Friends Of the Arcata Marsh Outreach Activities
Friends Of the Arcata Marsh's (FOAM) goal is to stimulate understanding of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. FOAM accomplishes this in many ways. The most important way is through the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center. Interactive displays (Figure 1) educate over 15,000 visitors a year about the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Figure 1: The Water Cycle display inside
the Interpretive Center
Some of the current displays at the Interpretive Center include:
- How Water Becomes Wastewater
- How Wastewater is Cleaned
- Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Enhancement
- Life in a Treatment Marsh
- Marsh Diorama
- Pacific Flyway
- Sanctuary Map
- Marsh Painting by Larry Eifert
Furthermore, to accomplish community outreach and education FOAM has implemented many activities, such as (Leslie Anderson 2008):
- Arcata Marsh Tours -- Free guided tours are given every Saturday at 2 p.m. starting at the Interpretive Center. These tours focus on the plants and animals found in the marsh, the history of the marsh, or the ecology of the marsh. The tour on the last Saturday of each month visits the wastewater treatment plant.
- Docent Training -- In the fall and spring FOAM has training sessions for volunteers to learn how to lead the tours through the Arcata Marsh.
- Wetlands on Wheels -- During the spring Wetlands On Wheels (WOW) travels to third- and fourth-grade classes throughout Humboldt County. The students are taught and entertained with activities that focus on the Arcata Marsh and the process of wastewater treatment.
- Science Fair Prize -- A $50 award is given to the best project related to wetlands in the annual Humboldt County Science Fair winners.
- Art Exhibit -- Every month, the Interpretive Center hosts an art exhibit that showcase the wildlife and landscape of the Arcata Marsh. Furthermore, FOAM cosponsors with Redwood Region Audubon Society an annual Student Bird Art Contest associated with the Godwit Days spring migration birding festival.
- Community Events -- FOAM participates in community events such as Pastels on the Plaza, Godwit Days and the Oyster Festival.
- Marsh Explorers -- FOAM cosponsors with Humboldt State Natural History Museum "Marsh Explorers", a summer science class for children.
- Girl Scouts and Science Camp -- FOAM has begun collaboration with the Girl Scouts and the Arcata Recreation Departments' Natural Resources Science Camp to teach youngsters about the birds and Marsh invertebrates.