Volunteer Opportunity: Winter Solstice Self-Guided BioBlitz at the Refuge

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Volunteer Opportunity: Winter Solstice Self-Guided BioBlitz at the Refuge

Help us track native California plant and animal species by taking and submitting photos close to the Winter Solstice!

When and where

Date and time


Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center 1751 Grand Blvd San Jose, CA 95002

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

  • 5 days 12 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Interested in a volunteer opportunity you can do on your own? Are you looking for an activity you can do safely with your family for the holiday season? Want to find a new way to celebrate the start of the Winter season?

Join us for a self-guided BioBlitz event in honor of the upcoming Winter Solstice, from Sunday, December 18th to Friday, December 23rd. The Alviso Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent location for viewing local wildlife and checking out native plant species. Join the project here: https://tinyurl.com/wintersolsticebioblitz.

The restoration and upkeep of our upland and salt marsh habitats is an ongoing project. We need your help to track and identify the California native plant and animal species that call the refuge home. We also need help observing which non-native or invasive plants have found their way into the area. In short, we are so happy to have you join us and are excited for you to get out on the trail and observe as many species as you can! We are looking to get as many quality observations as possible - please check out iNaturalist's recommendations for making observations via your smartphone.

As the Mallard Slough Trail is closed around pond A16, we recommend doing your self-guided BioBlitz hike in our Butterfly Garden, on the Marsh View Trail, and on the New Chicago Marsh Trail (boardwalk).

New to iNaturalist? Follow this link for instructions for setting up your iNaturalist account and how to make observations via your smartphone: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started. Once you create a username and password, you are good to go out and explore the trail. To join our weeklong project, please visit https://tinyurl.com/wintersolsticebioblitz, or search for "Winter Solstice Self-Guided Volunteer BioBlitz at the Refuge" and join! This way, all of your observations will make it into our project for the week.

Other Considerations:

- This is an entirely self-guided volunteer opportunity, and staff will not be on-site to assist. Please keep this in mind as you make your plans. It's always good to practice responsible recreation and let someone know where you are going whenever you head out on the trail.

- For questions about volunteer hours, please email watershedwatchers@sfbayws.org. We will do our best to respond to all requests.

- Driving Directions: We recommend using Google Maps and mapping to the "Environmental Education Center (EEC)" or 1751 Grand Blvd, Alviso, CA 95002.

- The Refuge gates will close at 5 pm in the evenings; please park outside of the gate if you plan on being in the area after hours.

- We expect the weather to be variable, so we encourage everyone to wear sun protection and bring plenty of water and snacks! We also encourage you to wear comfortable clothes that are good for exploring the trails and bring warm layers as it will mostly likely be rather cold and windy.

- ADA-compliant parking spaces, trails, and restrooms are available on-site.

- Restrooms will be available on-site in the form of an ADA-compliant portable toilet and hand-washing station.

- Please follow safety precautions and abide by CDC guidelines. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/home.aspx

- The information you are helping us to collect makes a difference! As we actively restore our upland habitats, the healthier and more resilient our ecosystems will be, and the more we can reduce water runoff and urban runoff pollution. For information on how you can help keep our watersheds and the Bay clean by preventing urban runoff pollution, visit: http://www.mywatershedwatch.org/.

This program is brought to you by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS), and the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP).

Volunteer Opportunity: Winter Solstice Self-Guided BioBlitz at the Refuge image