Challenges Ahead — Take Our Survey!
After much discussion, US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS) have agreed to close the Don Edwards NWR Visitor Service facilities in Fremont and Alviso on Sundays until further staffing is available. FWS will reduce the hours on the remaining days at the Visitor Contact Station in Fremont, but keep the same hours for weekdays at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso. Check the refuge’s website for more details. We hope this will be temporary, and are collecting feedback.
We look forward to your inputs on this significant change. Take our survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFBWS-Survey2016.
New Hours at the Visitor Center in Fremont and Environmental Education Center in Alviso
FWS personnel losses in recent years have become constraints affecting the facilities and services available to the public. For more than 20 years, SFBWS partners (City of San Jose and Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program) have fiscally supported employees to allow the Environmental Education Center to be open on weekends, supplemented by a FWS intern on a few Saturdays each month. With additional recent FWS staff reductions, the FWS and SFBWS cannot keep the Education Center or the Fremont Contact Station open on Saturdays and Sundays consistently. The Society did not support this decision to reduce services and we shared our concerns about fewer programs and lost Nature Store revenue. Please let us know what you think about this by taking our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFBWS-Survey2016.
Effective September 1, 2016
Visitor Center in Fremont:
Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Federal Holidays: Closed
Environmental Education Center in Alviso:
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Non-Field Trip Days: Open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday/Field Trip Days: Closed
Federal Holidays: Closed
Earlier this year, a new effort spearheaded by Fish & Wildlife Service Education Center Director Genie Moore was aimed to develop a Visitor Services strategic plan for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR. Two staff and one volunteer from the Society worked alongside Fish & Wildlife (FWS) staff and a community leader for many hours to develop a work plan that would incorporate the goals from the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, the FWS Standards of Excellence and the Next Generation Science Standards being implemented in California schools. The desired outcome was an action plan that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) and sustainable to be used in natural resources management plans to be developed in the coming year for the Refuge Complex. However, FWS staffing losses have proved to be a challenge and the Society has decided to suspend its direct involvement in this effort and focus instead on primary program priorities for Living Wetlands and Watershed Watchers programs. Please let us know how you feel about this in our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFBWS-Survey2016.