Rose Creek Fest to offer chance to explore, restore Mission Bay marshlands
by Staff and contribution
Jan 31, 2013 | 3367 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As part of UCSD’s Natural Reserve System, the marsh reserve is used in classes and research projects to help students learn about the species and ecology of the marsh reserve to ensure its protection.                                                                                   Courtesy photo by Roy Little
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The inaugural Rose Creek Fest in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park will take place Saturday, Feb. 9 to give visitors a new appreciation of local wildlife and conservation.

The event, slated to take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Campland on the Bay on Pacific Beach Drive, is hosted by San Diego EarthWorks (producers of the San Diego Earth Day Fair), Friends of Rose Creek and Campland on the Bay.

The free festival will feature music, entertainment, barbeque, art, activities and displays.

The Rose Creek Fest will also offer participants a rare chance to help restore the Mission Bay marshes located near the mouth of Rose Creek. The last remaining original wetlands in Mission Bay Park, the marsh reserve is normally closed to the public to protect the sensitive habitat for wildlife, according to event organizers.

However, because of its location near the base of an urbanized creek system and the bay’s circulation, the marsh accumulates large amounts of trash and non-native plants.

“It’s critical that we protect and preserve this valuable wetland,” said Isabelle Kay, manager of the University of California’s Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve, part of the Mission Bay Marsh, together with the city’s Northern Wildlife Preserve. “The Mission Bay marshes are home to many of San Diego’s sensitive bird species, including the endangered light-footed clapper rail.”

Kay is organizing the seventh annual “Love Your Wetlands Day” with Friends of Mission Bay Marshes to gather volunteers to help restore the marsh. This is a unique opportunity for San Diegans who care about protecting their local wetlands to experience an up-close and personal view. This year, the service event will occur during Rose Creek Fest from noon to 2 p.m., with check-in at Campland’s Dogwood Park beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Volunteers who are at least 8 years old and don’t want to get too muddy can collect trash along the edge of the marsh. More adventurous folks who are at least 12 years old and willing to brave the tidal mudflats will be asked to trek into the marsh to look for and remove non-native mangrove plants.

Kay, who said volunteers should “expect to get dirty,” will provide gloves and trash collection supplies. All volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and minors must be accompanied by their parents or guardians.

Pre-registration is not necessary and more information is available at www.earthdayweb.org/RCF/KendallFrostCleanup.html.

The Rose Creek Fest will have many other activities for all ages to celebrate and learn about the creek. Special features include: The Rose Creek Rubber Duck Derby presented by Think Blue San Diego; CreekWalk led by Friends of Rose Creek; a community mural-painting project; bird-watching with San Diego Audubon Society; an environmental magic show with Dr. Wilderness; bird-of-prey demonstrations by The Raptor Institute; and activities for all ages provided by Ocean Discovery Institute.

For more information about the inaugural event, the marsh cleanup and volunteer opportunities, visit www.rosecreekfest.org.

— Staff and contribution
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