Stewards Year End Appeal for Support

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December 2, 2019
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods

Your support for youth stewardship of our public lands
helps to ensure park preservation for future generations!

Dear fellow Steward,

Thank you for all that you do to support Stewards’ work. This year has brought us forward in multiple areas of responsibility to our parks, even in the wake of the floods, fires and evacuations that challenged our Sonoma County communities. We are refinding steady footing and moving ahead to fulfill our stewardship mission. Our 2018 strategic planning process has guided us throughout the year, and at a recent board/staff retreat, our year one accomplishments and challenges helped inform the setting of Stewards’ 2020 objectives and activities to ensure success. 

I am pleased to report several notable achievements that your contributions have helped make possible this year:

  • Our work as part of the Sonoma Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative helped produce a final video of four titled Kashia Pomo Tribal Traditions in the MPA,which has been selected to be shown at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in January 2020.
  • Stewards and State Parks worked collaboratively to implement ADA improvements to the restrooms, parking lot and Visitor Center at Armstrong Redwoods SNR.
  • A new Pond Farm Artist-in-Residence Program was launched in February with eight artists hosted during the year, each of whom were moved to work at this inspiring historic site and to engage with our local community.
  • Our new Tidepool Touch Table provided an exciting interactive learning attraction at a number of family and community events during the year.
  • Signing a new co-management agreement with State Parks for both Armstrong Redwoods SNR and Austin Creek SRA is on the horizon.

Stewards was awarded a 2019 grant that funded another round of partnership with the Sonoma Youth Ecology Corp (SYEC). This group of motivated youth, under the leadership of our operations staff, completed significant fuel load reduction projects in both Armstrong Redwoods SNR and in Austin Creek SRA, while learning about the importance of reducing ladder fuels to alleviate the devastation that can be caused by high intensity wildfires. Our adult trail crew volunteers have also done a phenomenal job of clearing down trees and processing them into firewood. Combining essential work with environmental education can be a winning formula for planting the seeds of stewardship so important to our mission.    


The recent fire evacuations in our area were facilitated by the use of our new risk assessment guidelines, which provided notifications to local residents and staff resources for assessing trails and camping facilities and readying Armstrong Redwoods SNR and Austin Creek SRA for reopening to the public in a timely manner.

Thank you for helping Stewards sustain key environmental education connections
between our communities and parks!


Your donation directly benefits outdoor educational experiences for 8,000 school children annually, along with training for 50 new docents each year who reach 111,000 park visitors and contribute over 13,000 hours annually, a value of over $389,000 in support to State Parks.  Stewards offers 30 public education field seminars throughout the year, and our volunteers carry out citizen monitoring of pinnipeds, seabirds and marine life on the Sonoma Coast that provide important inputs to environmental science and policy.


One area of focus for the upcoming year will be to incorporate the impacts of climate change into our curricula, starting with our tidepool programs. We look forward to bringing our Tidepool Touch Table and our Steward Ship Mobile Marine Van to new audiences at school, community and coastal locations. And we are excited about a new partnership with the Sonoma County Boys and Girls Club that will introduce many first-time youth visitors to our parks during the summer months.

“Dear Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods,
Thank you so much for the field trip, I loved it! I got so wet and it was awesome. How many classes had a field trip there at the tidepools? I saw so many hermit crabs and sea anemones. I didn’t know about the tidepools until you guys! I was so excited when I was on the bus! The sand was so soft. I saw a lot of sea barnacles! How long has that tidepool been open to the public? I really enjoyed the field trip, I might go with my family soon! Once again thank you so much.”


~Priscilla, 3rd grader from Bellevue Elementary

The protection of our park resources is more important than ever


Building on the ongoing strength of our relationship with State Parks, Stewards looks forward to the 2020 signing of our new co-management agreement for operations of Armstrong SNR and Austin Creek SRA, as well as addressing needed improvements to the Jenner Visitor Center. We will keep you up to date as these important efforts progress.


Please help us stay on track to deliver on Stewards’ mission!


One area where your support is needed is in assisting Stewards to overcome the impact of this year’s fires and park closures on revenues at our visitor centers and retail store. While we are beginning to catch up, the temporary drop in visitors to our parks definitely put a dent in this significant source of annual income.  We recognize the importance of taking these eventualities into account moving forward and will be sharing information about new marketing, program, and organizational strategies in the coming months.


Support Stewards' efforts to safeguard our parks and provide
the public with high quality recreation, stewardship and education.

Our dedicated Board of Directors has pledged $25,000 in contributions for 2020. Please consider a donation that will help mitigate our revenue losses and support Stewards’ vital park programs.


By gifting $500 or more, you also become a member of our Osprey Circle. You will receive two general admission reservations to the 2020 Old Grove Festival, along with other benefits including 1 free seminar and a 20% discount in our nature stores and at other Stewards sponsored events.


Thank you for your generous support and commitment!


On behalf of the Stewards’ board and staff, please accept my gratitude for your continuing support along with my very best for the Holidays and New Year.


Sincerely,


Michele Luna
Executive Director

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