We are going to briefly learn about a program that educates students on the Watsonville Wetlands.
Did you know?
- There are over 220 species of birds in Watsonville Wetlands
- It’s one of the largest remaining freshwater wetlands in the central coast of California.
Unfortunately, the wetlands of California are having a bit of trouble; 90% of the wetlands in California have been destroyed or degraded. The city of Watsonville and Watsonville Wetland Watch are working to preserve 800 acres of Watsonville’s wetland. And guess what? Watsonville Wetland Watch is a partnering Agency with Second Harvest Food Bank.
We at Second Harvest get to work with Darren Gertler, the Environmental Education Specialist, who’s been working at Watsonville Wetland Watch Since August of 2014. Darren helps teach students at Pajaro Valley High school about the wetland’s wildlife and environment. Asking Darren why the Watsonville Wetland Watch is important to the community, he says: “Our program is important to our community because it is helping to foster a young generation of local teenagers that will grow up with an appreciation and respect for our environment. The more people in Watsonville that appreciate its natural beauty the more of the wetlands will be preserved and restored for many years to come.”
Darren also understands the important of nutrition towards his students. He provides healthy fruits, vegetables, and snack products to his students. Why is healthy food important to him? Asking Darren, he replies: “Nutritious food is important to me because most of my teenagers do not understand the true benefits of eating healthy food. Most of our students aren’t able to provide their own nutritious food. The free and reduced school lunches that most of our students depend on leave some room for improvement in our student’s daily diets.”
Learning how we can help our environment will help ensure a healthy ecosystem. Watsonville Wetlands is the part of Watsonville where we can go and enjoy nature and wildlife. Keeping it maintained will allow us to appreciate its beauty for years to come. Darren and his team do a great job in not just educating their students, but also providing their students with healthy and nutritious food. Second Harvest Food Bank is proud to have Darren Gertler with Watsonville Wetland Watch as a partnering agency.