From our blogs

Explore the refuge with online interactive field trip activities • May 4 - 8, 2020

Explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge!

Starting next week, May 4 through May 8, we will be sharing online, interactive field trip activities for teachers to send to students or parents to give their kids. Or for those just interested in learning more!

The activities will highlight each habitat of the refuge, the wildlife in each habitat, and some fun facts.

⮇ Click here to download the flyer (PDF 333 kB) ⮇

Each activity will have a PowerPoint presentation that has bird calls, links to videos and websites with more information! A worksheet will be provided that students can use to answer questions throughout the PowerPoint activity. Don't forget to check your worksheet with the answer key once you finish!

Here is the schedule for the activities:

  • Monday, May 4, 2020: Salt Marsh
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2020: Salt Pond
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020: Slough
  • Thursday, May 7, 2020: Mudflats
  • Friday, May 8, 2020: Upland
Explore and discover the 5 habitats of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Earth Day • April 22, 2020

On April 22 people all over the world will celebrate Earth Day – a day to raise environmental awareness and inspire people to take action in making the planet healthy for this and future generations. Learn more about this special day and how you can join in the celebration.

Happy Earth Day!

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 2.2 MB) ⮇

Volume 1 Issue 3 of Tide Rising, our quarterly newsletter, is ready

by Ceal Craig

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020

Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020.

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society is happy to publish the third issue of its digital-only newsletter, Tide Rising: Volume 1, Issue 3, Spring 2020. This issue’s theme is Endangered & Threatened Species.

In this issue:

  • Learn about critical work on the Ellicott Slough Dunes NWR from Diane Kodama, Refuge Manager for an endangered salamander.
  • Aidona Kakouros, USFWS Wildlife Botanist, takes you to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR, Warm Springs Unit, a site with vernal pools supporting many endangered and threatened species.
  • Return of the Terns (sounds like a novel!) by Alex Hartman and Josh Ackerman from USGS talk about decoys and nesting progress.
  • People of Note celebrates two women of note that made a difference for our Refuges and the environment, and the endangered species they support.
  • Hope Presley, SFBWS, provides ideas to Explore from Home with an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt activity to try.
  • Paul Mueller, USFWS Volunteer Coordinator, shares last year’s volunteer report recognizing the efforts of volunteers on the Refuge.
  • Both Friends group share their thoughts and plans for coming quarters.

Editors: Ceal Craig, PhD; Renee Fitzsimons
Contributors: Josh Ackerman, PhD; Ceal Craig, PhD; Alex Hartman, PhD; Aidona Kakouros; Diane Kodama; Paul Mueller; Hope Presley; Sharon Xiao

Thanks for reading!

Join free, live, online garden tours • April 26, May 3, May 10, 2020, 10am - 3pm

Join the 2020 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour free online this year via Zoom and YouTube!

Spend three Sundays in the Gardens — April 26, May 3 and May 10 — with passionate garden owners and the talented designers of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes will show us what’s happening in the garden now, feature their favorite natives, describe their favorite native plant gardening resources, and more.

This year’s Tour features 42 gardens, which can be seen on the Tour’s website. You can view photos of each of these gardens, read a description of the garden and print out its plant list at View the 2020 Gardens. You will be able to meet the homeowners and view about half of these gardens live online through Sundays in the Gardens.

This program will be hosted on Zoom, and live-streamed on YouTube. Registration is required. Click here to register for the online tour. Your registration email will contain links to join the live events.

The exemplary landscapes on the Tour hope to inform, inspire and motivate you to incorporate native plants into your own gardens. They contain at least 60% native plants, are pesticide-free, water-conserving, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Renowned ecologist and best-selling author Douglas Tallamy will open this event on Sunday, April 26, at 10:00, after which each garden owner will host a 25 minute long live visit.

Celebrate spring: Fill a coloring page showcasing local habitats and wildlife

Use your creativity to fill a coloring page that showcases the habitats and wildlife of Don Edwards SF Bay National WIldlife Refuge!

There are many different species found at the Refuge, including lots of migratory birds!

Print out the coloring page below, fill it with color, and also learn about the importance of the habitats and the wildlife that depend on them.

You can share your creativity by sending photos of your completed coloring page to us at

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 1.7 MB) ⮇

Celebrate spring: Go on an outdoor sensory scavenger hunt

Use your senses to explore nature in your own backyard or neighborhood!

Print out the checklist in the guide below, make observations, and check off everything you find. You can also color in the pictures, or draw your own pictures of what you find on the back!

You can share your observations by sending photos of your completed checklist to us at

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 375 kB) ⮇

Celebrate spring: Egg decorating with natural dyes

Make naturally dyed eggs just in time for the Spring Season and Easter!

Find a list of materials and instructions in the guide below to create your own natural dyes from a variety vegetables and spices.

Once you know the basic process to make natural dyes you can experiment with other fruit, vegetables, and spices – if it stains your hands it will dye egg shells!

Creating your own natural dyes, instead of buying kits from the store, ensures that artificial or synthetic dyes don’t get into our watersheds.

Once you are done dyeing and decorating your eggs, you can share your beautiful creations by sending pictures to us at

⮇ Click here to download the handout (PDF 1.8 MB) ⮇

Beautify your neighborhood and participate in a community science project!

Are you taking walks around your neighborhood and noticing litter on the ground?

Did you know?: Litter can enter watersheds via creeks and storm drains that end up in the San Francisco Bay and ultimately the ocean? This poses a threat to the wellness of wildlife and our planet. We work with Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program to help reduce various types of runoff from polluting our waterways and habitats. Here is a fun way you and your family can help!

Come celebrate the anniversary of the nation's first National Wildlife Refuge

On March 14, 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt created the first national wildlife refuge at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans and other birds from extinction through plume hunting.

While our visitor centers are closed at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, visit and take a walk, bring a lunch and watch the Refuge creatures forage and eat while you eat yours.

The Refuge and its trails remain open from sunrise to sunset. Please avoid overcrowding the trails and maintain the social distancing guidelines while walking the trails.

Closures and event cancelations at Don Edwards SF Bay NWR

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided late afternoon Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to cancel all public programs and volunteer events at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge until further notice.

The hunt meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2020 has been postponed until further notice.

For those who have a scheduled group program, please contact the staff person who made the reservation.

The Visitor Center in Fremont, and the Environmental Education Center in Alviso are also closed to the general public until further notice.

The Refuge and its trails remain open from sunrise to sunset.

For any other questions or concerns please contact Genie Moore by email at