20th Annual Wildcat Creek Clean-up

wildcat_cleanup“You mean, you came here today to clean our community?” Ximena, a seven year-old resident of San Pablo was so thankful about having volunteers clean up her beloved playground that she immediately asked how she could help. Every year, KIDS for the BAY partners with the City of San Pablo to bring the community together and pick up trash in and around Wildcat Creek. Families came together on Saturday, October 11, 2014 for the 20th Annual Wildcat Creek Cleanup Event and spent three hours picking up 4,203 pieces of trash. Equipped with latex gloves, tongs and trash bags, elementary and middle school students from San Pablo made the creek and surrounding park a better place for the community.

Fall Outing – September 18, 2014

fall-outing-september18It was an amazing day! On September 18, KIDS for the BAY staff enjoyed a day at Marin Headlands connecting with nature and participating in team building and nature-inspired activities. For Executive Director and Founder Mandi Billinge it is very important to devote time to professional development. This time the goal was to build an understanding of the connections between staff members and the importance of each of our roles in the achievement of organizational objectives. Each staff member developed and led one activity and it was great to see each of them as an educator and a leader.

The team had a great time and ended the day with renewed energy to start the 2014-2015 school year and bring vital environmental education to 4,402 students and 135 teachers.

19th Annual Wildcat Creek Clean-Up Event a Great Success!

Wildcat clean-upOn October 12, 2013, children, parents and local school teachers joined KIDS for the BAY and the City of San Pablo to help clean up Wildcat Creek, which flows through Davis Park on its way to the San Francisco Bay. This event, originally begun by a class of third grade students from Dover Elementary School in San Pablo, as part of their KIDS for the BAY Watershed Action Program, brings the community together every year to take care of their local creek and park environment.

“It’s always a blast to come here and pick up litter with my students!”Wildcat clean-up – Laura Larson, Teacher, Helms Middle School, San Pablo

“This was so much fun! How do I do this again? Maybe all of the Helms Middle School science classes could take a field trip to Wildcat Creek to clean it up.” – Eliana, Student, Helms Middle School, San Pablo

Garbage items collected from Wildcat Creek during the Clean-Up Event included: 20 large bags of garbage, 1 tire, some construction debris, a computer, wires, a vacuum cleaner, spray paint cans and motor oil containers – Wildcat clean-upthe creek and the bay will definitely be cleaner without these items flowing through the watershed!

Thank you to all the Inspired Environmentalists who volunteered their time to clean up Wildcat Creek in their community!

KftB Students’ Artwork Unveiled on a Berkeley Utility Box

On December 7, 2012, artwork from KIDS for the BAY students was unveiled on a utility box on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Channing Way in Berkeley. The city-wide utility box art project is part of Earth Island Institute’s Streets Alive! Program.  The project draws on local artists to create vivid images of sustainability to beautify the city.

60boxesIn the 2011-2012 school year six fifth grade students from John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley began designing and drawing pictures to develop their idea of sustainability – their connection to their local watershed.  John Muir Elementary School students, faculty, school principal and parents have participated in KIDS for the BAY’s School Wide Watershed Action Program for the past three years.  In the program, the school community learned their place in and their connection to their watershed.  The lucky group of six student artists had the opportunity to educate others about their watershed through the Streets Alive! art project.

The KIDS for the BAY students’ utility box image, titled “Drains to the Ocean”, reminds people how we are inextricably connected to the ocean through the city storm drains we walk, bike, and drive by every day. A big thank you to the students who created the vibrant artwork – Ariana Rodriguez, Berenabas Getahun, Jaleal Williams-Evans, Mayanah MaCullough, Nahdiri Polk, Odessa Newman & Zaikir Glasper.

Please visit our students’ artwork on the utility box at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Channing Way in Berkeley.

