National Volunteer Week honors the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. For 2015, National Volunteer Week was observed from Sunday, April 12 through Saturday, April 18.
National Park Week is an annual week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. National Park Week usually coincides with Earth Day (April 22). For 2015, National Park Week was observed from Saturday, April 18 through Sunday, April 26.
Earth Day began when a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, called for an environmental teach-in in 1969, which was inspired by the teach-ins dealing with the Vietnam War. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and drew an estimated 20 million participants. Tens of thousands of people filled New York's Fifth Avenue, Congress adjourned so members could speak across the nation, and at least 2,000 colleges marked the occasion. American Heritage Magazine called the first Earth Day "one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy." Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 174 countries by over a half billion people, making it the most celebrated secular holiday in the world, a day on which people get outdoors, plant trees, clean up trash and lobby for the environment.
Your National Parks are living examples of the best this nation has to offer—our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. Parks can provide recreational experiences, opportunities to learn and grow, and places of quiet refuge.
This year, take a moment, an hour, a day to visit the national parks near you.
While entrance to Point Reyes National Seashore is always free, during the opening weekend of National Park Week, April 18–19, 2015, entrance to all National Park Service sites was free. The National Park Service also offers a number of other fee-free days throughout the year.
As part of our National Volunteer Week, Earth Day, and National Park Week celebration, Point Reyes National Seashore hosted or participated in a variety of activities throughout the week prior to and after Earth Day to promote sustainability, to raise environmental awareness, and to discuss actions we can take to help reduce our environmental footprint. The weeks' activities included:
Drakes Estero Shoreline Clean Up Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015 Time: 10 am to 2:30 pm Location: Meet at the parking lot for the kayak launch at Drakes Estero. Description: Join the National Park Service, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics for a Drakes Estero Shoreline Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 11 from 10 am to 2:30 pm. We will break into two groups to clean up the parking area and shoreline debris around the northern fingers of the bay, while learning about Leave No Trace ethics. Depending on the debris load, we may hike from 0.5 to 5 miles round-trip in muddy marshes collecting trash. Harbor seal breeding areas will be avoided during the pupping season.
Pre-registration required. Volunteers are encouraged to wear layers, and bring a sun hat, sunscreen, mud boots, gloves, snacks, and a water bottle. Limited space, pre-registration required. All ages and groups encouraged. Children must attend with a guardian. Some additional driving to other entry sites may be required. Please meet at the parking lot for the kayak launch at Drakes Estero to check in, fill out volunteer forms, and meet the crew. Drakes Estero is a coastal estuary of five branching bays, representing the geographical and ecological heart of Point Reyes National Seashore, and is a part of the Phillip Burton Wilderness Area, the only marine wilderness on the Pacific coast south of Alaska.
For more information, contact 415-663-1200 x310 or email.
Leave No Trace Training Date: Sunday, April 12, 2015 Time: 10 am to 11 am Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center auditorium Description: The public was invited to join the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers from 10 am to 11 am on Sunday, April 12, 2015, at Point Reyes National Seashore's Bear Valley Visitor Center for a free, public presentation and discussion that focused on the elements of the Leave No Trace minimum impact program, highlighting outdoor skills and ethics. All ages welcome.
This national program is administered by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, whose mission is to teach people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. In addition to learning the hows and whys behind the importance of practicing Leave No Trace, participants were provided with information on how to easily and effectively integrate Leave No Trace into their daily lives and programs. The Traveling Trainers are committed to teaching Leave No Trace education as they live on the road, sleep 200 nights a year in a tent, and offer this award winning program in communities from coast to coast.
For more information, contact 415-663-1200 x310 or email.
