by Saddy Preza Zavaleta
Calling all community scientists and Arboretum visitors! The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has launched a survey to monitor the quality of the Arboretum Waterway and everyone is welcome to participate.
Located around the Arboretum Waterway loop trail are signs that read “Water Survey” along with a number, one through six, designating the region you are observing. Once you spot the sign: take out your smartphone, go to the web address on the flyer, and share your observations in the brief survey. You are now a community scientist – it's that easy!
Collected data will help assess wildlife, litter, water quality and algae conditions in the particular area of the waterway you observe. The survey is a fun, quick and engaging activity for anyone interested in becoming a community scientist and documenting their observations in nature. Complete one survey or all six – you are especially encouraged to complete the survey over time on different days – every observation helps.
“We don’t have baseline data for what the Arboretum Waterway looks like throughout the year,” says Nina Suzuki, waterway steward. “Survey responses by the community, alongside water samples and data collection by the Waterway Stewardship Learning by Leading interns, will offer a foundational understanding of the Waterway’s conditions throughout the year. With our community’s feedback, caretakers will be able to recognize and tend to the unusual occurrences.”
Additionally, as Spring approaches, Suzuki especially encourages survey participation since data collection is uniquely important during seasonal changes.
So, next time you’re strolling through the Arboretum, take a few minutes to share your observations and help make a difference in the long-term care of the Waterway. The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden appreciates your participation!
A grant from The Green Initiative Fund at UC Davis allowed the purchase of water quality monitoring equipment for this project.