💥(cancelled) FORB Welcomes back Swainson's hawks April 11th! (check out raptor cams here)
Raptor Center raptors put on another great show last year at this event
⚡️NEW!⚡️ See the 2020 FORB calendar below or on the Calendar page.
☕️January 1: New Year’s Day Gathering ✔️
🍄: (cancelled) February 8th Mushroom Hunt with Ryan LaPorte
🦉Feb 14-17 Join in the Great Backyard Bird Count at Sutter's Landing Park or Home!
🐾 (postponed) March 14: 10 AM Coexisting with Coyotes and Guy Galante
🦅(cancelled) April 11: Return of Swainson’s Hawks (check out raptor cams here)
🦇May 9: Bats (cancelled)
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 our remaining schedule may need to be cancelled or moved to another format.
❓June 13: TBA 💥
🦋July 11: Bugs
🦝August 8: Beavers (tentative)
🐉September 12: Dragons & Damsels
🐟October 10: Welcome Back Salmon
🌊November 14: Sea Lions (tentative)
🐾December: ARNHA Wildlife Count
We were extremely excited to announce that Guy Galante, coyote whisperer and scholar, planned to share his knowledge of these magnificent creatures on Saturday, March 14, at 10 am. Unfortunately, that event was cancelled due to COVID-19 but may be rescheduled for later this year. Guy has been studying coyotes for years, including their interactions in urban and wild settings and their importance to native California cultures. He can answer all of your questions and concerns. Meanwhile, take a look at this recent article on "Coyote Guy" for more details.
Recent coyote sightings in the neighborhood have raised some alarm. What does it take to coexist with coyotes and what should we do to minimize conflicts with these fascinating animals, who have been in our area far longer than we have? There are answers to these questions.
FORB welcomed back Swainson’s Hawks again in 2020…!!!
On Saturday, April 11th, at 10 am, FORB planned to again Welcome Back the Swainson's Hawks to Sutter’s Landing. Unfortunately, this very popular annual event was cancelled due to COVID-19 but will be held again when possible. Meanwhile, Swainson's hawks are back from migration and again nesting and foraging in the general area. When the event can be held again there will be live birds from the Raptor Center, information tables from Save the American River Association (SARA) and Audubon, and refreshments. Robert will lead a walk along the river, where we never know what we will see: raptors and other birds, mammals, reptiles, ???. Be sure to come and learn about Swainson’s Hawks and other raptors, then go say hello to all the other wildlife at Sutter's Landing.
🐲Our September event of 2020. Saturday, Sept 12, "Dragons & Damsels!!"
On Saturday, Sept 12th, for "Dragons and Damsels", one of our favorite FORB events of the year. We'll meet at 9:30 am to let the dragonflies warm up but before it gets too hot for we humans. Greg Kareofelas, dragon/damselfly expert and all around awesome person, will give a short talk and introduce us to the world of dragonflies/damselflies with live specimens. Then we’ll head down to the river to see what's flying around. There will be butterfly nets to share or bring your own. Catching dragonflies is quite a challenge and great fun for young and old alike.
Meet at the Sutter's Landing parking lot--9:30!!--at the very end of 28th St. Bring water, sunblock/hat, binoculars, and snacks/clothes change for kids. All ages are welcome. Please leave your dogs at home and try to walk, bike, or carpool to minimize our collective carbon footprint. Please invite others who may enjoy a morning chasing dragonflies at the river.
More great events are coming in 2020. Check the FORB calendar regularly and mark your calendars! Read about our previous great events on the FORB blog page.
💥URGENT! Support Expanding Sutter's Landing Park
The City of Sacramento has applied for Prop 68 funds to expand and enhance Sutter's Landing Park along the American River Parkway through the Lower American River Conservancy. The LARC technical advisory committee reviewed applications received and recommended some for funding including at least one project to expand Sutter's Landing Park. Show support and/or speak in support of this much needed funding. A model letter is available here but feel free to modify as appropriate. Continue to support these important proposals as they go through the Conservancy selection process in 2020.
Friends of the River Banks (FORB) is a local all-volunteer group that formed to share our appreciation of our neighborhood stretch of the American River Parkway--Sutter's Landing Park--with others, especially young children and their families. We do this through regular events that encourage the public to come out, experience the river, and value the natural ecosystem. These wonderfully enriching activities provide family time, healthy exercise, play, education, social networking, nature experiences, and lots of fun. FORB is associated with the nonprofit organization Friends of Sutter's Landing Park.
