This week, March 17-23, 2014 is National Wildlife Week. It is promoted by the National Wildlife Foundation as a way to learn and enjoy nature. The main focus is on America’s wildlife and water issues. On their website is a variety of activities and suggestions on how to celebrate National Wildlife Week. One San Diego activity is to hike with a ranger at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in Jamul this Saturday, the 22nd at 8 a.m. There will also be a birding walk in Tecolote Canyon on the same day, also at 8 a.m.
Other suggestions for this week include a variety of wildlife-related crafts and activities to help protect and preserve nature. These include making bird houses, going fishing, geocaching, bird watching, puppet making and shows, and other activities listed on the NWF website. Locally, one can visit one of San Diego’s many parks and their visitor’s centers, such as Mission Trails Regional Park, which usually have educational activities for people of all ages, daily.
National Wildlife Week can also be a way for San Diegans to learn about and become more aware of San Diego’s special wildlife concerns. Birds such as the least tern, snowy plover, and tricolored blackbirds are important summer residents that are imperiled. There are also issues with invasive plants that crowd out and strangle native plants. Another issue with non-native plants is that they use more water than native plants and dry faster in a drought.
These issues including national issues are something to think about during this week. Visit www.nwf.org for more ideas. Other sites on San Diego’s wildlife include the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge pages (such as the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge), The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, San Diego Audubon (and other local Audubon sites), and San Diego Children and Nature.