Fieldtrip Fridays

Over the past few weeks, Great Peninsula Conservancy started a new tradition: meeting up on Fridays to introduce the new staff to community partners and members and visit the GPC preserves across our working region.

Our new AmeriCorps members, Sierra Kross and Janessa Hollmaier, are getting out on the land to think about possible use of GPC lands as future Land Labs sites. As this program is developed, the team is looking for preserves that are in proximity to public schools, are easily accessible, and provide rich learning opportunities for hands-on science projects in conjunction with core curriculum standards.

Meanwhile the new members of the stewardship team, Adrian Wolf and Micaela Petrini, will be visiting all of GPC’s preserves to get to know each and every one them. They’ll meet the neighbors and volunteer stewards, monitor the properties, and address any restoration work that needs to be done.

Last week the team headed down to Mason County to check out the Klingel-Bryan-Beard Wildlife Refuge and the Hahobas Shoreline Preserve, which was generously facilitated by conservation associate Ali Erskine and outreach associate Claire Voris.

The staff visited the Klingel-Bryan-Beard Wildlife Refuge in Belfair. GPC’s restoration work here helped restore this saltmarsh to its former glory.
The Klingel-Bryan-Beard Wildlife Refuge is a bird watchers’ paradise where one can spot a wide variety of birds from bald eagles to heron, and green-winged teal to kingfishers.
Conservation associate Ali Erskine shares more about the history of the property with GPC’s new staff.
New stewardship manager Adrian Wolf takes notes.
Over three decades an amazing 650 acres and 5.5 miles of shoreline have been conserved here by Great Peninsula Conservancy and many partners.

Next the staff headed down to the Hahobas Shoreline Preserve. The old boy scout cabin on this Hood Canal shoreline will be removed as part of ongoing restoration work.
Restoration efforts improve the shoreline habitat for forage fish, a vital component in the food chain for our salmon and orcas.
The beach is full of oysters too.
The oysters are enjoyed by crabs.
And people alike! (Micaela Petrini, the new stewardship associate, considers trying one out.)
Part of this day was used to get the new team members trained on Landscape, the GPS software that stewardship staff use to monitor properties.
Nate and Micaela marvel over caddisfly larvae in a creek leading down to the shoreline. The presence of the larvae is indicative of a healthy aquatic system.
The staff hiked upland, and Ali briefed everyone on GPC’s drone, which is used to help monitor properties.
Stewardship manager Adrian Wolf flies the drone. Some wonder whether cutting blades could be attached to the hovering device in order to rid the Scotch broom in the background…
GPC steward, Micaela, is dwarfed by old-growth Scotch broom. The team has their work cut out for them!

We’re excited to be out on properties again and look forward to seeing you out there soon! Learn more about our newest staff members on our website and feel free to drop them a note to say hi!