Happy World Nature Conservation Day!! Observed worldwide on July 28th of every year, this day aims to create awareness about protecting and conserving nature. The UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve (MVPGR) is a great example of protected conservation lands that create awareness about the natural world, land conservation, and stewardship. Located directly adjacent to the University of California, Merced campus, the reserve is comprised of 6,500 protected acres of intact vernal pool and grassland habitat.
Happy Earth Day! Did you know that the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve (MVPGR) represents some of the largest remaining intact vernal pools and grassland ecosystems around? For this reason, the MVPGR attracts researchers and educators from around the UC system and beyond visiting the Reserve to explore vernal pool ecology, biodiversity, and more. The MVPGR typically hosts a variety of educational activities, from university-level course field trip trips, K-12 groups, public education naturalist events, and public service events, which makes every day Earth Day out on the Reserve!
This weekend, we celebrate freedom as a nation, and on the Reserve, birds sing their songs of freedom!
This time of year, several species of birds can be found nesting on the ground. When moving through grasslands, it is important to take care not to inadvertently crush a bird’s nest or chicks.
About Ground Nesting Birds
MPVGR friends, we have some sad news. Steve Simmons, ornithologist/wood worker/retired high school teacher and friend of the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, has recently passed away. Steve has been unwell for a bit and passed away last week.
Happy Earth Day from the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve! Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which was first recognized in 1970!
Joy Baccei has joined us as the new Director of the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve. As Director, Joy will oversee activities on the reserve related to the research, education, and public service mission of the UC Natural Reserve System. She will also work with our Tulare County Office of Education partners to help expand our activities at the new SCICON Field Station in Springville, CA. Joy has extensive wetland ecology and management expertise, and we are excited that she has joined the UC Merced and Natural Reserve System teams.
Applications are now being accepted for the Field Science Fellowship, a new undergraduate research program sponsored by the University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS).
Please join our 4rd Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve on Thursday, January 2, 2020 (7am-3pm). As part of the nation’s longest-running community science bird project (started in the year 1899!), the Audubon Society will be conducting bird counts between December 14, 2019 through January 5, 2020. Thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries in the western Hemisphere will be heading outside and tallying every bird that they see or hear. On the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, John Harris