Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

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Dear Friend,

Spring is in full swing! That means that students in our new youth program, Rising Environmental Youth Leaders, are busy working on their community action projects, and our community science team is gearing up for City Nature Challenge later this month. 

We were excited to see our work to support monarch butterflies featured in The Marin Independent Journal last month! Read more here.

We are so grateful to our generous One Tam supporters who help make our youth and science work possible. 

Happy Earth Month to all of you!

Cailey Gibson 

Associate Director, Individual Giving, One Tam 

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New Youth Program Connects Marin Youth To Nature, Local Leaders, and Each Other

Engaging the next generation of Mt. Tamalpais enthusiasts is essential to our goal of expanding equitable access to and broadening support for stewardship of Marin public lands. To meet this need, this year One Tam launched a new youth program: Rising Environmental Youth Leaders (REYL).

Since November, this program has brought together a diverse cohort of 12 high school students from six schools around Marin County. Led by One Tam Youth Program Manager, Grecia Pacheco, and One Tam Community Science Assistant, Sara Leon Guerrero, and supported by a host of One Tam partner agency staff and environmental and social justice advocates, these youth have been learning about fire ecology, climate change, leadership skills, environmental justice, and community activism.

As Rising Environmental Youth Leaders, the students’ goal is to create climate change awareness in their community. To that end, they are designing and implementing Community Action Projects grounded in their individual communities’ needs, supported by mentors and REYL staff. Stay tuned to learn more about these students’ Community Action Projects in our May newsletter!

You can support our young people with their projects right now! Please take a moment to fill out this sea level rise survey created by REYL participant Wambua Musyoki. This survey covers topics such as flooding and sea level rise in order to understand public interest in various solutions to this problem.


City Nature Challenge Starts April 30!

Monarch butterfly by kbanter via iNaturalist

Monarch butterfly. Photo: kbanter via iNaturalist

City Nature Challenge is a yearly global community science event that engages urban communities worldwide in a friendly competition to see which area can turn out the greatest number of naturalists, make the most observations of nature, and find the most species using iNaturalist. One Tam collaborates with the California Academy of Sciences and other organizations as part of the SF Bay Area team.

Anyone can join the City Nature Challenge! From April 30-May 3, find wild plants, animals, or any other evidence of life near you, take pictures, and share your observations on iNaturalist. From May 4-May 9, join people from all over the world (and many One Tam experts!) on iNaturalist and help identify what was found.

You can join the One Tam City Nature Challenge virtual bioblitz project to get identification help from One Tam experts and be eligible for social media shout-outs and recognition items, simply by recording observations in the Mt. Tam area on iNaturalist. 



Foothill yellow-legged frog by Ian Austin

Foothill yellow-legged frog. Photo: Ian Austin

A special species needs your help this spring!

Which animal has chin spots as unique as your fingerprints and lives in creeks? A foothill yellow-legged frog!

One Tam partners are making a difference for foothill yellow-legged frogs in Marin, but we need the whole community to help this special species. Visit this  interactive story to learn more about foothill yellow-legged frogs and how you can help protect them when enjoying Marin’s parks, especially now during their breeding season.

In addition, join an upcoming webinar to learn about the common and uncommon frogs you can see in the Golden Gate National Parks:

Eggs, Tadpoles, to Frogs: Monitoring Frogs in the Golden Gate National Parks. Friday, April 23, 12-1:30 PM

Price Sheppy from the Parks Conservancy will share information about local frogs, listen to their mating calls, and learn how to tell these frogs apart. Gabriela Dunn from the Golden Gate National Parks will tell you about California red-legged frog reintroduction, how the park monitors these frogs, and what it can tell us about them. REGISTER >>


Appreciating Bats in Marin

Pallid Bat

A Pallid bat observed during One Tam's bat monitoring study gets measured an assessed for overall health. Photo: Katie Smith / Parks Conservancy

April 17 is International Bat Appreciation Day, and we’re offering some resources to help you learn more about these mysterious but extremely important creatures in our backyards. Did you know that One Tam’s bat monitoring program has confirmed at least 13 different species present in Marin? Get more shareable facts about bats and learn more about why we study them at the links below:


ICYMY: Mushrooms and Monarchs

False Chanterelle by David Greenberger via iNaturalist

False chanterelle. Photo: David Greenberger via iNaturalist

Don’t miss these mushroom talks! Both seasoned mushroomers and those just getting started will enjoy last months’ talks where we learned about local mushrooms and connecting to nature through community science:

  • Data Is Not the Destination: A Conversation with Naturalist Christian Schwarz. Naturalist Christian Schwarz joined One Tam's Community Science Program Manager Lisette Arellano last month to talk about why “Data is Not the Destination” in community (citizen) science. He explored the roles of community science in studying and connecting to nature, through the marvelous world of mushrooms and their enthusiasts. We also learned about local fungi and how anyone can become a community scientist.
  • Mushrooms of Mt Tam: Lisette Arellano and David Greenberger, One Tam’s Assistant Conservation Management Specialist, introduced us to the practice of mushroom appreciation, basics about how to identify mushrooms, and then toured some interesting species found on Mt. Tam.

Have you seen any monarch butterflies this spring? The second annual Western Monarch Mystery Count is still happening this month. You can help document monarchs as they move east into inland Marin communities. Recording your observations in iNaturalist adds invaluable information to a gap in our knowledge!

You can also make a difference for monarchs and other butterflies in your garden. Check out this list of butterfly nectar plants prepared by the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Get more gardening tips and even order plants at their upcoming annual plant sale April 14-21 at



iNaturalist Observation of the Month 

Calypso orchid by Andrew Lie via iNaturalist

Calypso orchid (Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis). Photo: Andrew Lie via iNaturalist


Calypso orchids, also known as fairy slippers, are a sure sign of spring on Mt. Tamalpais. Found in northern temperate and mountainous areas worldwide, Calypso bulblosa var. occidentalis is the local subspecies on Mt. Tamalpais. This population was thought to be the southernmost California population until individuals were found in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1963. 

These tiny orchids form relationships with microscopic soil fungi and flower from a single leaf, making them very sensitive to disturbance. Fairy slippers lure young queen bumblebees with smell and color, but the beauty is all trickery, as the flowers fail to deliver nectar or pollen rewards.

Local runner Andrew Lie spotted this most excellent find:


About Us

California newt at Lake Lagunitas, Mt. Tam

A California newt at Lake Lagunitas on Mt. Tam 

One Tam works to ensure a healthy, vibrant and diverse landscape for our beloved and iconic Mt. Tam. We are the community-supported partnership of Mt. Tam’s land agencies and managers.

One Team leads programs that care for our mountain, inspire our next generation of land stewards and strengthen our local community. We invite you to join us.

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Going Further, Together

One Tam brings together inspired community members with its five partners to support the long-term stewardship of Mt. Tam.
One Tam Partner Logos: National Park Service, CA State Parks, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Marin Municipal Water District, and Marin County Parks

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