The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) provides dynamic nature education programs for students in the Escondido Creek watershed. This is vitally important to help grow the next generation of environmental stewards. At the heart of of the watershed is the City of Escondido.
According to ParkServe® statistics, fewer than half of local youth in Escondido (41%) live within a 10-minute walk to a park. With limited exposure to nature, youth lack the opportunities to appreciate the outdoors and recognize their connection to it. Thankfully, the Escondido Creek watershed is full of natural wonders that are just a short trip away.
Through our programs, Escondido youth explore their watershed and learn how to solve problems confronting their local environment. Currently, the majority of our programs are targeted at younger youth. Nature-based STEM opportunities for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students are lacking.
Fortunately, the Conservancy acquired the beautiful 693-acre Mountain Meadow Preserve in 2018 that could help us fill this gap. This site offers a unique opportunity for students and scientists to conduct hands-on research focused on our local species and ecosystems.
Biological field stations play a pivotal role in environmental monitoring and research, education, and public information.
Our Mountain Meadows property contains a combination of pristine native habitat and former avocado groves, which means that students can participate in habitat restoration work and study the effects of agriculture on species distribution, soil composition, and more.
Local high school teachers and biology professors from Cal State University San Marcos, Palomar Community College, and the Zoo’s Project Dragonfly graduate program have expressed excitement and a strong need for a field station for their students in our local region.