not allocate funds for habitat improvement.
“We volunteer to create an area where native plants can thrive, and with them our bird populations. Healthy functioning wetlands and adjacent habitats play a crucial role in ecosystem functions such as the water, air and nutrient cycle for all living things. They also store water and control erosion. “
Wigi, she said, was the Wiyot name for Humboldt Bay.
“Historically, this area has provided biologically productive salt and freshwater wetlands, as well as highland marsh habitats with a variety of flora and fauna,” said Penn. “European settlement and industry have had a major impact on the area. Infrastructure, pollution and the introduction of non-native species were extremely destructive. “
Everyone is welcome to volunteer to create a more bird-friendly habitat and to restore that section of the trail that has great views of the bay.
“We’re going to cut flowers and seed heads from invasive plants like fennel and pampas grass,” said Penn. “Himalayan blackberries can be cut back and English ivy grown. Small Scotch gorse plants that are not yet deeply rooted can be grown and there is always rubbish to collect. “
She added, “By removing alien plants and debris, we are working to restore the site to its natural abundance. We are already seeing native plants filling areas where the Scottish gorse has been removed. These native plants provide both food and nesting space for birds. It is wonderful to see all of the different birds that visit the area through the seasons. And the abundance and variety of flowers is amazing. “
The volunteers will meet on Saturday morning in the parking lot just behind Walmart. Go to www.rras.org for COVID-19 participation guidelines. The Redwood Region Audubon Society provides tools and pre-packaged snacks. Participants should bring their own water, gloves, and a face mask. For more information, contact Jeremy Cashen at [email protected] or 214-605-7368.