I can’t believe it! This was my final adventure as an Environment for the Americas Intern! This week I lead Junior Rangers at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Junior Rangers is a free program at most California State Parks for kids ages 7-12. Kids participate and learn about the natural world and their part in it. On my day, we hiked, bird watched and learned about the Ballona Creek Watershed. After talking about the watershed, we played an interactive game, “Who Polluted the Ballona”, where the kids learned how our (humans) impact in the city affected the creek over time. We had a water bottle with clear water to represent the creek before it was channelized and had representations of pollutants that we put in the water bottle to see how our impact inland leads to the ocean as we are part of the Ballona Creek Watershed and how we can be part of the solution. This was a fun 45 minute program and I’m hoping to assist the park aides in future programs after the internship!
This week I also hosted a Hummingbird Day at the LA Arboretum. This all started because Sue, the EFTA director, has started a project that studies hummingbirds and their phenology. She wanted me and Daniel to try the protocol. So I decided to do so at the Los Angeles Arboretum by hosting the event including other educational activities and games for the public. I am so grateful to have great support from the staff and my volunteer, Kevin. Staff guided Arboretum visitors to my event and had me lead a walk to the summer day campers. The day before I got a Junior Birder journal and activity book called, “All about Hummingbirds” that the EFTA staff sent me. I gave this book to the campers and the visitors who stopped at the event to take home and share knowledge to others. I couldn’t get materials to make hummingbird feeders, instead I had materials to build a general bird feeder using toilet paper, peanut butter, and bird seeds. I also had materials to plant a hummingbird-friendly plants where visitors planted seeds in a pot made of newspaper- that way they may be able to plant in in their garden. We tried to use the protocol that studied the phenology, but all the hummingbirds we saw were either flying around or perched. We didn’t get to see any getting nectar off a plant. At 90 degrees F, it was a beautiful day to bird-watch and appreciate our nectar-loving birds. Again, I’m very thankful for my volunteer, Kevin J, who helped set up and engage the public!
Well this is it for EFTA and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this program. I am truly thankful for the teaches and program directors that provided an opportunity for me to teach the kids in the city about birds. SO WHAT’S NEXT? I can’t be thankful enough that LA Audubon has offered me a full-time position. I will be working with educational projects and continue with habitat restoration in the city. I will be working with former EFTA intern, Carlos J. meaning we most likely will be working close with the next years intern! In addition, in a couple weeks I will be visiting Jimena in Alaska! I’m so excited to bird-watch there and learn about Alaska’s natural history!
Thank you once again EFTA! This was a great experience and couldn’t be happier about the connections I made people in LA with similar interest.