Family Story Walk: A Home for Salty
A Home for Salty
From June 17, 2021 through July 1, 2021, join us in a self-guided Story Walk, featuring the book A Home for Salty.
Written by Stephanie Stuve-Boden and illustrated by Diane Adams, the book features the adventures of a salt marsh harvest mouse, an endangered species that lives on the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
For a more interactive experience, walk along a special Story Walk trail at the Refuge in Fremont. You will come across a series of numbered stops at some of which, you will have the opportunity to read the story with your family and complete additional activities.
Download the activity packet below. Activities are indicated at specific stops along the Story Walk. Use this activity packet to complete the 5 activities along your journey.
Folded activity booklet
Print the booklet double-sided. When the printer prompts you to flip the pages, choose the option to flip on the short-edge. Keep the pages in order as they appears on your screen and fold along the black line. Staple the pages together or tie a string around the center fold.
Full page activity booklet
Print with document with a single page for each activity. You will also find it easier to view it on your phone.
Arriving at the trailhead
The A Home for Salty Story Walk trail can be found near the Newark Slough Learning Center at the Refuge Headquarters in Fremont whose address is 1 Marshlands Rd, Fremont, CA 94555.
From Highway 84 (at the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge near the toll plaza), exit at Thornton Avenue. Travel south on Thornton Avenue for 0.8 miles to the Refuge entrance on the right. Turn right onto Marshlands Road into the Refuge and park on the left in the small parking lot next to the sign for the Newark Slough Learning Center. The first stop on the A Home for Salty Story Walk is here at this small parking lot (GPS coordinates 37.53276, -122.07334).
The A Home for Salty Story Walk trail then goes around the Pumphouse Marsh Trail and finally overlaps some part of the Tidelands Trail.
Numbered stops on the trail at SF Bay NWR Complex in Fremont for the self-guided Story Walk A Home for Salty.
Share your observations
We hope that you will have fun learning about Salty, local habitats, and ways that you can contribute to making the environment a safer and healthier place for all.
Let us know what you observed during your Story Walk. Share your stories and photos by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, also known as Salty, is found along the edges of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisan Bays and no where else in the world.
Salty is an endangered species, meaning that there aren’t many Saltys around. Why is Salty endangered? Salty only lives in the Salt Marsh habitat. The marsh habitat has decreased over 80% within the past 100 years. With less space, it is difficult for Salty to find food, water, and shelter. Salty only lives for 9 months, which makes it more difficult to find a partner and make a family.
Due to living in a salty environment, Salty can swim and drink salt water. Salty is the only mouse species that can survive in salt water. Salty has a special salt gland that allows it to drink salt water. Salty is nocturnal which means that it is only awake at night.
Salty is only about the size of your thumb, with a tail. Salty’s main diet is pickleweed; it also makes its home out of pickleweed and uses pickleweed to hide from predators. Salty is a unique mammal that we can protect by keeping our marshes and watersheds free from pollution.
A Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse amid pickleweed.
This activity is brought to you by the Summer Programs Education Team and funded by a grant from Cargill, Inc. Cargill has been a partner with the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society for about 3 years, allowing us to expand our summer program opportunities and reach more local families.
Cargill's salt crystallizer beds at Newark, California. Credit Cris Benton.
Additional at-home activity
Learn more about Salty at home! Get crafty and make your own board game featuring the habitats, plants, and animals at the Refuge.
The goal of the game is to help Salty traverse through different habitats and make it back home to its natural habitat, the Salt Marsh. There will be predators and obstacles along Salty’s journey. Salty is protected under the Endangered Species Act; it is your mission to make sure that Salty makes it back home safe!
Once you put your board game together, play with your family and loved ones. Send us your photos via an email to email@example.com.