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Nature: Where Art Meets Science

The ceanothus were putting on a show of vibrant purple hues, creativity was flowing from school children, and no one was worried about standing fewer than 6 feet apart. March 5th was one of our last field trips—and it was one for the books. Students from Sycamore Ridge Elementary in Del Mar had been learning how human activity is hindering wildlife conservation—but learning wasn’t enough. The students worked on projects that related directly to the challenges faced at our newest preserve, the George Sardina, MD Preserve, near Lake Wohlford. Students researched how human recreation, increased fire frequency, and decreased biodiversity could harm wildlife. They then created solutions and recommendations for our land managers to help restore and protect our native plants and wildlife… and they didn’t stop there.

After weeks of planning with their art teacher, the students came up with designs to paint ten picnic tables at the Preserve’s staging area. The students took turns mixing colors, sketching the design, and bringing their ideas to life with color. The designs all reflect the biodiversity seen at the Preserve. In between painting sessions, the students also explored the Preserve with our volunteer trail guides, Al Bates and Benny Hadley, and saw the beautiful subjects of their research up-close.

Thank you to all the teachers, parents, and volunteers who made this possible. And a special thank you to I Love A Clean San Diego and SDG&E for funding this project!