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News.bytes Extra, issue 491

BLM coastal and desert booths a big hit at San Diego Parks and Open Spaces Day

Snakes, tortoises, and button-making attracted hundreds of visitors to the BLM booths at the 3rd Annual San Diego Parks and Open Spaces Day held at Cabrillo National Monument.  Sponsored by the National Park Service at Cabrillo National Monument, located on the tip of San Diego’s Point Loma, the day-long event on Saturday, July 23, 2011, highlighted “parks, natural areas, open spaces and organizations that support the use of these spaces in the San Diego area.” (text continues below)

a smiling woman holds a spotted snake
Slytherin the gopher snake and her brother Malfoy were big hits at the CDD booth.

This year, the BLM had two booths side-by-side -- one for the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) and one for the California Desert District. The two booths had non-stop visitation by many of the more than 3,000 park visitors for the day. While dozens and dozens of kids made CCNM buttons and created CCNM booklets with rubber stamp images related to animals and plants found on and around the CCNM’s rocks and islets, the biggest attraction of the entire event were the reptiles at the California Desert District (CDD) booth.

Barbara Croonquist, California Desert District public contact representative, was busy all day, providing the public with the opportunity to view and handle a king snake, gopher snakes, chuckwalla lizards, and young desert tortoises, while she discussed the BLM and the California Desert District.

Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument Manager, spent the day discussing the California Coastal National Monument, the BLM, and career opportunities with a continuous flow of visitors, while he helped kids create their own rubber stamp-decorated CCNM booklets and hand-colored CCNM buttons.

BLM volunteers Michael Croonquist and Ahmicqui Kennedy assisted with both the button making and the handling of the reptiles and kept Barbara and Rick from becoming swamped.

visitors line up at a BLM booth
Both BLM booths drew a large amount of the event’s visitors and were busy all day long.

a young man reaches out to touch a snake while others watch a handler with another snake
If you didn’t want to hold a snake, you could touch them or at least enjoy watching others holding them.

young visitors meet a small turtle
Handling a baby desert tortoise was a rare opportunity for these young visitors.

a woman helps several young visitors to her shaded activity table
When she wasn’t handling snakes and other reptiles at the CDD booth, Barbara was helping out with the CCNM button making at the adjoining CCNM booth.

young hands color a circular coastal monument picture
After making her CCNM button, a youthful visitor colors her own CCNM booklet cover.

young hands stamp a coastal picture book
A young visitor puts the final touches on the inside of her CCNM booklet decorated with her selection of rubber stamp images.

a wide variety of coastal rubber stamps on a sheet of paper
A young girl displays the inside of her finished CCNM booklet decorated with a wide variety of  rubber stamp prints.

Dad helps his young daughter make rubber stamp pictures
Even the very young got involved, with a little boost from dad.

A young mand and woman holding snakes stand by a large (for a toy) plastic boat
BLM volunteers Michael and Ahmicqui introduce the California Desert District snakes to “Coastie,” the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s mascot.

- Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument Manager, 7/27/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 491 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page. 

Last updated: 07-29-2011