The City of Santa Cruz has hosted a community Earth Day event on the banks of the San Lorenzo River for many years – and this year marked the first appearance by FISHBIO’s Santa Cruz team. After successful experiences participating in community outreach in Oakdale and Chico, our Santa Cruz staff were eager for the chance to connect with folks close to home. We enjoyed a beautiful and festive day in San Lorenzo Park along with hundreds of visitors. A diversity of booths and activities abounded, from a bicycle-powered blender for making smoothies, mosquito control outreach, and a rock climbing wall, to compost workshops, face painting, and a variety of live music.
The FISHBIO rotary screw trap beanbag toss was a big hit with the kids passing by our booth, who were eager to collect stamps in an Earth Day passport that entitled them to free ice cream after completing eight environmental activities. We took the opportunity to tell visitors about the native coho salmon and steelhead living in the nearby San Lorenzo River, and also shared stories about FISHBIO’s activities throughout California and around the world. We enjoyed learning about the interesting work other participating organizations are conducing both locally and globally, from advocating for more bike trails in Santa Cruz, to bringing clean drinking water to Nepal, and raising awareness about the plight of the vaquita, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. We thoroughly enjoyed our first Santa Cruz community event, and look forward to continuing our involvement!