Photo: about 40 attendees broke into small groups for a pre-work survey.
Did you miss this year’s annual Field Day at Balboa Park in San Diego? Among the awesome list of opportunities was a four-hour training program to reduce impact on nesting wildlife during tree care. It was delivered in Spanish as well as English! Co-leaders, Andrew Trotter and Gillian Martin of the Tree Care for Birds and other Wildlife committee of the Western Chapter hosted this workshop. Why? Wildlife provide many ecosystem benefits and are protected by laws. And, in urban forestry and arboriculture there’s a growing interest to lean more.
Photo: Lissette Rios (left) and Linda Mendez delivered the program in Spanish.
What did you miss? Here’s part of the list: What the laws say. Best management practices. How to identify signs of nesting wildlife. What to do in a wildlife emergency. What volunteer opportunities San Diego Audubon provides to support birds. The indoor sessions were broken by a 45-minute field walk to practice doing a pre-work inspection for wildlife. Attendees raised tree-bird conflicts they encountered in the field so of practical guidance was offered. Most of all, tree care workers discovered opportunities to practice good stewardship and to set themselves apart with customers.
Photo: San Diego Audubon volunteers introduced regional birds and conducted field walks.
All this was made possible because of support from San Diego Audubon and West Coast Arborist. We are deeply grateful to biologist Lesley Handa for introducing the birds and habitats of the San Diego region, as well as Jim Peugh, Ashley Jabro, Karina Ornelas, and Carlos Villalobos for leading field walks. West Coast Arborists’ bilingual staff, Lissette Rios, and Linda Mendez stepped up to translate and deliver the program in Spanish. Lesley’s closing words spoke for us all: “I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn how tree care professionals approach the work in the field and I now have a much greater appreciation for the work that they do. Speaking with tree care professionals taught me that they have interesting experiences that they can teach us conservationists!” Lastly, we thank Sea and Sage Audubon for providing taxidermy birds and nests. We are reminded again and again how partnerships enrich us all.
I greatly appreciate the attention and active participation of the arborists that were on the walk that I led. They demonstrated a high level of knowledge of the potential impacts of their work on wildlife and a clear interest in learning more from us and from others in the group.