Thank You to Amigos Volunteers and Contributors
By Charles Falzon
Usually this column in the Winter issue of the Tern Tide boasts of the number of students who participated in FLOW and private tours, the number of people who participated in our public monthly tours and bird walks and our amazing volunteers. And while it seems like ages ago, we did have some regular business before the shutdown on March 15.
Three school groups participated in FLOW in January and February with 80 students. FLOW Program Manager Amber Davis, along with Jerry Donohue, Judy Huck, and Bill Stern, assisted. One school group and one Girl Scout group particpated in private scheduled wetland tours with 70 tour-goers. Naturalists Karen McReynolds, Kim DiPasquale, Nancy Boyd-Batstone, Karen Belville and Al Vari led the groups.
We had less luck with public tours with rain pre-empting the January and March tours. Jim and Jennifer Robins held the tour on February 1 while other Naturalists attended the Climate Solutions Conference at Orange Coast College. The January bird walk was pre-empted by a unique tour of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station Wildlife Refuge. Terry Hill led a group of six on the February bird walk. While the Department of Fish & Wildlife does not want us to hold group activities at the Reserve and we have not been offering it to the public, Bill Stern and Terry Jorris have continued with the south parking lot trash cleanups by themselves as often as they possibly can.
It is with sadness that I report the passing of Ed Zschoche last September. Ed had been very active with the Amigos for more than a few decades: he was a member of the board of directors, and served on the membership and educations committees. His son Jonathan produced videos of the Naturalist trainings we have available on disc and in our Google Classroom. Ed’s enthusiasm and generosity will be missed.
On a brighter note, our Education Committee grew considerably this year. Karen Belville is the new committee chair, and Nancy Boyd-Batstone, Nancy Curtis, Annie Daw, Sharon Von Dollen, Gwen Noda and Tom Pfeifer have joined committee regulars Jerry Donohue, Judy Huck, Bill Stern, Jennifer Robins, Amber Davis, Tom Anderson, Joana Tavares and Shirley Dettloff for monthly Zoom meetings. This is the committee who has overseen the webinars, the creation of the Virtual and the Self-Guided tours, keeps Naturalists trained, and is always working to keep the Amigos educationally relevant.
Thank you to all who contributed financially this past year; we cannot do this work without you. Those who wished to be mentioned in the newsletter as of December 18: Karen Belville, Mike & Maria Buhbe, Cathy Brady, Susan Camber, Margaret & Dave Carlberg, Gary Charlton, Dennis Chambers, Shirley Dettloff, Kim DiPasquale, Jerry & Lori Donohue, Jody Ford, James Gilchrist, Peter Gordon, Peter Green, Madeline Hall, Marilyn Harris, Terry Hill, Rob Islander & Alison Pine, Peter Knapp, Diane & Wayne Kopit, Larry Lee, Vic Leipzig, Kevin McCarthy, Joan McCauley, Richard Moore, Cat Navetta, Marvin Nellicks, Kevin Powell, Lawrence Parmeter, Tom Pfeifer, Emily Renzel, Jennifer & Jim Robins, Marilyn Rowe, Kenia Sedler, Mike & Barbara Sentovich, Bill & Meredyth Stern, Terri Taylor, Dennis Trombley, Al Vari, and Diane Zink.
Our struggles over the past decades to preserve and restore the Bolsa Chica have taught us many things about perseverance and taking nothing for granted. This past year seems to have driven that home to a greater degree. We have all learned more about the things we are grateful for, our health, chief among them. Hopefully we have learned that our individual health is not separate from the health of our environment. Doing all we can to keep ecosystems like Bolsa Chica as healthy as possible not only benefits biodiversity but assists with the mental and physical health of humankind as well.