Our gatherings are very casual. We usually have a leader--a local expert who will teach us about some aspect of nature--but the activities always take unexpected turns. We never know what we will see. There have been otters, turtles, coyotes, sea lions, beavers, deer, turkeys, birds of all types, and fascinating insects. Each year we follow our neighborhood Swainson's Hawks, which nest in the riparian forest along this stretch of the American River Parkway. Beyond observing and enjoying, FORB also acts as stewards of this part of the river.
All are welcome to join our gatherings. We generally meet each second Saturday at the Sutter's Landing Park parking lot. Sutter's Landing Park is at the VERY end of 28th Street by the skateboard park. For our schedule of events and more details, see the calendar. You can get on the FORB email list for periodic notices about our activities by sending your email address to Laurie. Note FORB has a twitter account for sharing information too. Be sure to check our blog reguarly for more insight on recent FORB events and other activities in the Parkway. Please leave your dogs at home and carpool/bike/walk if possible.
💥Check out this new Video by George Nyberg! "Sutter's Landing Park Gateway to the American River". Truly a part of Sacramento's heart and soul. 9/19/18
⚡️NEW⚡️ Looking for a creative classroom or special project? Check out "Help FORB Walk on the Wildlife"!
2019 Calendar (we’re getting organized!)
☕️January 1: New Year’s Day Gathering ✔️
🍄February 9: Mushroom Hunt with Ryan LaPorte ✔️
Feb 15-18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (gbbc.birdcount.org)
🔎March 9: What are you noticing on the river banks? A guided walk of curiosity and adventure with Molly McBride✔️
🦅April 13: Return of the Swainson’s Hawks with The Raptor Center✔️
🦇May 11: Bats with JoEllen Arnold✔️
🌿June 8: Plants of Sutter’s Landing with Brian Collett✔️
🦋 July 13: Bugs with Nita Davidson 9:30 AM.✔️
💥August 10: Effects of Climate Change on the River 10 AM and Star Thistle Removal Work Party 9 AM✔️
🎋August 17: Invasive Plant Removal Work Party 8-10 AM ✔️
🌾August 31: Third Invasive Plant Work Party 8010 AM✔️
🕰 September 7th Friends of Sutter's Landing Park Meeting 9 AM Gateway/Parking Lot✔️
🐉* September 14: Dragons/Damsels (and Butterflies?) with Greg Kareofelas
🐟October 12: Welcome Back, Salmon
🦆* November 9: Audubon Bird Walk
🐾December 7: ARNHA Wildlife Count
Dear Weed Warriors,
💥Our third workday at Sutter's Landing Park was held Saturday, August 31st, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. We worked on removing the weeds/grass from the restoration area we worked on for the first two workdays (its almost there!), and with enough help, we began getting rid of the weeds at the entrance to the Parkway from Sutter's Landing Park where the rock and wire cage planters are. More work party events are being planned and will be posted here.
Please wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt, as well as work gloves, closed toe shoes, and a hat. Don't forget the sunscreen. The Landscape Committee will have lots of water, tools, and landscape tarps. Feel free though, as several volunteers have done, to bring your favorite weed slayers!
2019 annual New Years gathering at Sutter’s Landing
Call us crazy, but we’ve been meeting at Sutter’s Landing at 9 am on Jan 1 for at least 12 years and it’s always a great adventure. An adventure to get up early on that morning, bundle up for the cold, meet up at Sutter’s Landing for hot drinks and oatmeal (a very old joke), and go down to see what is happening at the river. There was the year that a coyote curled up down below and watched us for 20 minutes. There was another year when we saw a beaver, otter, and sea lion all in one day. In 2019 a majestic Bald eagle soared right over our group and previewed what 2019 will bring (read about the outing on our blog)! Those that came out enjoyed another great outing. Sometimes we see very little and other times the river is bursting with life. As always, we met at 9 am at the Sutter’s Landing parking lot at the very end of 28th St. We hung out for a while to visit and eat/drink, then headed down to the river. Binoculars, warm clothes, and your own mug for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate (we want to minimize waste). No need to bring a bowl for the oatmeal...😃
Roots of Connection continues upstream river gatherings in 2019!
