This weekend’s environmental activities look like a lot of fun

Trail tenders

The sign above may be relocated Saturday, and a hardy detachment of trail volunteers may be sent deep into the Sunny Brae Tract to address certain issues with the Beith Creek Loop. See below.

Note: Did you know that the Union's back page is dedicated every week to environmental activities? There are features, photos and a rundown of the eco-fun to be had in the immediate future (below). Check it out sometime! – Ed.

Mad River Union

AUDUBON MARSH TRIP Join the Redwood Region Audubon Society on a free public field trip at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, Feb. 27. Bring your binoculars and have a great morning birding! Meet leader Cindy Moyer in the parking lot at the end of South I Street (Klopp Lake) in Arcata at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine. Trip ends around 11 a.m.

SUNNY BRAE TRACT WORKDAY The City of Arcata’s Environmental Services Department and the Humboldt Trails Council’s Volunteer Trail Stewards invite you to a volunteer work day in the Sunny Brae Tract of the Arcata Community Forest on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Margaret Lane trailhead concrete steps, which are up from the corner of Margaret and Buttermilk lanes. Participants will continue construction on portions of the Beith Creek Loop Trail. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, work pants and boots and bring rain gear and water. Gloves, tools, snacks and beverages will be provided. (707) 825-2163, [email protected]

Update: According to the Humboldt Trails Council:

Plan to join us Saturday, Feb. 27 for the second work day of 2016.

We are going to be working on the Beith Creek Loop trail. If the weather cooperates, we will send a crew on a long walk (30 minutes) to rework some of the upper stream crossings. We will also be armoring some of the trail tread. For those who would prefer less walking and lighter work, we will be cutting the seed heads off the pampas grass that has proliferated in several areas. We may be moving the Sunny Brae entrance sign now that the kiosk is installed as well. Plenty to do!

We begin at 9 a.m. and finish no later than 1 p.m. with lunch. We will meet at the south trailhead for the Sunny Brae Forest on Margaret Avenue (at the base of the cement stairs up from the corner of Buttermilk and Margaret Lanes). From the Buttermilk roundabout on Old Arcata Road in Sunny Brae, drive east 0.9 mile on Buttermilk Lane. Just before Buttermilk turns to the right, turn left on Margaret Lane for one block.

Bring a water bottle and gloves if you have them (you know what our supply looks like). Of course, we always welcome new volunteers and don't worry if it has been a while since you have been able to attend. We'll work rain or shine. January proved that for sure!

HBNWR TREE PLANTING Join a Tree Planting Volunteer Workday at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters and Visitor Center, 1020 Ranch Rd. in Loleta. Help restore riparian habitat by planting native trees and shrubs. Tools, gloves and snacks provided. Bring drinking water and your own gloves if you have them. RSVP to [email protected] or call (707) 733-5406.

FOAM MARSH TOUR Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM) sponsors a free tour of the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. Meet leader Jane Wilson at the Interpretive Center on South G Street for a 90-minute walk focusing on the ecology of the Marsh. Loaner binoculars available with photo ID. For more information, call (707) 826-2359.

AUDUBON ANNUAL BANQUET Join Redwood Region Audubon Society for its annual banquet on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the D Street Neighborhood Center, 1301 D St. in Arcata Ornithologist and author Dr. Geoffrey Hill will give a fun and informative presentation summarizing the latest research on what is being signaled by the color of bird feathers. Why are some birds so bright and gaudy they cannot go undetected and others are so drab and cryptic they are tough to spot? Why do House Finches lose their coloration when they fall ill while the colors of parrots are resistant to the effects of disease? Dr. Hill will also discuss what the study of bird feather coloration might tell us about human health and aging. The banquet social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Meat and veggie options will be offered by caterer Uniquely Yours. Tickets are priced at a sliding scale between $35 and $50. Send a check made out to RRAS to P.O. Box 1054, Eureka, CA, 95502 or reserve tickets at (707) 442-8862 or [email protected] with “Banquet” in the subject line. The last day to make reservations is Feb. 25.

McK LAND TRUST ANNUAL DINNER The McKinleyville Land Trust holds its 15th annual dinner and fundraiser at Azalea Hall in McKinleyville on Sunday, March 6, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Tiana Williams and Chris West, biologists with the Yurok Tribe, present “The Return of Pre-Go-Neesh – Efforts to Restore the California Condor to the North Coast.” Once widespread in the Pacific Northwest and the northern California coast, the last wild condor to fly over Humboldt County was killed near Kneeland in the early 1900s. The successful return of this species to the North Coast would be a significant cultural and ecological achievement. A silent auction, raffle and brief update on McKinleyville Land Trust’s activities will also be included. No-host wine and beer bar starts at 5 p.m. Dinner featuring chicken cacciatore or baked eggplant, fresh mixed green salad and other tasty dishes will be served at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30/$25 for students and seniors/$15 for kids 12 and under/free for small children. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling (707) 839-LAND.

GEAR DONATIONS SOUGHT Friends of the Dunes needs you to donate or consign your gently used outdoor gear for the annual Get Outside Gear Sale, Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, 220 Stamps Lane in Manila. Admission is free. This  popular fundraiser supports coastal education and conservation programs and is a great place to find deals on gear while enjoying live music, food, beer and kids activities. Donate that bike/surfboard/tent/fishing pole by dropping them off at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, or take your donation to Adventure’s Edge in Arcata or Eureka during March and get a 15 percent off coupon to use at their stores. Typical gear includes camping and backpacking equipment, guides and maps, child carriers, bicycles, disc golf and more. friendsofthedunes.org, (707) 444-1397

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