Despite facing the challenges of an unprecedented year, California Wildlife Day 2021 brought together communities and families to celebrate our plants and animals through a virtual two-day event. Carmel River Watershed Conservancy held the fourth annual CWD on March 20th and 21st with 33 live sessions featuring 43 speakers and presenters. 484 people registered for the virtual event. Despite social distancing and ‘zoom fatigue’, this community event still brought together like minded environmentalists and conservationists to celebrate wildlife from the Monterey Peninsula throughout the state of California.
The two-day virtual event included a variety of live sessions and recorded events. Despite the impossibility of in-person attendance, our sessions still created a place for families and children to learn about local species such as salamanders, condors, and skunks, and create nature inspired art and poetry with local artists and creatives. One such session, Flor y Canto: California Roots and Rhythmic Words, Bilingual Poetry Forum, with Aideed Medina, explored how to interpret the story of rivers, birds, and flowers through poetry and spoken word. Another popular session, Resilience of the Condors, with Linda Yamane and Kelly Sorenson, offered a rich visual story of the rehabilitation and recovery of the Condors of coastal California.
In addition to sessions that explore wildlife and nature, this year’s event focused on the complex issues of climate change. Two keynote sessions that dove into this topic were the Panel Discussion: How to Prepare for Wildfires, with local leaders and experts in wildfire and land management, and the Young Professionals in Climate Leadership, a panel discussion on how to create a career working on climate change. These sessions attracted diverse audiences with great questions and engagement. To view the recordings of any of these sessions check out our Recap Webpage!
CRWC is incredibly grateful to the local partners, supporters, speakers, and team for helping execute a successful event. The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District was incredibly crucial as a co-host and long time supporter of this event. Thank you! Next spring we strive to host an in-person event, but still maintain some virtual, online content for ease and accessibility.