CWC is thrilled to welcome its newest staff member, Kaiya Giuliano-Monroy, who joined this river revitalizing team in December. Kaiya, who grew up in the San Lorenzo River watershed, jumped right into her new role leading teams of volunteers in planting new native plants along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Working in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History’s Earth Stewards Program, Kaiya led 28 students and teachers in planting 70 coyote brush and sticky monkeyflower plants. These shrubs are important to the riverine ecosystem because they are very attractive to pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees and insects.
As CWC’s River Ecologist, you’ll find Kaiya working with volunteers to enhance native habitat and remove invasive species. Get to know Kaiya by reading her bio below or by signing up to join Kaiya in planting new native plants along the San Lorenzo River on Saturday, January 15th. You’ll also learn more about these plants, why they matter and what you can do to protect the San Lorenzo River ecosystem wherever you are.
Kaiya works to revitalize and connect the community to the San Lorenzo River through volunteer events, outreach and education, planting new native plants, removing invasive species and increasing biodiversity and habitat complexity along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Kaiya’s connection to nature began in the San Lorenzo River watershed in childhood, growing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Beach Flats communities, and was carried into her career after graduating from Humboldt State with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. Kaiya’s work has included conducting bird surveys in Nevada’s sagebrush, monitoring avian survival in Humboldt’s redwood forests, managing volunteer habitat restoration activities at The Presidio Native Plant Nursery, and teaching students to identify, love, and appreciate nature through NatureBridge programs near Washington D.C., Yosemite and Marin counties.