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Help Splash Flourish in 2020!

Update from the Mather Field Vernal Pools 

Bring on the rain! The wet season has arrived at Mather, with more rain ahead in the forecast. The parched grasslands soaked up the rain like a giant sponge these past few weeks. Although the water table is still hidden beneath the soil’s surface, the depressions of the rolling prairie are bright green with sprouting vegetation. A world of tiny critters is waiting to awaken. During the wet phase the vernal pools host dozens of species of aquatic invertebrates, including the famous Fairy Shrimp and Tadpole Shrimp. 

Field season is right around the corner! We are eager to greet our first class of 4th graders from Robert McGarvey Elementary on February 13th. Students will sploosh in the mud, catch-and-release tiny aquatic critters and learn their place in the watershed.

The Teachers That Rock!

The teachers that bring their fourth & fifth graders here to Splash are at the very heart of our “Investigating Vernal Pools” program. As we look ahead to welcoming 75 classes next field season, we first look forward to welcoming the newest teachers in that group for their training days! During the training, teachers learn about anything from how to manage a living Fairy Shrimp nursery, how to create their own watershed model, or how to conduct an interactive lesson about our local food web. 

This year, we had a special guest helping lead the workshops - newly retired Splash teacher, Marie Wenger of Anna Kirchgater Elementary. After Marie first attended teacher training at Splash, she went on to teach the curriculum in her classroom for 16 years. She provided our new teachers with her insights into how powerful this program is for kids!

Thank you to each and every Splash teacher who learns this curriculum, gets excited about the vernal pool ecosystem AND gets their students excited to become classroom experts on a very special flower & critter! Each student will become a critter, like the endangered Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp, and a flower, like Common Owl’s Clover (also known as “Butter & Eggs”).  

We can’t wait to meet those young experts in February as they launch off that bus and head into the vernal pool habitat with us! 

Year-End Fundraising Campaign: Support Splash in 2020

2019 was a transformational year for Splash, and we couldn’t have done it without you! We just launched our 2019 Year-End Fundraising Campaign and are hoping you’ll join us in giving children across our region the opportunity to plug into nature and connect with wild things. Already over 53,000 children have explored Splash’s outdoor classroom, the Mather Field vernal pool grasslands. 

This year 75 public school classes in our region will investigate a world of tiny critters through microscopes, meet rescued wildlife in Critterville and hike amongst the vernal pools.

Will you help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000? This will help us bridge the gap in our funding, allowing more students to experience our unique program. We have big plans and need your support! Donate via the remit envelope included in our recent mailing campaign, online at, or by calling (916) 364-2437. 

With you at our side, we’ll continue inspiring as many children as possible. Thank you for sharing our conviction that positive, first-hand experiences in nature are the best way to build a generation that respects the marvelous ways in which mother nature provides. 

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity!

We’re getting the Splash Center ready for the season! If you want to help us prepare materials or tackle odds and ends around the facility, contact or phone us at (916) 364-2437. We’ll send you details!

When: Monday, January 20, 2020 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: The Splash Center, 4426 Excelsior Road, Mather CA 95655

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