Upper Castle Creek

Monitoring Day: A Tale of Dedication

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With three monitoring days under my belt in 2010 I am feeling reflective and would like to share with all our members, a day in the life of the River Monitoring Coordinator. I will share with you my experiences on one special day that only comes around once a month; River Monitoring Day.

The arrival of spring and the changes it renders upon our beautiful watershed were mirrored  River Monitoring Program this May. I arrived at the office just before 8 am to eagerly await the arrival of our new office volunteer, Akasha Kaur Khalsa, who was making the long drive up from Sacramento to donate her time to SYRCL. Scarcely had she arrived when the first monitoring team of the day came through the doors to collect their equipment. Soon the office was bustling with activity and alive with friendly voices greeting each other after a month’s separation or exchanging greetings for the first time. May marked the addition of 18 newly trained volunteers to our team and it was refreshing to observe their excitement and enthusiasm as they prepared for their first excursion to their newly assigned sites. Equipment secured, teams headed out to 31 different sites in the watershed to be the eyes, the ears, and the voices that observe and protect the Yuba.

Upper Castle Creek
Monitoring in the snow at upper Castle Creek May 8th, 2010. Photo courtesy of new volunteer, Hassan Ebrahimi-Nuyken.

Soon after, two more new volunteers arrived for the last training of the year and leaving the office in the capable hands of Office Volunteers Lauren Reinkens and Akasha Kaur, we spent the next several hours collecting water samples, using meters, and titrating bottles of river water. Part of our time in the field was spent at our newest site, Site 64 Oregon Ravine,  located right here in Nevada City which was added to the roster just this year. The new trainees left the office three hours later feeling confident in data collection and ready to get out on the river on June 5th.

Soon after lunch, I received a phone call from some monitors in the field, Michael and Heather Llewellyn, who had some sampling questions and wanted to let me know that one of their sites was inaccessible due to snow. They returned to the office determined to borrow snowshoes from a friend the following day and return to their site near Truckee to get the data we needed. Another volunteer, Mike Friebel, returned from monitoring two sites in one day to run all 25 of our turbidity samples staying late to make sure that they got done.

I left the office that day amazed at the kindness and dedication of our volunteers. I am privileged every Monitoring Day to observe their comradery and the warmth they show to new team members, to receive their hours of help after long drives and long hikes, and to bear witness to their amazing dedication to doing the job right. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, don’t you think?

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