Here in Cambria we are surrounded by spectacular nature. Greenspace Nature Club offers adults and children an opportunity to explore and deepen our connection to nature and to share adventures. We can build on the beach with driftwood, explore nature art, build fairy houses, collect rocks, find moonstones, build rock cairns, follow tracks, learn about edible plants. The possibilities are endless.
Sue Davis, who has 45 years of experience as an Early Childhood Educator, will facilitate the Greenspace Nature Club.The club will meet the third Sunday of every month, 3-5 pm. Locations will vary.
In 2015, Greenspace launched a new environmental education initiative with Santa Lucia Middle School in Cambria, funded by a generous grant from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. The program followed on several years of informal projects with young people in the schools. This field learning program was designed to bring sixth-grade children into our local watershed ecosystems—agriculture, creek, forest or beach—to learn about the way in which vital interconnections support healthy organisms in nature. In the program’s first school year, we brought instructional staff and volunteers together to carry out learning activities that moved from classroom to field setting and back—soil testing, water quality sampling, examining invasive pests and microscopic organisms, field drawing and nature writing—in all four ecosystems.
Last year, we focused on learning about the Monterey pine life cycle and the forest in our Strawberry Canyon reserve, including a reforestation project in which students planted native pine seedlings, replacing those killed by drought and pests. This year, students from Cayucos Elementary are engaged in that learning process, while the Santa Lucia students, now 7th graders, have returned to the canyon forest to do population and health studies on the pines, collecting data and comparing findings in four transects along the loop trail.
For adults and families, Greenspace offers a Speakers Series of fascinating presentations by cutting-edge scientists, photojournalists, authors and environmental activists. We hold two or three of these symposia each year and encourage audience questions and discussion to apply information to the specific environmental issues of the Central Coast. We also offer a guided hike each spring to explore local geologic formations and wildflower blooms with Dave Chipping, an expert in both fields.
In the next two years, the education program will expand to include elementary and high school students as well, and will develop in the direction of environmental/climate change resiliency education. Among educational projects we are planning are a program to harvest pine cones from Monterey pines that are asymptomatic for pitch canker, process the seeds and replenish our seed bank for reforestation projects. We hope to have students in the high school horticulture program process and plant the seeds, to raise our next generation of healthy Monterey pines and place-conscious citizens.
We also are planning a resiliency education program for the community at large, introducing school children and their families to the local watersheds and what it takes to keep them healthy. The program will include Science Nights with parents and children, a Speakers Series that will focus on issues of environmental resiliency, preparation for climate change-related emergencies, and sustainable development strategies, as well as deepening residents’ sense of connection to this beautiful and unique place through community Nature Club meetings.
Check out the News and Events tab to find out more about upcoming events or contact us to get involved.