Meet Jane Mio

Photo credit: Chevy111

Jane MioJane Mio is Co-chair of the VWC's Native Habitat Restoration Committee and the Project Director of the San Lorenzo River Estuary Re-vegetation Project.

Jane has been a Santa Cruz resident for 50 years, and during that time, she has been a committed and active environmentalist and steward focused on the San Lorenzo River. As Fisheries Biologist Don Alley once said about Jane Mio, ”Never underestimate the power of one.“

Reviving the San Lorenzo River Estuary

In conjunction with the NHRP, Jane created the San Lorenzo River Estuary Re-vegetation Project six years ago. She has brought together County, City, non-profits, and private entities to support her endeavors to restore the degraded, critical habitat of the estuary stretch of the San Lorenzo River.

On the 3rd Saturday of each month, you will find Jane and Downtown Street Team members on the Estuary, where she teaches habitat restoration and has led hundreds of volunteers.

She and her committed volunteers have cleared large areas of invasive plants and grasses and planted hundreds of native plants that are helping to restore and heal the land and improve the health of the native fauna.

Jane Mio and the Downtown Streets Team

Jane Mio, the Downtown Street Team and volunteers

Restoring habitat in San Lorenzo Park

Homeless encampments have had a significant impact along the San Lorenzo River. In 2021, in collaboration with the Downtown Street Team and Santa Cruz City Staff, Jane created the Benchlands Environmental Stewardship Team, also known as “BEST.”

BEST addresses the areas damaged along the river due to encampments.

Each Sunday for two hours, BEST engages members of the housed, un-housed, and encampment communities to work side by side, removing trash and protecting and restoring the damaged habitat.

Celebrate Jane Mio Day: March 22, 2022

For Jane’s contributions to improving the community and the habitat along the San Lorenzo River, she received the City of Santa Cruz Mayor's Proclamation making March 22, 2022, Jane Mio Day in the City of Santa Cruz.

And it does not end there for Jane Mio.

A Service Award of Excellence as a Champion for the Community

The City Council announced that the California Parks and Recreation Society chose to award its Service Award of Excellence as a Champion for the Community to Jane for her work with BEST at San Lorenzo Park and the restoration of the Estuary of the San Lorenzo River.

Never underestimate the power of one. Especially Jane, one who leads, inspires and helps others to succeed. Together, they all have become so much more.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

– Ryūnosuke Satoro

The San Lorenzo Valley Native Habitat Restoration Program integrates environmental and community needs to restore the riparian habitat and ensure the ongoing health and beauty of the watershed.

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About the San Lorenzo River Estuary Re-Vegetation Project

Begun in 2017 as a project site of the Native Habitat Restoration Program of the Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley, the Estuary Re-Vegetation Project also enjoys support from the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department and City Serve and Downtown Streets Team members.

An added benefit of these workdays allows Jane to share the beauty of the Estuary, native habitat restoration techniques, and to help the volunteers understand the importance of caring for the San Lorenzo River and the San Lorenzo River Watershed, the source of water for the City of Santa Cruz, and the San Lorenzo Valley, as well as the watersheds where visiting volunteers live.

Volunteers meet every 3rd Saturday of the month, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM in a designated area of the estuary.

Join the Restoration Revolution!

We'd love to have your help to ensure the estuary thrives! Contact us to get on the volunteer mail list to learn about where we will be restoring next.

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