Habitat Restoration Program Workday Date: Sunday, April 12 Time: 9 am–1 pm Location: Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center Description:HRP volunteers help protect and restore endangered plant and wildlife habitat at Abbotts Lagoon, the Lighthouse Bluffs, and other high value habitat areas at Point Reyes National Seashore. Visit some of the most beautiful areas in the park and learn about local plant ecology while you work alongside park staff to carry out ecological restoration projects. Contact: Ellen Hamingson, 415-464-5196, email
Art exhibition: ART Contemporary Marin CONNECTIONS Date: Daily Location: Red Barn Classroom Description: Visitors were invited to view an art exhibition of women environmental artists coinciding with the Geography of Hope Conference. Artists include: Pamela Blotner, Hagit Cohen, Mary Mountcastle Eubank, Tess Felix, Deborah Kennedy, Marie-Luise Klotz, Jacqueline Mallegni, Renee Owen, Virginia Stearns, Judith Selby, Patti Trimble, Zea Morvitz, and more.
Curator: Claudia Chapline. www.artcontemporarymarin.com
Artwork was on display in the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore from March 12 through June 30, 2015. The Red Barn art gallery is open by appointment only. Visit the Red Barn Art Exhibitions section of our Indoor Activities page for more information. To get to the Red Barn Classroom, follow the directions to Point Reyes National Seashore. As you proceed up the driveway toward the Bear Valley Visitor Center, turn left at the sign for the Red Barn Classroom.
Journey of the Whales Date: Sunday, April 12; Saturday, April 18; Sunday, April 19; Saturday, April 25; and Sunday, April 26 Time: 1:30 pm Location: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Description: Visitors were invited to join a Ranger to learn about gray whales as they migrate past Point Reyes. Learn about their habits and adaptations, and hope for a whale sighting from the Observation Deck. Program lasts 30 minutes. This program is given out-of-doors. Come prepared for windy, cold and damp weather. Contact: Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center, 415-669-1534, email
Weekend Ranger's Choice Programs Date: Sunday, April 12; Saturday, April 18; Sunday, April 19; Saturday, April 25; and Sunday, April 26 Time: 1:30 pm Location: Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Description: Visitors were invited to join a Park Ranger to learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore's natural and cultural history. Topics may cover earthquakes and plate tectonics, the Coast Miwok, Sir Francis Drake, the U.S. Lifesaving Service, or area flora and fauna. Some presentations may use the park's Science On a Sphere® to help explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating. Contact: Bear Valley Visitor Center, 415-464-5100 x2 x5, email
Third Thursday Weeders Volunteering Date: Thursday, April 16 Time: 9:30 am–1:30 pm Location: Lighthouse parking lot Description: The public was invited to join the Third Thursday Weeders on Thursday, April 16, 2015, to help remove veldt grass (Ehrharta erecta) from rare plant habitat around the Lighthouse parking lot. In honor of the fourth anniversary of this volunteer program, and to celebrate our progress in the area, as well as California Native Plant Week, volunteers worked from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, and then participated in a potluck and wildflower viewing. Volunteers were encouraged to bring warm and wind-stopping layers, rain gear if the forecast warrants it, water, snacks, clothes that can get dirty, and food to share during the fourth anniversary potluck. Tools and gloves were provided. Contact: Ellen Hamingson, 415-464-5196, email
Electronic Waste (e-waste) Recycling Collection Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Time: 11 am to 1 pm Location: Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot Description: On April 22, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, from 11 am to 1 pm, Point Reyes National Seashore hosted an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling collection, joining thousands of local organizers holding recycling and other events across the country to celebrate Earth Day, the only nationally and globally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating planet Earth and the protection of its resources.
Please note the following items were accepted:
All computers and related accessories and peripherals
Small printers, scanners, and faxes
Wires, cables, and power cords
Printer toner and inkjet cartridges
Cell phones, PDAs, and telephones
Small kitchen appliances
VHS, cassette, 8-Track tapes
The following items were NOT accepted:
Dry cell batteries (AA, AAA, D, etc.)
Light bulbs of any kind
Large household appliances such as refrigerators and stoves
Commercial copy machines
NO HAZARDOUS WASTE
All e-waste was taken to Renew Computers in San Rafael, California, for recycling. For more information about e-waste recycling at Point Reyes National Seashore contact Dale Dualan at 415-464-5286.
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.