LATO News and Notes
We’re happy to share the good news that Arroyo Grande Sportsman’s Club (AGSC) has renewed its partnership with LATO with a recent $5,000 contribution. AGSC and LATO share an interest in youth wildlife education, habitat conservation, leadership training and getting more kids outdoors. This partnership has provided a much needed boost as LATO continues to grow. More than 1,000 people, mostly school children and families, participated in a wide range of LATO activities in 2016. These activities included not only guided oak trail hikes at the Santa Margarita Ranch LATO trail and at the Pismo Preserve, but also youth camps and community events. Many of these activities are led by LATO trained junior nature guides aka Oak Ambassadors. With just a few months remaining, 2017 is on track to meet or exceed last year’s total participation. (Cover photo taken at Camp Natoma on July 13,2017; one of four youth camps where Ocean View School and Santa Margarita School Oak Ambassadors came together to teach other kids about nature this summer.)
Thanks again, AGSC, and Happy 75th Anniversary!
Enjoy the latest wildlife camera captures from the Pismo Preserve! These are provided courtesy of LATO volunteers Gary and Darlene Felsman. More than 300 vertebrate species depend on California’s oak woodlands for food and shelter.
LATO volunteers and friends gathered at Bev’s (Bryan’s and Buster’s) SLO garden on Sunday, August 6, for the annual garden party. It was fun to see Oak Ambassadors from Ocean View and Santa Margarita playing games. Old friends and new enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of food, music (Thanks to Terry and guitar : ) and friendship. Former San Luis Obispo County Poet Laureate Marguerite Costigan read a poem about monarchs. Buster had a good time, too.
Oak Ambassadors representing Santa Margarita School and Ocean View School headed out to Camp Natoma, located in the Adelaida area W. of Paso Robles, on July 13,2017 to present a birding program for kids at Camp Natoma. Our audience included kids from Branch Elementary School. We shared “The Return of the Condor” story through a skit developed by Cal Poly senior project students Kelsey Tigh and Natalie Ifland in 2016. We also used Cal Poly bird specimens to teach kids about what a bird’s physical features, especially the beak (scientists call these bills), tell us about the bird’s diet and lifestyle. LATO intern Nathan managed the program with assistance from parent volunteers, awesome Oak Ambassadors and Camp Natoma Staff. Camp Director Emily Zbin and staff members Hillery and Heather gave us a very warm welcome and we hope to return next summer. Thanks to all!
Ocean View School Oak Ambassadors Logan, Emme and Berkley used the LATO wildlife discovery backpacks to teach kids about local oak woodland mammals at the City of San Luis Obispo’s annual Jr. Ranger Camp on June 13,2017. Jr. Ranger Camp has become a fun tradition for Oak Ambassadors. The Ocean View OA team did a super job, with support from LATO intern Nathan Sharon and LATO manager Bev Gingg. The camp was held at Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo. Thanks to SLO City Parks and Recreation Dept. Rangers Paul Valley and Neils Grether for making this a fun experience. We hope to return next year!
Special thanks to these LATO wildlife education partners:
- San Luis Obispo County Fish and Game Fines Committee
- Arroyo Grande Sportsman’s Club
- Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department/Dr. John Perrine
- Cal Poly Liberal Studies Department/Professor Anne Marie Bergen