Grizzly Ranch and Denverton Conservation Education Centers
Name of organisation: California Waterfowl Association
Funding support: Grants, Donors, Sponsors
Number of staff: 45
Number of visitors per year: Around 5,000 visitors per year to these centers. We reach 20,000 per year total with programs on site, off site and events.
Overall aims of the centre
Waterfowl and Wetland conservation, education and hunting
Description of the centre
Grizzly Ranch Conservation Education Center = 982.24 acres, Denverton Conservation Education Center = 762.03 acres. Both are located in the largest brackish water marsh, Suisun Marsh, in Western North America, housing tidal, freshwater, salt water and brackish water marsh habitat and upland habitat. Supports 1.5 million migratory birds each Winter and endangered and threatened marsh species: marsh mouse, delta smelt, clapper rail, black rail, shrews, split-tail, salmon, etc.
We do wetland restoration and management throughout the state of California. We have overnight accommodations for private events and camps, a classroom space, archery stations and shooting ranges (Grizzly Ranch only), trails, picnic area, outdoor field trip areas and wildlife and habitat. At both sites we host school field trips, hunter education programs and camps, shoots and clinics, private and public events. We provide in class programs for schools where we “bring the wetlands” to the school.
Main CEPA work areas
Communication is through social media, our member magazines, kid newsletters, e-news, outreach at festivals and events. Our school education programs are for K-12 grades and college and focus on waterfowl and wetland biology, ecology, conservation, and hunting. Our hunter education programs are for ages 10 and up. We participate in 1-3 festivals/month with information and activities in waterfowl conservation.
Top three successes
1) Partnering with farmers and land-owners to restore portions of their property to wetland habitat has worked because it benefits both the land-owners and the wildlife.
2) Wood Duck classroom programs and field trips are hugely successful and in demand due to the case study of one species and how the topics students are learning are applied in the program, plus the funds to assist with bus transportation to field trips.
3) Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is very successful due to partnering and since it is a multidisciplinary program.
Top three challenges
1) High school programs- need programs that work better with the numbers of students high school teachers have and with the student schedule
2) Finding time for grant writing- need a grant writer on staff for this
3) volunteer turn over- not sure how to fix this, working on it
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Working with disabled people; Engaging hard-to-reach groups; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community;
Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Fund-raising; Project planning.