Roots of Connection successfully hosted 2nd Sunday Gatherings in 2017 and 2018, building community and carrying momentum into the new year. Thanks to those who participated for being a part of these community events! Hosted by Guy Galante who is especially excited about this year's gatherings. They will focus on different themes related to the Natural Cycle and Core Routines as outlined in his favorite book, Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature. As usual, people meet at the Harrington Access in the American River Parkway UPSTREAM from the restrooms, over the small hill. Fresh coffee will be available but please bring your own mug! Be sure and visit www.create-roc.com for additional details.
Most of the time the people who lead FORB gatherings do it for free out of the kindness of their hearts. But even so FORB has expenses. The Raptor Center needs to feed their birds and so charges to come out and share with us. We also pay for insurance every year. So from now on we will be putting out a donation jar and hope that you will be generous.
Keep taking photos
Submissions contributed to “Picturing the Parkway: Celebrating the American River Parkway in Photographs,” an exhibit at Viewpoint Gallery. The show ran Sept 5–Oct 7, with submissions due May 1–July 29. Maybe this will come back in 2019?
Check out FORB's new iNaturalist webpage and add your observations with this free smartphone/computer software.
Highlights from a few past FORB events and accomplishments:
Wildlife Count Update
FORB participated in another celebration of a great wildlife year on the American River Parkway! This year’s ARNHA Wildlife Count was held on Saturday, December 2, 2017. You can read our report here on the FORB blog. The full wildlife count report is available now and linked to this website. We hope you are all well and able to join us next year to collect individual counts for each observed bird and mammal species. This work is an important contribution to scientists worldwide! For a successful event we must now begin organizing our teams and getting psyched for another chance to participate in local Citizen Science. FORB will continue to provide "Team Otter" and contribute to this important river wide count of wildlife in the lower American River Parkway. Let us know if you would like to participate it's not necessary to be a bird "expert" to help and have fun!
August 12th, "Dragons and Damsels" returned with expert Greg Kareofelas.
FORB had another annual Dragonflies & Damselflies Event at Sutter’s Landing in August. Approximately 15 people showed up in the parking lot to listen to expert Greg Kareofelas's D&D’s talk and see live Dragonflies up close before setting out to look for and capture individuals for identification and release in nearby habitat. Always a memorable event for those who participate.
July 8—Return of the Raptor Center!
In April, our Swainson’s Hawk program was rained out. We were very pleased that the Raptor Center was able to reschedule and return on Saturday, July 8, at 9 am, with their program that included live birds and discussion. This event was later in the season than usual and under much warmer conditions. Those that came out had another great up close experience with local "celebrity" Swainson's hawks. Local native wild raptors paid a visit too including a pair of Kestrels, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures and at least one Swainson's hawk (perhaps one of the parents discussed in the exciting nest being monitored in Midtown this year? See the FORB blog post for more!) This event is always a great opportunity to get your questions answered and learn all about these magnificent birds.
June 10—Bird Language with Guy Galante
A very attentive and appreciate group came out to learn about Bird Language with Guy Galante on Saturday, June 10. Guy is a Bird Language Leader, a collaboration with Audubon Society intended to awaken deep nature connections through understanding bird communication patterns. Last year, Guy gave a fabulous presentation on Coyotes, and this presentation was just as fascinating (see the FORB blog post reporting on this new event). Guy Galante is a Carmichael native. He earned a bachelor's degree in geography, holds a multiple subject teaching credential, and is currently working towards a master's degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration. He is also a licensed Bird Language Leader, certified CA Naturalist, and home school educator. He has a strong background in environmental education and has created a diverse range of nature-based programs for youth, adults, and families. Guy is a nature photographer focused on the lower American River, and has photo-documented Coyote for over 10 years.
FORB Won the 2017 Creek Steward Award!!
We are very proud to announce that FORB has been chosen for the annual Creek Steward Award in recognition of our 11 years of working to cultivate appreciation of the treasure that is Sutter’s Landing Park and the American River. Please join us on Friday, April 21 from 11 am–noon as we receive the award. This is part of the Creek Week 2017 festivities. Many thanks to Alta Tura and the Sacramento Area Creeks Council for the award and for 27 years of putting on Creek Week.
Read the FORB Blog for reports on previous events.
Photos from a previous mushroom hunt (thanks, Robert & Kathy!):