President's Tern
Volunteers Make Amigos Education Programs Great
By Charles Falzon

phytoplankton photoPlant Walk, May 5, 2019. Photos by Thomas Anderson.
As I wrote in the Spring issue of the Tern Tide, the Amigos have always been driven by the principal of winning people over by knowing the facts, by knowing the scientific importance of our precious wetlands. The Amigos de Bolsa Chica has spent a lot of time designing our education programs, our wetland tours and FLOW, as well as training our volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists to be as knowledgeable on a variety of topics as possible. It’s hard to not praise our volunteers enough for their desire to know as much as they can about Bolsa Chica and for wanting to share their knowledge with students and scouts of all ages—and adults, too. It is safe to say the Amigos has some of the smartest volunteers around!

Since Bolsa Chica, like the rest of California’s coast, is never saved but always being saved, the Amigos feel educating people about wetlands is as important now as it ever was. And to accomplish that, we need both dedicated volunteers and strong programs that attract teachers.

Recognizing that there are so many other things to do with one’s time these days, we’ve been making a concerted effort to create events that keep our volunteers both smart and involved. We had a special Plant Walk on May 5 for our naturalists to learn more about Bolsa Chica’s diverse and unique botanical life; we had a fun night out at the Fish Camp; and we’re reinstating quarterly informational meetings now called Naturalist Nights. The first one, held on June 20 with Vic Leipzig giving a talk on Bolsa Chica’s birds, was very well attended.

Then, to help promote our wetland tours and the FLOW Program for their educational value to teachers, the Amigos are holding a special event just for local educators to show how our tours and our FLOW program can help them meet Next Generation Science Standards. Interested educators have been invited to meet at the south parking lot on Tuesday, August 13 at 9:00 am to get a special tour of the wetlands to demonstrate how an Amigos-led tour/field trip can help teachers of all grades meet specific Next Generation Science Standards particularly in the areas of ecology and history. After the tour, we’ll convene at the State Beach Visitor Center to demonstrate FLOW. FLOW will be unveiling brand new kindergarten through 5th grade curriculum this fall, so elementary school teachers will find this day particularly interesting.

If you are an educator or know one, please send an email to info@amigosdebolsachica.org to reserve your place at this event and you will want to schedule both a wetland tour and FLOW field trip for your class. And if you are a volunteer, or want to be a volunteer with the Amigos, know that we will give you all the training you need, and give you opportunities to meet like-minded friends.