For the past couple of weeks, Katelyn and I have been working on creating our own weekly guided nature walks. We started up our “Guided by the Ocean” nature walk this past Friday, with the help from Lisa Cox. We didn’t know how many people to anticipate, but we had two ladies who showed up to this event. Although having more people would have been nice, I was happy that we at least got some interested local participants. Before beginning the nature walk, we welcomed them, introduced ourselves, and handed them a survey sheet, bird guide, and some binoculars. At first, Katelyn and I were a bit hesitant to speak up, so we were grateful that Lisa was there helping us along the way. During our walk, we had talked to these two ladies a little bit about the history of this bayside walking trail, by explaining how it used to be a railroad. Then we discussed some of the bird species that were out on the salt ponds, which included the Least Terns and Black Skimmers. Later, we explained how our goal is to fully restore this habitat by transforming it from salt ponds to a salt marsh, in order to have greater diversity of birds and a healthier ecosystem in which birds can forage, rest, and nest. Throughout our walk the two ladies asked a lot of questions, so it was great having a ranger like Lisa there to answer them. At the end of our walk, we concluded by thanking them for coming out and handing them flyers about the other local refuges they could visit, along with some volunteering information. They handed us back their surveys and expressed how they had a great time during the walk and how it was very informational. Also, they said that they really wanted their kids to come and would most likely come back again with them. I think this first guided nature walk was a good practice run for how Katelyn and I would like our future walks to go. We took notes of some interesting facts that Lisa talked about during the walk, and about little things we could do to make it all more enjoyable. I can’t wait until our next walk!

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