20 Year Celebration – A Huge Success!!

20anniv-4On October 20, 2012, the beautiful greenway of Codornices Creek was brightened by 80 KIDS for the BAY volunteers and celebrators.  How does an environmental education organization celebrate its 20 Year Anniversary?  By doing something for the earth!  Teachers, families, donors, board members and other supporters joined together to plant native plants beside Codornices Creek and to celebrate KIDS for the BAY’s 20 years of successful environmental education programs in local elementary schools.

The plants were originally collected last spring by KIDS for the BAY students from John Muir School in Berkeley.  Students carefully collected hundreds of seeds – including purple needle grass, buttercups, and California poppies – from the banks of Codornices Creek.  The seeds were then cleaned, dried and planted in starter pots by campers in KIDS for the BAY’s “Wonderful World of Plants!” Camp, last summer.  Diana Benner took care of the plants at her Watershed Nursery until they were ready to be planted by eager volunteers at our 20 Year Anniversary Celebration.  200 plants were planted beside the creek, and thanks to the early fall rains a few days later, they have a great chance to grow healthy and strong.

20anniv-1Planters gathered for lunch and an amazing performance by Quenepas – Puerto Rican drumming, dancing and singing youth group.  KIDS for the BAY also honored two Guardian Award winners:  Lucy Schmidt, representing the third grade team of teachers from World Academy School inOakland; and Audrey Amos, Principal of John Muir School in Berkeley.  Both schools have partnered with KIDS for the BAY for many years to deliver exciting, hands-on environmental science education, in the classroom and in the outdoors, to their students.

Over the past 20 years, 60,000 school students have graduated from a KIDS for the BAY program.  This includes 60,000 Inspired Environmentalists who are helping to take care of the environment we all share.  2,650 teachers have also graduated from a KIDS for the BAY program.  Many of these teachers continue to teach environmental science education to their students every year, using the tools and resources provided by KIDS for the BAY.

20anniv-4We really want to thank our students, teachers, school principals, donors, staff, board members and other supporters, for a wonderful journey over the past 20 Years, and for helping KIDS for the BAY to achieve an amazing accomplishment of 60,000 Inspired Environmentalists!  We are looking forward to inspiring another generation of environmentalists in the next 20 Years!

20anniv-2A special thank you to the Watershed Nursery, the City of Albany, the Codornices Creek Watershed Council and Friends of Five Creeks, for their partnership in the planting project on 10/20/2012.

Please visit the KIDS for the BAY Facebook page to see more beautiful pictures of our event –www.facebook.com/KIDSfortheBAY.

 

17th Annual Wildcat Creek Clean-Up Event

The 17th Annual Wildcat Creek Clean-Up took place on October 15, 2011 at Davis Park in San Pablo. During the clean-up event over thirty-five volunteers worked together to remove large amounts of debris from inside the creek, on the creek banks and in the surrounding park. Working collaboratively, this year’s enthusiastic volunteers collected over sixteen bags of garbage, one shopping cart, one big piece of plywood and one old chair. Due to the rainfall that occurred prior to the clean-up, the water level at the creek was high and some debris had already washed downstream. Despite the high water levels, volunteers were meticulous and determined to remove even the smallest pieces of garbage, such as tiny bits of plastic and paper, before they could wash into the bay. A big thank you to all who particpated in the event and helped to make Davis Park and Wildcat Creek a little cleaner!

 

“This event is so cool because my students learn how to become leaders in their local community. And they are actually helping to eliminate pollution – I love it!”
– Laura Larson, Helms Middle School Science Teacher, San Pablo

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KftB Participates in 25th Annual California Coastal Clean-Up Day

On September 19, 2009 KIDS for the BAY staff joined the statewide efforts for the 25th Annual Coastal Clean-Up Day at Meeker Slough along the San Francisco Bay shoreline in Richmond. Since the clean-up event started in 1985, over 800,000 Californians have removed more than 13 million pounds of debris from our state’s shorelines and coast. When combined with the International Coastal Clean-Up, organized by The Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Clean-Up Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events of the year. KIDS for the BAY is proud to be a part of the solution for clean and healthy shorelines and waterways.

