On Monday, February 25, 2013, the Friends
of Los Alamitos Watershed held a celebration dedicating the new
interpretive signs about mercury at the Hacienda Staging Area of
Almaden Quicksilver County Park in New Almaden, not far from Los
Alamitos Creek. FOLAW members, the New Almaden Community, and officials
of the Santa Clara Valley Water District and Santa Clara County Parks
attended. Here are pictures from that celebration:
These are the signs before the dedication.
They are covered up. These are the front two signs. The signs were
assembled and installed the same morning. In the background on the
right is the Hacienda Outdoor Mining Equipment Display. High up on the
hill on the left is the Hacienda Chimney, a remnant of the huge mercury
smelting operation that was in the Hacienda Area.
These are the left rear signs. In the background is the trailhead for
the Mine Hill Trail and the Clampers monument.
FOLAW president Mike Boulland (left) talks with Art Boudreault and Bill
NAQCPA President Kitty Monahan talks with officials from the Santa
Clara Valley Water District. The Water District's Watershed Grant paid
for the signs.
More FOLAW and community members come to the celebration.
Mike Boulland talks about the project and
thanks the people and agencies who made it possible. From the left are
FOLAW member Art Boudreault, Water District Board Director and 2012
Chairperson Linda Lezotte, and Water District Director Brian Schmidt.
Mike thanks the members of FOLAW who
helped with sign project. From the left are Kitty Monahan, Bill Jones,
Mike Boulland, Mike Cox, Adam Schmidt, Art Boudreault, Mike's wife
Dorene Boulland, and Rick Dill. Rick helped with the research for the
signs. Art co-authored the grant request that funded the project. Adam
helped with the graphic design of the signs. Mike Cox is a geologist
who helped with the background research. FOLAW Treasurer Bill Jones
kept track of the finances and expenses for the project. Kitty helped
with the community organization.
Art Boudreault presents Dorene Boulland
with a bouquet of roses. Dorene's mother, Dot Willson, who was an
active member of the community and frequent volunteer, passed away last
Brian Schmidt, the Water District's
director for District 7, addresses. His district includes Almaden
Reservoir, Guadalupe Reservoir, New Almaden, and the Upper parts of Los
Alamitos Creek. Linda Lezotte on the left represents District 4, which
includes the lower part of Los Alamitos Creek and Lake Almaden. Brian
thanks the community for their involvement, talks about the Water
District's efforts to clean up the watershed, and discusses how the
signs bring awareness of mercury contamination and environmental
Mike thanks Brian Mendenhall of the Water District for his help with
Mark Frederick, Construction Services
Manager for the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department,
talks about the County Parks partnership role in the project. The
County Parks granted permission and space for the project. On his right
is Robin Schaut, Interpretive and Outdoor Recreation Manager, and Julie
Lee, Interpretive programs supervisor. They were involved with
reviewing and approving the sign designs.
Peggy Melbourne (left) is the president of
the New Almaden Community Club. Rich Robertson (right) did the
metalwork design, fabrication, assembly, and installation of the sign
Preparing to cut the ribbon.
Mike Cox talks about the background
history of the signs, how there was a need for it, and how much work it
took to develop them. He discusses the significance of the site chosen
for the sign at the Hacienda site, near where whaler's pots were
discovered. They were the first methods used to extract mercury from
the cinnabar in the 1840's, so this spot marks the birthplace of the
Cutting the ribbon.
Unveiling the signs.
These are the front 2 signs.
These are the left rear signs.
FOLAW Secretary Robbie Lamons prepares to
cut the cake she made. The cake shows Los Alamitos Creek and its
tributaries. Robbie is a geologist who helped with the design of the
Robbie serves the cake.
The front 2 signs
are on how mercury gets into the local environment and how
methylmercury gets into fish.
The left signs talk about mercury and its
compounds, why they are a concern, and what people can do to reduce the
amount of mercury in local waters.
The 2 signs on the right rear talk about
mercury control methods. The sign on the left shows how circulators and
aerators are used to reduce the production of methylmercury in local
lakes. The sign on the right shows remediation methods to control
mining waste discharge.
Now visitors to Almaden Quicksilver County
Park can read about mercury and it's impact on the environment. In the
background, they can see mining equipment that was used to extract and
process the mercury ore. Looking up on the hill, they can see one of
the last remnants of the huge mercury processing operation that was
here in the Hacienda area.
Here are the designs
of the signs.