MAS offers many opportunities to meet fellow members and to support our environmental protection and conservation efforts. Would you like to serve on the Board of Directors? Help with the Christmas Bird Count? Help with restoration projects? Join the MAS Conservation Committee? Help with the annual MAS/ACR Mother’s Day BBQ event in May? These are just a few of the many ways that you can pursue your interests or share your talents.
MAS’s restoration projects have frequent opportunities where volunteers can be involved in improving local habitats. MAS has purchased a number of properties which require habitat improvement. Some of the improvements require contractors’ being involved by recontouring the land with heavy equipment. That stage is followed by revegetation with local native plants some of which we grow in small nursery beds. Control of invasive non-native plants is essential to the survival of the new natives.
Currently MAS has three active restoration sites, Triangle Marsh and Corte Madera Ecological Reserve, both in Corte Madera, and Bahia in Novato, where volunteers are involved. Restoration of other sites will become active in the future.
Volunteer Work Days for Habitat Restoration
MAS relies on volunteers for improving local habitats. Volunteers assist with planting local native plants and help us in the control of invasive non-native plants, a process that is essential to the survival of the new natives.
Volunteer Sign Up Form
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Corte Madera Ecological Reserve (CMER)
Corte Madera Ecological Reserve Restoration Project:
When: Second Saturday of each month, 10AM to 1PM
Contact: Martha Jarocki
Location: East end of Industrial Way, Larkspur, can also be reached by the parking behind Cost Plus walking east and then turn left on the levee to the end of Industrial Way.
Tidal marsh and upland habitat was restored in 2017 (see more in Stewardship) adjacent to the existing Corte madera Ecological Reserve. In 2018 we planted 18,000 plants. In the summer of 2019 we watered every three weeks with an irrigation system we installed. Winter and spring maintenance work includes removing invasive plants that sprout with the rains.
When: First Saturday of each month, 10AM to 1PM.
Contact: Bob Hines
Location: On Paradise Drive directly across the road from Ring Mountain Trailhead, 1.5 miles from the Highway 101/Paradise Drive intersection.
MAS purchased Triangle Marsh in 1999. Some native plants are well established, but non-native invasive plant species require regular efforts to restrict and eventually eliminate them from the property.
When: We schedule workdays at Bahia in Novato as needed, and when volunteers are available.
Contact: Jude Stalker
Location: Bahia is at the end of Bahia Drive in eastern Novato and can be reached from Highway 101 via the Atherton Avenue exit. About 0.9 mile from Highway 101, turn left from Atherton to Bugeia Lane, which continues on as Bahia Drive.
Much of the Bahia upland, the area above the tide line, was bare soil in the fall of 2008. Some natives were planted during the rainy season in 2008-2009, but many more plantings are yet to come. Various invasive plants including thistles, radish, stinkwort and ice plant require regular control through the growing season.
Marin Invasive Sea Lavender Removal Project
When: On most weekends from March – June each year
Contact: Jude Stalker
Location: These workdays take place on private properties not owned by MAS along the Sausalito Shoreline and at the Corte Madera Marsh Ecological Reserve.
For over twelve years, MAS has been leading groups of volunteers in removing two species of the non-native, invasive plants (invasive sea lavender – Limonium ramosissimum and Limonium duriusculum) from local wetland areas that are on private properties along the Sausalito and Corte Madera shorelines.
Although they are not on MAS-owned properties, it is important to keep removing these plants to prevent their spread into other wetland areas (including MAS properties).
This effort has been successful in keeping the infestations of the plants at a manageable level and hopefully will lead to a full eradication in the future.
When: Workdays are seasonal. (Winter, Spring, and Summer)
Contact: Ed Nute
Location: Marin Audubon’s Simmons property in Novato.
This is a joint project of the Marin Audubon Society (MAS) and the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society MCNPS) in an effort to provide much needed host plants and flowering plants for the Monarch butterfly as well as for other pollinators. Butterfly counts conducted by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation found dismally low populations of the Monarch butterfly throughout California https://xerces.org/monarchs/western-monarch-conservation.
Volunteer opportunities are seasonal and include planting milkweed and nectar plant seedlings in the winter and mulching, weeding and watering during the spring and summer. In the winter of 2020 Narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) seedlings and nectar plants were planted at our Simmons property. In the winter of 2021 a second site will be planted at Marin Audubon’s Bahia property. Seed germination and plant survival will be monitored and the plots will be mulched, weeded and watered as necessary through the spring and summer to establish the plants and see what works. As we gain experience with the survival conditions necessary for milkweed plantings the Monarch Rescue Project will be expanded to other MAS properties.