Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve Inc

The Willows

aka F.G.W.W.P.

Gardena, CA

Mission

To restore, maintain, & enhance the GWWP unique natural habitat & native flora & fauna for the enjoyment, enrichment, & education of present & future generations. To design & implement educational programs for the community, including school tours, regarding the natural history of the South Bay & the GWWP. To provide environmental, scientific, & educational opportunities to the community & establish a Nature Center to assist in the fulfillment of these objectives, and foster respect for & interest in the environment. To conduct fundraising to provide financial support for the GWWP, proposed Nature Center, & the programs of FGWWP. To establish & maintain a volunteer program, including training docents for tours, & exposing participants to the process of restoration in the preserve.

Ruling Year

2007

President

Mr. Freddie G. Davis

Vice President

Mrs. Cheral Sherman

Main Address

P.O. Box 2211

Gardena, CA 90247 USA

Keywords

wetlands, restoration, volunteer, nature education, environment

EIN

20-8369747

 Number

5706476840

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

1) The Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve (FGWWP) is trying to make the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve (GWWP) more accessible, to “allow people to enjoy and appreciate this outstanding natural resource,” and the rationale for that is Gardena has no other natural space, if they don’t have access to the Willows, they won’t have access to natural space. 2) The FGWWP needs a better working together partnership with the City of Gardena. The first step to this endeavor would be to encourage the City to hire a Naturalist (part-time). 3) This would address the problem of public access & education of the GWWP, attendance by 3rd grade class children and teacher, access for special interest groups, weekdays available for young children up to kindergarten age and increase volunteer work day base.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Monthly Strolls

3rd Saturday Work Day

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Goal 1 – The GWWP represents the types of natural habitats that would have existed in the area pre-European settlement. The goal to increase volunteer work days is to restore the habitat to this time period. Goal 2 - FGWWP is aiming to accomplish a better working together partnership with the City of Gardena. We would like to encourage the City to hire a Naturalist (part-time). This works towards solving many problems: 1) allows access to the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve for more days/hours to increase the number of local residents who can enjoy the Preserve on a regular basis, 2) being open on weekdays, teachers can lead 3rd grade school children through the Preserve, 3) makes available additional time for special interest groups, birding, artists, photography, i.e. to come to the Preserve, 4) being open on weekdays, moms/babysitters could bring young children up to kindergarten age to Preserve for nature learning and relaxation, and 5) provide an additional volunteer work day on the 1st Saturday of each month.. Goal 3 - Educate the public on the important role the GWWP plays in environmental sustainability. Also, increase the number of local residents, who can access and enjoy the Preserve on a regular basis,

Goal 1 - seeks to remove invasive, non-native plants from the Preserve and replace them with locally appropriate native species. Invasive species are typical of those found across the region, and we deal with both upland and wetland species, which require quite different strategies. To achieve this, we hold monthly workdays, for 3 hours each time, at which volunteers, under the guidance of board members and volunteers who have experience with restoration projects, remove invasive species on a focused, prioritized basis. We approach the problem one or two species at a time, since we have found this is the most effective way to eradicate species. This has worked to control two formerly pervasive non-native species, wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and castor bean (Ricinus communis) and keep another locally abundant species, black mustard (Brassica nigra), under control. We are currently turning the tide against wild radish Raphanus raphanistrum), but many invasive species remain. In addition, a smaller number of volunteer’s works in the Preserve on a regular basis to keep it maintained for public access. We also seek to obtain grants to hire contractors for some of the more troublesome species. Goal 2 - We have numerous strategies. We are increasing our social media exposure with accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. GWWP is shown in the City of Gardena’s annual winter/summer resident magazine titled Live-Work-Play, and the community newspaper ‘Gardena Valley News’. In addition, we are working with the City to increase the number of days/hours each month that the Preserve is open. Also, meet with City of Gardena representatives to discuss all of the positive accomplishments of hiring a Naturalist (part-time). This could be on a trial basis to obtain supporting documented results. Goal 3 - We have produced a range of self-guided tour booklets, on topics such as Birds of the Preserve, Flowering Plants, Pollinators, Useful Plants, Water, and Climate Change. Through a grant from Edison, we have made laminated identification sheets with birds, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, and trees that may be found at the Preserve. In addition, the Second Sunday Stroll has a different theme each month, with guided tours led by board members, docents, or volunteer experts from the community. Furthermore, we have two themed gardens, Mother Nature’s Back Yard, which is a water-wise demonstration garden planted in native species, and The Garden of Health, demonstrating a range of medicinal plants used by the region’s First Peoples.

Our board members bring a diverse set of capabilities to the Preserve. We have experts in native plants, education, habitat restoration, landscape planning, ecology, natural history, social media outreach, and non-profit governance. All devote considerable time to the GWWP, both in planning and implementation of our strategies.

The three goals all have different indicators to assess our success. Goal 1 - Removal of non-native plants can be directly measured by the number of invasive species remaining and an estimate of their percent cover within the Preserve. Unfortunately, we did not create a baseline map showing their extent when we started, though a volunteer created a map of coverage by non-native vines in 2017. We are in the process of building an inventory of non-native species, with estimates of the area, or percent coverage, they occupy. We keep a log of all visitors to the Preserve, whether for passive recreation or to volunteer. The indicator of our outreach success will be the number of visitors over time. For those who attend for passive recreation, we also collect demographic information, so we know the impact we are having on the different communities we serve. We also are logging the number of followers on the various social media accounts, and again, growth in those numbers will be an indicator of the success of Goal 2. Goal 3 will be much harder to ascertain without some sort of formative-summative assessment vehicle. We have no plans to conduct this sort of assessment at this time. The beginning of progress can only be achieved by the City agreeing to hire a Naturalist (part-time). Then, and only then, can the individual goals be addressed.

The FGWWP had a meeting with a representative of the City of Gardena. The representative asked the following question: “What would you like from the City?” We presented her with our #1 goal, hiring a Naturalist (part-time). After lengthy exchange of discussion, it was decided that the City hire a Naturalist - Intern (part-time) at $16.00/per hour, with a budget of $5,000 ending June 30, 2020. Meeting ended with tentative approval. The next day, we were informed that the position and budget were approved by the City Manager. Now we are working on the job description and days/hours of work. Once approved, the position will be posted; after application deadline then interviews and tentatively employment date is planned for the week of December 2nd. The next steps will be the most important: 1) Interviewing, 2) Determining the work schedule, 3) Training the Naturalist - Intern of all aspects of the job, 4) Establishing programs for every work day, 5) Talk with 3rd grade teachers about bringing their class to the Preserve, and 6) Marketing the new 2020 calendar on social medias and distribution of flyers .

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve Inc

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Operations

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/27/2019

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Male
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Female
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Other

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Disability

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 10/27/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
done
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
done
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

done
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
done
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.