MARTINEZ -- Visitors will be able to celebrate a new kit at the fifth annual Martinez Beaver Festival on Saturday, Aug. 4, in Beaver Park.
Children's activities, painting and art, beaver dam tours and informative wildlife and environmental displays round out a daylong program that includes live music performances by the Alhambra Valley Band (urban bluegrass), Spirit of '29, the Hopeful Romantics and Awed Ducks.
At noon, a children's procession with Joyce Macpherson of the San Francisco Scottish fiddlers is followed by the debut of an original beaver ballad by musician Mark Comstock and his "lovely Beaverettes."
Children will be able to earn "free" charms by learning how beavers help other species -- creating a "keystone species necklace," thanks to the Martinez Kiwanis Club.
The complete necklace tells a tale of beavers and their habitat and the festival itself, is the story of a community coming together, according Heidi Perryman.
Perryman is a founder of Worth a Dam, the beaver-friendly nonprofit that began when city officials fearing floods, began removing the home of beavers who had taken up residence in a downtown section of Alhambra Creek.
A local grass-roots outcry demanding protection of the beavers made headline news across the nation and support for urban wildlife has been growing ever since. Loyal beaver observers follow and record the habits of Martinez beavers, sharing their findings and successes with
For a quick peek at the new kit, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWkf9rDo_7A or go to www.martinezbeavers.org. Visitors at the festival can speak to observers about the history of the Martinez beaver family.
"With more interest in water storage and salmon recovery, similar beaver festivals are slowly spreading across the U.S. and Canada, but you won't want to miss this original (and best!)" Perryman said.
The 2012 festival includes representatives of the Marine Mammal Center, the Delta Science Center, Project Coyote, and the River Otter Ecology project, rangers from John Muir National Historic Site, and John Muir Association day campers.
Project Coyote is all about peaceful coexistence with man's furry cohabitants, and River Otter Ecology is dedicated to habitat preservation and restoration on behalf of North American river otters in the San Francisco Bay Area. Otters have been seen in Alhambra Creek with the beaver family.
The industrious beaver is the only animal that changes the face of the earth more than man. Reportedly their dams can be seen from outer space.
Perryman said, "Folks from Alberta to Maine are starting to understand that beavers really are Worth A Dam, partly because of all the good work here in Martinez."
Contact Dana Guzzetti at email@example.com or call 915-202-9292.
What: Fifth annual Martinez Beaver Festival
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 4
Where: Beaver Park, Marina Vista at Alhambra Avenue, Martinez
Information: Visit www.martinezbeavers.org; call 925-283-4499; or watch http://youtu.be/q7EtAwnWxdA