Kids in Nature Visit Arroyo Hondo Preserve
CCBER staff lead students from Brandon Elementary School through the beatiful riparian corridor at Arroyo Hondo.
The CCBER Kids in Nature (KIN) program mission is to promote the aspirations and achievements of young students in local underserved schools by providing quality environmental science education. KIN staff and UCSB students work closely with fifth grade students from various elementary schools in outdoor settings as well as in the established native plant gardens on the elementary school campuses for a sustained and in-depth educational experience. The UCSB students assisting with KIN are enrolled in EEMB 189/EnvS 19, an environmental science education course taught by CCBER staff, UCSB professors from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, local fifth grade teachers, and UCSB graduate students.
Our KIN2 program, funded this year by the CA Coastal Conservancy, provides outreach to an even greater number of local schools and explored the Arroyo Hondo Preserve this week with Brandon Elementary. Arroyo Hondo is a 782-acre preserve situated between Refugio State Beach and Gaviota State Park. Although the preserve has a number of habitats, a highlight for the kids was the tranquil riparian corridor at the heart of the canyon. Kids in Nature visit Arroyo Hondo during spring quarter, and spend most of the time hiking and exploring but also have some led activities. The groups take part in a water quality testing activity where they measure salinity, temperature, turbidity, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH, while during another activity they search for aquatic invertebrates and learn about the steelhead trout life cycle. By providing these engaging, challenging activities and positive interactions with scientists, graduate, and undergraduate students, KIN has a significant impact on students’ understanding and awareness of environmental issues.
Students rest in the Bathtub tree, an old California Bay (Umbellularia californica).
A great day for environmental science education!