U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Educational Events Big and Small, the CDD Team Does Them All!
Versatility and flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to providing outdoor education to the public in Southern California. Whether it’s setting up a small exhibit on a picnic table in a park, or appealing to masses of people, the California Desert District team of Barbara Croonquist, Jennifer Wohlgemuth, and volunteer Dee Dechert tackle the challenge.
Otay Regional Park is a tiny island of nature just four miles north of the Mexican border and eight miles south of downtown San Diego. Yet the second annual Otay Valley Regional Park Day was an intimate day with nature for the 200 to 300 people who participated in the event. With six educational booths and guided native plant walks that included BLM’s Reptiles of Southern California, there was plenty of activity to thrill even the youngest visitors. After spending nearly an hour learning about the BLM critters, one young girl decided that she wants to be a biologist when she grows up. Another woman stumbled upon the event and was ecstatic that she now has a place where she can hike and learn about native plants and animals. (text continues below)
After tucking the reptiles safely away in their cages, the CDD team travelled to San Pedro the next day to participate in the 20th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur. There, the team put on their California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) hats to visit with about 2,000 people. Kids galore colored CCNM buttons, played in the table tide pool with plastic sea creatures, and stamped Look Who’s Rockin coloring sheets as the team shared their CCNM knowledge with the parents. One gentleman came to the table proudly announcing “I know who you are! You have 10,000 rocks!” We all looked at each other and nodded in agreement, “Close enough” we said, and knew it had been another day well spent.
- Barbara Croonquist, Public Contact Representative, BLM California Desert District (June 11, 2012)