A Day in the Life of Newton
Hello, I am Newton the rough-skinned newt, and I am Project Watershed’s mascot! Although I often get mistaken for one, I am NOT a dinosaur.
This summer, I have been visiting schools, volunteer events, and historical projects as part of Project Watershed’s 30th Anniversary celebrations. During Earth Week way back in April, Laura, our Communications Specialist, and I did a tour of some historic projects. We started at the enhanced off-channel habitat in Simms Millennium Park. This waterway was deepened, recontoured and connected through to the Courtenay Slough between 2017 and 2018.
We also went to the Airpark Lagoon where I visited with some friendly volunteers who were planting native trees and shrubs. These volunteers were planting red osier dogwoods, Nootka roses, and Pacific crab apples. While at the Airpark, Jay Baker-French was unloading shovels from another event, I figured I should help my colleague out by putting away a shovel or two. Unfortunately, my tail kept knocking Jay as I walked into the Sea Can!
The tide was out so I wriggled my way down to the Airpark Culvert to check it out and waved at Laura from the other side. This culvert was constructed in 2015 to re-oxygenate the lagoon and provide nutrients for juvenile fish. This culvert was the product of four years of research and restoration work.
We then went over to Kus-kus-sum. I really like it there. There are lots of great logs to hide under and now that the temporary irrigation system is in, all the vegetation planted by those amazing volunteers is beginning to get established. One thing Laura taught me about at Kus-kus-sum was the Spixel Photo monitoring station on the 17th Street Bridge. Any creature with an Android or iPhone can take a photo of the site and it will get uploaded and added to an online timelapse of the restoration. We encourage people to use this photo stop whenever they are biking or walking over the bridge. As it was Earth Week, I also picked up some garbage around Kus-kus-sum.
During my historic site tour, I had the opportunity to check in with the Chair of Project Watershed’s Board, Kathy Haigh, and a long-time past Board Member Dan Bowen. Laura was behind the camera for most of the day but if you check out our Instagram and Facebook pages, you might just catch a glimpse of her and I together. You can also check out the video of my day below or on our social media channels. I can’t wait to work with the other Board members and staff this year (when I am not napping under a log at Kus-kus-sum)!