KIDS for the BAY Volunteering to Clean Up Oil Spill

Audio clip : Mandi Billinge speaks to reporters about the volunteer clean up effort

Dear Supporters of KIDS for the BAY,

Here at KIDS for the BAY we have been deeply saddened by the oil spill that occurred last Wednesday, November 7th when a container ship hit the Bay Bridge and spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into the bay. All local beaches and fishing piers have been closed due to large amounts of toxic oil globules invading the shoreline. Hundreds of birds, fish and marine mammals are in danger because of this oil spill and the sight of the oil-coated birds has moved the KIDS for the BAY staff to take action.

This Wednesday, November 14th please join KIDS for the BAY staff as we spend the day volunteering to spot and drive distressed oil-covered birds to be rehabilitated. We will have two volunteers groups of KIDS for the BAY staff – one arriving at the Shorebird Park Nature Center at the Berkeley Marina at 9am and one arriving at noon. We invite you to come be part of the positive actions to help save the birds in danger because of the oil spill.

For more information on volunteering please contact:

Shorebird Park Nature Center
160 University Ave.
(510) 981-6720, 981-6721 or 981-6722

Or…

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (415) 701-2311

If you cannot come out and volunteer, the rescue groups are also in
need of the following
items:

Blankets
Towels
Pillow Cases
Heating Pads
Thermoses
Water Bottles
Sharpie Pens
Flags (such as used for surveying, irrigation, etc.)

You can either drop off donated items to the Shorebird Park Nature
Center or you can drop them off to our office at 1771 Alcatraz Ave. in
Berkeley tomorrow and we can drop them off for you when we volunteer
on Wednesday.

Thank you for all of your support in helping to rehabilitate the bay.

Any questions, please call KIDS for the BAY at (510) 985-1602 or e-mail her at
info@kidsforthebay.org.

Thanks,

From Mongolia to Richmond: Coming Together To Clean Creeks

KIDS for the BAY fourth grade students from Castro Elementary School were honored with a visit from Mongolia’s Tsetsegee Munkhbayar last April. The students were cleaning up a trashed creek in the Richmond flatlands. Munkhbayar was in California to receive the prestigious, international, Goldman Environmental Prize. He was recognized for his work to save Mongolian rivers from the detrimental effects of gold mining, which devastate the environment on which local people depend for their livelihood.

People affected by water issues and environmental problems in Mongolia are largely living in rural areas. Richmond, California is highly urbanized. However, both environments are impacted by poverty, industry and water pollution and share this common ground.

Munkhbayar was interested in KIDS for the BAY’s programs because he believes that the involvement of youth is vital to the success of his movement in Mongolia.

 

“I am very excited to meet with you at KIDS for the BAY and to hear about all the work that you do with children. I believe that children are the most important component of our Onggi River Movement.”

— Tsetsegee Munkhbayar,
Goldman Environmental
Prize Winner, 2007

 

KIDS for the BAY took Munkhbayar to visit one of our creek education and restoration sites, Baxter Creek in Richmond, where a group of KIDS for the BAY students were cleaning up the creek. Gayle McLaughlin, the Green Party Mayor of Richmond, also joined us there and took a keen interest in meeting Munkhbayar and KIDS for the BAY staff and students.

Munkhbayar addressed the students, saying, “The land is your mother: you must respect and honor her, play with her, enjoy her and help to take good care of her.”

Later, at the KIDS for the BAY office, Munkhbayar shared some of the highlights of his work. He also presented Mandi Billinge, Executive Director of KIDS for the BAY, with a beautiful picture of his Onggi River that he had brought all the way from Mongolia.

In this international information exchange, Mandi shared with Munkhbayar the three key components for the success of KIDS for the BAY programs:

1) inspire a love of learning through hands-on science activities in the classroom and in the outdoors

2) encourage education through action and engage students in environmental action projects that empower them as leaders

3) ensure a lasting impact by training the teachers and engaging the whole school community.

KIDS for the BAY was honored by the visit from Munkhbayar. We feel fortunate to have had this information exchange and to feel solidarity with an environmental activist from another part of the world!

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