When I attended UC Santa Cruz, I worked at the Santa Cruz Arboretum for nearly four years. It was a second home to me as most of my time spent in Santa Cruz was usually there. It was the place where: I had direct experience with plant identification and plant care; I saw my first bobcat and held my first newt; where my Environmental Interpretation class and the California Naturalist Program was held; not to mention, where I met the most enthusiastic nature-loving friends and staff. I grew fond of the place and I miss it a whole lot!
When I heard of an opportunity to host International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, I was as excited as I’ve never been. I lead a Bird Education Station at the Crescent Farm- a new native garden that demonstrates water conservation and sustainable food gardening to the public. This was a perfect place to outreach about bird migration as home or school native gardens can serve as pit stops and provide food and shelter for the migrating birds. My station was similar to the table I had at Nuestra Tierra. I had “Kill Your Lawn” Comics – a comic made by high school students that provides strategies how to remove a lawn at home and plant a native garden. I also had silhouettes for people to take or for kids to decorate, a couple pairs of binoculars, a bird observation list, a list that people could write down what native plants they grow in their garden, and bookmarks that provided a message on how we can save birds everyday.
I was moved by the energy that I got since I first stepped at the Arboretum. When I first entered, I met Ted Tegart, the Education Director, and he took me to the Crescent Farm via a golf cart. I was welcomed by a couple peacocks including two males in display which had their brightly colored feathers extended while they performed a mating dance. Then we rode across the beautiful landscape of the botanical garden. As we got to Crescent Farm, I met up with Leigh Adams, the arboretum’s Artist in Residence. Leigh and other staff including Yara, were excited about IMBD and I was inspired by their enthusiasm and love for the natural world and education.
I am so happy that I had the opportunity to host IMBD at the Los Angeles Arboretum and make long-lasting connections. I am thrilled to host more IMBD and bird education stations in the near future at my new favorite place in LA! It remind me of the arboretum that I miss in Santa Cruz and am looking forward to grow a similar fond like I had up North.