A special group of volunteers exemplifies SYRCL’s mission of uniting the community to protect and restore the Yuba River. In gratitude, SYRCL hosted this year’s River Monitors and Restoration project volunteers to an end-of-the-year appreciation party last week. Nearly half of the 100 volunteers braved strong winds and heavy rain to enjoy food, drinks, t-shirts, awards, and merriment.
Attendees included both River Monitors that have been with the program since the beginning (2001) and those who were trained only last spring. Some River Monitors traveled hundreds of miles over the year to monitor their site, and others supported the program by maintaining equipment and entering or checking data. Altogether, volunteers of the River Monitoring Program contributed over 1,100 hours of service to our community and watershed in 2012.
Restoration Program volunteers provided critical roles for riparian enhancement and meadow restoration in 2012. The Hammon Bar Riparian Enhancement project was supported by amazing volunteers who spent hot days in the goldfields marking 5000 cuttings that were planted in November. Volunteers also used hand tools to clear small conifers and promote regeneration of rare Sierra aspen trees at the fringes of three meadows in the upper Yuba watershed last summer.
SYRCL owes a lot of it successes to its dedicated volunteers, so we did not hold back in honoring them last week. Certain individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions. For example, Ben Emery, a river monitor along the South Yuba at Humbug Creek, was dubbed “The Yuba Gazelle” for his monthly six mile trek to collect water quality data. Mike Llewellyn, was appreciated for creating a custom box to organize river monitoring equipment for convenience and accuracy. George and Jeanne Scarmon were awarded with “Rookies of the Year”. Terry Armstrong received “River Monitor of the Year”, and Jim Wofford (once a faithful river monitor) was honored with “Restorationist of the Year”.
Everyone joined together in honoring Eric Rubenstahl for an exceptional year of service as our AmeriCorps River Monitoring Coordinator. We also provided a very warm welcome to our new AmeriCorps members, Adele Rife (Restoration Coordinator), Andrew Collins-Anderson (Stewardship Coordinator), and Marianne Pott (River Monitoring Coordinator).
SYRCL looks forward to future program successes (and celebrations) with the help of our volunteers. Thank you, to all of our volunteers!