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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Unique volunteer opportunities to help the local environment

Spring 2015 Volunteer Training Opportunities
Are you looking for interesting volunteering opportunities now that spring is almost here?  Here are three great ways to get outside and contribute your time and talents for the benefit of nature. 
Help with Canada Goose Population Control
Have a Canada goose problem?  Don't know what to do or where to turn? Join the Rhode Island Conservation Districts and their partners for one of their upcoming FREE Educational Workshops to learn more about Resident Canada Goose biology and behavior, the problems they pose to our local environments and economies, and what you can do on your property and in your community to help mitigate the effect of RI’s growing Resident Canada Goose population.

The free workshop is Saturday, March 7, 2015 1:00 – 3:00 PM
URI East Farm                                                                 To register or for more information 
Building #75                                                                            about this project contact:
East Farm Rd.                                                                  Southern RI Conservation District
South Kingstown, RI                                                 (401) 500-0422
Funding for this project is provided by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the US EPA through the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program of the Clean Water Act.  
These workshops are made possible through partnership with the City of Pawtucket Parks and Recreation, Recycling & Sustainability Divisions, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the Wood—Pawcatuck Watershed Assn., the Town of Bristol, and the Bristol Department of Parks & Recreation.
Become a FrogWatcher Citizen Scientist
Did you know that frogs and toads are disappearing at an alarming rate across the globe? More than one-third of amphibian species are faced with possible extinction due to a number of factors such as habitat loss, pollution and disease.
You can help scientists keep an eye on Rhode Island frogs and toads. Though there don’t appear to be any immediate threats to local New England species, the monitoring and data collected through the FrogWatch program will help conservationists keep tabs on these populations and react quicker to any decline.
Training occurs at Roger Williams Park Zoo and includes FrogWatch program details and procedures, and how to identify RI frogs and toads by their calls.  A test on frog and toad calls is required to complete FrogWatch certification.
FrogWatch USA Training Dates and Times:  
     Thursday, February 26th 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
     Sunday, March 8th 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm      
     Sunday, March 22nd 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Pre-registration is required. For more information, check out:
Become a Water Quality Monitor for University of RI Watershed Watch
The URI Watershed Watch (URIWW) is a volunteer water quality monitoring program that works with local communities to assess water quality, identify sources of pollution in water, and provide information about water leading to more effective management of critical water resources. Led by trained scientists, URI Watershed Watch's volunteers become citizen scientists gathering detailed, quality assured data from local lakes, rivers, and streams.  URIWW provides training, equipment, and supplies, and volunteers are not expected to have any special expertise or scientific experience.  Volunteers need only supply time, enthusiasm, and a boat to get to the deepest part of their lake (if they are not monitoring a river or stream).
WPWA was instrumental in the formation of URIWW 27 years ago and continues to monitor over 30 sites in lakes, rivers, and streams in the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed.
Classroom Training (Recommended for all volunteers):  The classroom training is designed to help people considering becoming volunteer monitors learn more about water quality and about Watershed Watch.  Attending a URIWW training session does not obligate you to become a volunteer monitor and is a great way to learn more about water quality!  The classroom session is is highly recommended and is offered twice, so choose the date and time that best fits your schedule.  
New Volunteer Classroom Training, held in Weaver Auditorium, Coastal Institute in Kingston 
(choose one):    Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at  6 pm     -or-      Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 1 pm
Please pre-register at 401-874-4552 or 401-874-2905.
Field Training (REQUIRED of all volunteers):  New volunteers learn how to collect samples and conduct the various tests used by URIWW to assess our local water resources.  Working is small groups with the equipment and supplies, volunteers get to perform the skills until they are fully comfortable.  Following the training, volunteers take home their equipment and are encouraged to practice on their own. While the training is free,  PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (locations announced when registering).

Please pre-register at 401-874-4552 or 401-874-2905:
     Saturday, April 11, 2015: 9 am or 1 pm
     Saturday, April 25, 2015: 9 am or 1 pm
     Saturday, May 1, 2015: 9 am Bristol, RI