The Rotary Nature Center is now open to the public from 11am to 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays (it may actually be open as early as 10, but am following what I saw on the sign!).
The Center had its first open house — a soft opening — on Saturday, December 10th, and followed that up on the 17th with a Winter Craft Fair.
There are some new displays in the Center, one on the history of the lake, one on pollinators (from Pollinator Posse), one from Golden Gate Audubon on birds, a display on the 2022 red tide and fish kill (Community for Lake Merritt), and a couple on insects (Insect Science Museum of California). With others on Owls to come, and with the start of a plan for the future. Some hands on activities are present, as well as some of the original taxidermy displays (birds around the Lake, a cougar, and some owls).
The inside bathroom was redone as well. The bathrooms have been awaiting improvement for a long time!
This coming year, in 2023, look for events around Earth Day, and in the Fall for an event for the Centers’ 70th anniversary.
If you were at the opening of the Rotary Nature Center you would have found CFLM folks outside of the Center, tabling with various activities about the lake.
We had a second go of this last month, and now are at it again this coming Saturday Oct 5th.
The popup idea is just to have a series of nature related games, info, activities to attract the interest of the public and do some nature interpretation. We hope to do this regularly over time, expanding the number of activities we have, and the number of volunteers who’d be willing to share their knowledge.
My App Timehop noted a sad anniversary today: that of the closing of the Rotary Nature Center last year.
We’re finally coming to some concrete steps moving forward to a new and reinvigorated Center.
Todays’s update form Karis Griffin of OPRYD, brought to light her committee to govern and guide this effort, a fine crew of Lake Merritt stalwarts: C.J. Hirschfield (E.D. of Fairyland and involved with Rotary Club and many other things), Jennie Gerard (a veteran of city hall, and founder of Weed Warriors, and Lake Merritt Advocates), James Robinson (E.D. of Lake Merritt Institute), and the aforementioned Alan Briskin (the facilitator hired by the city).
The next public meeting is set for Saturday, April 7th, 2018 from 9am to noon. This meeting will be held at Studio One, 365 45th Street, in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland.
The committee went together this past Thursday to the Berkeley Shorebird Park Nature Center, to visit a potential model for our Nature Center (well worth a visit if you have not been — they have a pretty amazing docent program too).
This festival is a celebration of the nation’s first wildlife refuge & the biodiversity in the heart of the Oakland. Come meet & enjoy dozens of environmental organizations, wildlife rescue groups, live animals, local merchants, and nature artists for an afternoon of fun & education for the whole city!
We’ll be out tabling as well, and look forward to meeting you.
The event is a joint production between the Rotary Nature Center and the Wildlife Society, looking to raise some money for both of their endeavors.
The Rotary Nature Center is the overseeing body of the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, and has provided conservation and natural history education for this Oakland landmark since 1945. This festival is a fundraiser for things such as binoculars for public use, museum display upgrades, and other educational equipment.
The Wildlife Society (TWS) was founded in 1937 as an international non-profit scientific and educational association dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. The SF Bay Chapter of TWS is working to raise funds to support their college mentorship program, ethnic and gender diversity initiative, and events and workshops for professional development. It will receive proceeds from the silent auction from this event for their help promoting, organizing, and providing volunteers & programs for the fair.