Founded in 1985, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods (formerly, Stewards of Slavianka) is an independent nonprofit interpretive association that works cooperatively with California State Parks in the Russian River/Mendocino District. Our mission is to enhance, preserve, and conserve the biodiversity and natural resources of State Parks in the Russian River sector of the district, which include:
- Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
- Austin Creek State Recreation Area
- Sonoma Coast State Beach
- Salt Point State Park.
Stewards provides training and support to a corps of 250 volunteers who recognize the importance of educational and interpretive activities in raising awareness regarding environmental protection and preservation. Volunteers seize the window of opportunity that opens when visitors come under the influence of nature. Their work-a-day troubles are far away, and for the moment, they are swept away by the beauty that we enjoy in Sonoma County. By sharing their knowledge, information, and love of nature, Stewards volunteers create a sense of stewardship in most visitors they meet.
Some of the programs that Stewards supports include staffing three visitors' centers, volunteer-led nature walks in all our parks; trail and restoration crews, historical preservation projects, and Seal Watch and Whale Watch, which are public education programs on Sonoma Coast. This year volunteers in the Russian River/Mendocino District have given almost 17,000 hours of service to our State Parks, valued at over $250,000.
Stewards is a membership organization with a ten-member Board of Directors elected by the members. An Executive Director is employed 3/4-time and a Program Coordinator 1/2-time. Board, staff, State Park personnel, and volunteers work together on long-range planning and diverse fund development activities.
Stewards's five-year strategic plan outlines goals to:
- Increase the quality of volunteer training;
- Establish a professional school outreach program;
- Upgrade interpretive visitors' centers;
- Continue to safeguard federally protected marine mammals;
- Provide support for habitat restoration and resource management projects;
- Fund the staffing levels needed to achieve the five-year goals.
Stewards has received funding support from the Sonoma County Community Foundation, California State Parks Foundation, PG E, Fisherman's Festival Allocation Committee, California Trails and Greenways Foundation, California ReLeaf and the National Urban Forestry Program and Fish America and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Admini stration. This year over $60,000 was raised for the Armstrong Habitat Restoration Project alone.
Stewards also participates in a number of special events to promote an awareness of their mission and raise funds. Those events include: Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup, Fishermans' Festival in Bodega Bay, Duncans Mills Festival of the Arts, Fort Ross Living History Day and the Bodega Bay Wine Seafood and Art Festival.
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
PO Box 2
Duncans Mills, CA 95430
(707) 869-8252 FAX
(Note: This article prepared 12/00; name and address updated 8/05. Please visit their Web site for current details.)
Images courtesy of Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods.
- Coastal view from Salt Point State Park.
- Harbor Seal pup (Phoco vitulina) at Goat Rock along Sonoma Coast.
- Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.
- State Park Whale Watch Volunteer Coordinator Bea Brunn conducts an interpretive Whale program for students from Head-Royce School in the Bay area.
- State Park volunteers Norman Hill (front) and Lanny Keyston work on a bridge renovation project in Austin Creek State Recreation Area.
- Norman Hill and Lanny Keyston assist park staff on the contruction of a demonstration greenhouse at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.
- State Park restoration volunteers assist park staff building enclosure fencing to protect plants at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.
- State Park volunteers Jim Bray and John Uniack tending plants in the restoration greenhouse.
- State Park volunteers John Plummer and Erin Douglas planting seedlings propagated in Restoration greenhouse at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.