Welcome back Swainson's hawks!
Raptor Center raptors put on another great show last year at this event
FORB welcomed back Swainson’s Hawks again in 2019…!!!
On Saturday, April 13, at 10 am, FORB once again Welcomed Back the Swainson's Hawks to Sutter’s Landing. There were live birds from the Raptor Center, information tables from Save the American River Assn (SARA) and Audubon, and refreshments. Robert led a walk along the river, where we never know what we will see: raptors and other birds, mammals, reptiles, ???. Be sure to come out next year and learn about Swainson’s Hawks and other raptors, then go say hello to all the other wildlife at Sutter's Landing.
FORB events are designed for all ages. Bring binoculars, water, sunblock, and a change of clothes for young children (who will certainly get wet and dirty). Please leave your dogs at home and carpool/bike/walk if possible.
⚡️NEW!⚡️ See the 2019 FORB calendar below or on the Calendar 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 is now reviewing applications received and will likely make a recommendation next February. 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 this important proposal as it goes through the Conservancy selection process through next February.
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..
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
🐉* September 14: Dragons/Damsels (and Butterflies?) with Greg Kareofelas
🐟October 12: Welcome Back, Salmon
🦆* November 9: Audubon Bird Walk
🐾December 7: ARNHA Wildlife Count
* still tentative
💥💥Join us for our next event of 2019. Climate Change on the River & Work Party Too!
Work party at 9 am; climate change at 10
We are excited to announce that, in addition to our discussion on climate change tomorrow morning, participants will have an opportunity to help keep Sutter’s Landing healthy by removing star thistle. Star thistle is an invasive plant that doesn’t belong in our river ecosystem. It grows quickly in disturbed areas and can take over, excluding native species and changing the ecosystem. We need to remove the star thistle before it goes to seed.
We’ll work on star thistle at 9 am, then take a break at 10 am for our discussion on climate change and why habitat restoration is even more important in a changing climate. Those who want to remain after the discussion can go back to star thistle removal.
If you want to help with star thistle removal, please wear long pants and sleeves—star thistle is prickly. Bring leather gloves, a water bottle (we’ll have jugs to refill them), shovels and hoes. Happily, the weather is supposed to be relatively cool tomorrow.
All volunteers must sign a waiver. Copies will be available at the event.
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Join us on Saturday, August 10, @10 am, to talk about how a changing climate will impact our neighborhood stretch of the American River, the species that live there, the larger Sacramento area, and all we hold dear. We’ll also talk about what we can do to address the climate crisis. While this gathering is mostly geared toward adults, children are welcome to join us for the walk and to remind us how important it is to ensure a safe climate for future generations.
Gather at the very end of 28th Street at the Sutter’s Landing parking lot. Bring hats, water, sun block, and binoculars. Please leave your dogs at home and walk, bike, or carpool if possible to keep our collective carbon footprint low.
More great events are coming in 2019. Check the FORB calendar regularly and mark your calendars! Read about our previous great events on the FORB blog page.
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!):