May Newsletter

After a very active April (we saw our grasses grow at least two feet!) SPAWN staff, interns, and volunteers have been busy taking care of the seedlings we planted this winter and getting them ready for a long and dry summer. It's always exciting to see new growth leaping out of the ground, and to hear birds singing as we work on setting up irrigation and removing invasive plants on the project site. Thank you for supporting SPAWN's efforts to restore our wildlands in Marin County - we couldn't do it without you!

Free 'Gardening for Pollinators' Workshop 

SPAWN is hosting a free Gardening for Polliantors workshop on Saturday, May 11 from 10am-2pm where gardeners of all levels will learn about the insects that make our world go 'round, and what we can do to help them. We’ll cover insect and butterfly ecology, how to design a pollinator garden, what native plant habitat looks like, and get our hands dirty building a pollinator garden. To RSVP, email Skylar at

Restoration Activates Channels and Floodplains in Lagunitas Creek this Winter

SPAWN's most recent restoration project has created a side channel complex in Lagunitas Creek, which acts as a nursery habitat for juvenile Coho salmon, steelhead trout, and California freshwater shrimp, all of which are endangered species in California. Lack of adequate winter rearing habitat caused by creek incision, development, and disconnection from the floodplain have been shown to be limiting factors for stable salmon populations. These new side channels are activated both in the summer and during the winter, reconnecting the main channel with the floodplain and having many positive impacts to the whole ecosystem.

WATCH: Rough-Skinned Newts in Lagunitas Creek

A few rough-skinned newts were spotted in the Lagunitas Creek behind our office. Many newts produce toxins from skin glands as a defense against predation. If threatened they will arch their head and tail over their back, revealing their brightly colored underbelly as a warning. If you can't watch the entire video, we recommend starting it around 3:08.

Hundreds Celebrate Earth Day with SPAWN

For Earth Day, SPAWN hosted a Salmon Festival at our headquarters in Olema, California. We had a great time with more than 100 community members planting native plants and trees, touring our restoration site, propagating native plants, making native plant seedballs, and cleaning debris out of the creek. Thank you to everyone who came, and to the amazing sponsors that made it all possible. You can see photographs from the fun event on SPAWN's Facebook.

What SPAWN’s Trail Cams Tell Us About Lagunitas Creek Watershed

Last winter, SPAWN Intern Skylar Lipman began sharing footage from our motion- and temperature-activated cameras to our Facebook. Now, as trail cameras reveal data spanning multiple seasons, Skylar can analyze this data for species location, time, frequency, duration, and sequence to address certain hypotheses.

Every Friday is Nursery Day at SPAWN

Join our walk-in Nursery Days at our Native Plant Nursery in Olema! Every Friday from 10am - 1pm SPAWN staff, interns, volunteers, and local community members help sow and tend native plants ranging from ferns to redwoods. The native plants we tend will be used for local stream restoration projects. For questions or to RSVP, contact Audrey at 

Get a FREE Coho Bumper Sticker!

Show your support for SPAWN’s grassroots campaigns and programs to save California’s Coho—request a free ‘I Brake for Coho’ sticker!

Upcoming Events

SPAWN offers many opportunities for individuals and groups to help with protecting endangered Coho salmon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please join us!

  • Saturday, May 11: Gardening for Pollinators Workshop. Learn about the insects that make our world go round, and what we can do to help them on Saturday, May 11 from 10am-2pm. We'll cover insect and butterfly ecology, how to design a pollinator garden, what native plant habitat looks like, and get our hands dirty building a pollinator garden. To RSVP, please email Skylar at
  • Saturday, May 18: Habitat Restoration Day. Help the SPAWN team plant native plants and trees at our habitat restoration site in Olema from 10am-2pm. All tools and equipment will be provided, as well as coffee and snacks. Please bring your own water bottle and dress appropriately for weather in clothes you don't mind getting dirty. If you are interested in helping us plant, please RSVP to Preston at

Join Our Network


Salmon Protection And Watershed Network
A program of Turtle Island Restoration Network
PO Box 370, Forest Knolls, CA 94933

415.663.8590 .