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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon, California, USA

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Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon, California, USA
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RebeccaP



Registered: November 2020
City/Town/Province: Mill Valley
Posts: 1
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"Dani?" I called to the biological intern overseeing Audubon's Native Plant Nursery, as I sat on the damp ground, repotting seedlings with dirty fingernails. "What do you think of me building a bunch of tables to replace these bad ones?"
"These bad ones" referred to the warped, decaying tables, arranged in a haphazard configuration, that constituted most of the nursery. It was a pretty bad scenario, given that the hundreds of plants grown each year in the nursery are supposed to restore Arambaru Island in San Francisco Bay, one of the most important estuaries in North America and a critical annual stop for over a billion migrating birds. Despite its importance, portions of the tables weren't being used because they would collapse if so much as poked, and their back corners couldn't be reached thanks to the nonsensical layout. The tables were no match for hundreds of pounds of dirt or a daily pummeling by gallons of water. It seemed that no one at Audubon but me realized that we could grow only so many plants on decaying tables before the entire restoration effort, literally and figuratively, would fall apart. Compulsive repairwomen that I am, the inefficiency and lack of oversight tortured me. I had to fix it.
After meetings with the center director, research, measurements, many blueprint iterations, $500 of bake sales, a large greenhouse supply purchase, negotiations with Home Depot's manager, hundreds of dollars of donated 2x4s, and more than 50 hours of physical labor, the 15 custom tables that I built revitalized the plant nursery, expanded it by 36%, and made every last nook and cranny fully capable of restoring our local ecosystem!
I know well that building some tables won't solve all the challenges facing my community, or our world. But I also understand that many efforts, no matter how small, add up to something significant. I hope that my work will encourage others to tackle the problems that they are passionate about, and then, as we all build our respective tables, we'll create something better, one nail at a time.
Date: November 23, 2020 Views: 222 File size: 24.9kb, 3011.7kb : 4032 x 3024
Hours Volunteered: 55
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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