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 News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 435

Springtime at the Desert Discovery Center

The BLM Barstow Field Office's Desert Discovery Center has been a hub of activity this spring.  The DDC was full of displays hosted by several environmentally-conscious organizations, as it hosted the community Earth Day event on Saturday, April 24.  Activities included a "shred fest" – where residents could destroy up to 25 lbs. of documents free of charge -- and a t-shirt tie-dyeing booth for kids ages 7 to 12.   Workshops were held throughout the day on square foot gardening, transforming desert soil, and water conservation. The day’s event was a huge success -- educating several hundred people on how they can make a difference in their community and become better stewards of our scarce natural resources. 

Kids ages 7 to 12 enjoying tie-dying booth

On May 5, nearly 100 students from Barstow High School participated in a spring cleanup at the DDC as part of their community service activity plan.  These freshman and sophomores were part of the “house” program -- smaller learning communities established to promote student achievement, attendance, graduation rates, and postsecondary enrollment.  After they loaded up six trucks with yard waste and trash, the students were treated to a wildlife program by BLM Park Ranger Art Basulto.  The DDC looks forward to partnering with the local high school in career technical education programs in 2011.

The DDC cleanup was done just in time for a ‘future partner’ event.  Southern California Edison hosted a dinner on May 5 for their executives, BLM management, and a few DDC partners.  Attendees listened attentively to BLM senior planner  Brad Mastin and Main Street Murals President Jane Brockhurst, as they shared details of the DDC five-year plan to include facility upgrades, LEED certification, and outdoor nature education developments.  SCE staff are enthusiastic about the project and very definite about future joint endeavors.  You can see the draft plan (as a PDF file) at: http://www.handsontheland.org/teachers/data/5-year%20plan%20DDC.pdf

The most recent spring event was the annual Mural in a Day project on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the DDC.  This mural was designed by students attending the DDC “Mining in the Mojave” education program sponsored by our non-profit partner, Main Street Murals.  Students spent several months exploring the mining history of the Mojave Desert through various presentations and field trips.  Using their newfound mining information they created designs that were used to make the final mural image.  A group of about 30 artists, as well as the students, assisted in the painting of the mural.  This proved to be a great community event.

Students assisted artists in painting mural

- Rose Beardshear, BLM-California Barstow Field Office, 6/2/10

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 435

Last updated: 06-09-2010