is pleased to present our first printed Annual Report. If you have not received one in the mail and would like one please contact us at
2012/2014 Major Accomplishments
Stewards is the primary support for the Russian River District "Volunteers in Parks" (VIP) programs and provides much needed funding and staffing for the recruitment and training of 300 docent/volunteer participants.
Since 2009, Stewards has spent significant time battling State Park budget cuts and the threats to close our beloved State Parks. After the defeat of Proposition 21 in 2010, the passing of AB42 in 2011, Stewards stepped up and entered into an operating agreement with State Parks to keep Austin Creek State Recreation Area open in 2012. In 2013, Stewards expanded programs with youth, reopened the backcounty campsites in Austin Creek, and raised funding for a new Marine Education Program on Sonoma Coast. This program will expand marine education for youth and park visitors on Sonoma Coast and create an exciting Mobile Marine Education Center.
In 2012, Stewards also entered into partnership with the California State Parks Foundation, the National Trust of Historic Preservation and California State Parks to rehabilitate Pond Farm Pottery in Austin Creek State Recreation Area. Pond Farm was the home, workshop and school of international reknowned ceramic artist Margarite Wildenhain who was trained as this female master potter at the famous Bauhaus in Germany. Stewards is honored to have the support of the California State Parks Foundation, which has selected Austin Creek as a model for the future. In 2013, funding was raised to stabilize the iconic Pond Farm barn and Marguerite's house. This work will commence in 2014. Pond Farm will also receive the honor of being named a National Historic site in 2014.
Stewards serves over 6,000 school children annually with reservations for school group programs at Sonoma Coast SP and at Armstrong Redwoods SNR. Of those, Stewards schedules docent-led experiences for about 2,500 children. Through our School Group Education Programs they study: the magnificent old-growth redwoods; the fascinating intertidal zone; marine ecology, the life cycle of salmon; the cultural groups who lived and worked on the lands of the Sonoma Coastal area.
In 2008, Stewards launched their Docent and Community Education Program. It has been an outstanding success with over 400 participants annually. This effort aids in recruiting about 50 new docent/volunteers for the "Volunteers in Parks" programs each year.
Since 2009, Stewards has been under contract with the Sonoma County Water Agency to monitor harbor seals on the Sonoma Coast and in the Russian River. The purpose of this project is 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.
Since 2009, Stewards raised $1.1million dollars to restore fish passage in the Willow Creek watershed. In 2011, this project replacied 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. In October 2011, the Willow Creek watershed was ready for the release of 11,000 coho salmon that were raised at the Warm Springs hatchery by the Army Corps. This article shares the excitement we all felt about this mementos occassion. Monitoring continues into 2014 and a new interpretive panel telling the story of restoration efforts will be completed in 2014.
In 2013/2014 Stewards raised $30,000 for commemorative interpretive panels and nature signs for Armstrong Redwoods.
In 2014 we launched our Marine Education Program with the purchase of a Step Van that we converted into our Steward Ship. The Steward Ship is a mobile marine educaiton visitor center that will go to schools, be at special events and Sonoma Coast beach locations to educate visitors of all ages about the marine ecosystem.
2013 Audited Fiscal Year End Report
Stewards is primarily supported through resale of educational materials in its visitor centers, sale of firewood at State Parks campgrounds, memberships, grants, donations from individuals and corporations, and other fund development activities. A breakdown of how funds were expended is as follows:
Program Expenses - $422,119 (87%)
Administrative Expenses - $26,811 (5%)
Fundraising Expenses - $36,270 (8%)
Net Assets - $202,233
Financial Statements and Annual 990 and 1023 are available upon request.
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