November 3rd, 2010
Greetings to you all,
While the defeat of Proposition 21 is a huge disappointment, Stewards will reignite our energy and pursue greater efforts to protect and preserve our State Parks. The coalition of supporters statewide that rallied around this effort was inspirational. We will all continue to work towards a sustainable future for our threatened parks.
Thank you for all you have done to support our efforts.
Whether it was gathering signatures for the ballot measure, volunteering for one of our many education and stewardship programs, or providing in-kind and/or monetary support for our many fund raising efforts, you can be assured that your contribution has been appreciated and helped Stewards positively impact our beloved State Parks.
The work that Stewards does to support education and stewardship volunteer programs in our State Parks continues with more fervor than ever.
While visiting my granddaughter Giovanna recently, I was reminded of how impressionable young children can be. I love how excited they become when we share information about the natural world with them.
In my mind, sharing the wonders of nature with children is the most important work that Stewards does. Their lives are forever changed when our docents help them explore the flora and fauna at Armstrong Redwoods or the magical intertidal ecosystem on Sonoma Coast, where they learn how different critters interact.
Making lasting impressions in young children inspires future stewards of our threatened natural and cultural resources.
At this time, I am asking you to help us keep our environmental education programs going. In 2011, we are battling a funding shortfall. We need to raise enough money in the next few months to maintain the staff hours necessary to provide our professional services to teachers and our docents.
After working with Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods on extensive field trip preparation and activities, I have to say that I was very impressed and inspired by the docents who came into my classroom. What impressed me the most was their ability to draw the kids in and involve them in the activities. It was clear that they cared about what they were teaching and who they were teaching it to. It was a truly memorable learning experience, and students were positively impacted. I know that they will take their learning with them as they find their own place in the world.
~Elizabeth Vega, Teacher at Fitch Mountain School
We need your help now more than ever.
Stewards has a solid track record of doing exemplary work during tough times and we are proud of our accomplishments during 2010. We raised $753,000 to restore fish passage in the Willow Creek watershed, a project that will be completed in 2011 by replacing six culverts with a single-span, precast, 43-foot long concrete bridge. This will reestablish channel connectivity through 1,000 feet of wetlands and allow for natural channel development. The project will also improve road safety, reduce flooding and maintain public access to existing State Park facilities and campgrounds.
Stewards worked very hard on the Proposition 21 campaign by coordinating signature gathering in Sonoma County and by distributing campaign information and materials by way of the internet and through personal contact with California voters.
We provided 350 docents and community members with quality field seminars so they could learn about the natural and cultural resources in our State Parks. Stewards served almost 6,000 school children by making reservations for school groups through our website and by providing 2,000 children with docent-led educational experiences in their classrooms and in our parks.
Stewards continues to participate in a harbor seal monitoring program to ensure the safety of the harbor seals who reside at the Russian River mouth while the federally-mandated Biological Opinion is implemented to restore salmon habitat in the estuary.
In addition, we planned and implemented a number of fundraising events, some more successful than others. A highlight was the memorable evening spent with Ledward Kaapana and the Taimalietane Islands of Polynesia dancers.
Stewards is launching a donation drive to raise
$35,000 in the next four months.
I know personally that the downturn in the economy has affected many of us and our charitable giving is not at the level it used to be. I am asking you now to remember Stewards with a significant year-end donation. We will continue to use your support wisely and efficiently.
Please help us keep our environmental education programs going.
We offer you a number of ways to help with a meaningful contribution during the holiday season.
Our annual holiday online auction begins on November 11th and goes until December 1st. A live event will take place on December 3rd, when we acknowledge our dedicated docents and volunteers at our Annual Volunteer Celebration. Online bidders are given an opportunity to provide absentee bids up to a designated amount and still continue to compete during the live event! Information on donating items and bidding is available on our special webpage.
25th Anniversary Raffle
To commemorate our 25th Anniversary, Stewards is raffling off a 25-bottle Sonoma County wine assortment. Tickets available on our website are 6 for $25 and 10 for $40. The raffle drawing will take place at the Annual Volunteer Celebration on December 3rd. The winner need not be present to win.
We are adding items to our E-Store to provide you with a nice assortment of holiday gifts for family and friends. We will even ship direct to your gift recipient if you’d like. Check out our E-store catalog today.
Monetary Donation and/or Membership
Your monetary donation of $100 or more will also provide you a one-year membership, which gives you a 20% discount at our Visitor Centers at Armstrong Redwoods and in Jenner (great places to shop for the holidays). In addition, Stewards participates in a reciprocal donation program (RDP) with the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL), which means that you also qualify for discounts at other State and National Park Visitor Centers that are participants. The RDP list is on our website.
However you decide to support Stewards, your gift will impact the lives of thousands of school children each year. These children will become our future lifetime stewards and learn to inspire others by their example.
Thank you for supporting our treasured State Parks and their natural and cultural resources.
May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season,
Michele Luna, Executive Director