LATO Nature CenterIn development at LATO's Santa Margarita Elementary School home base
Santa Margarita Elementary School (SMES), a public K-5th grade (6th grade through 2017) school in the Atascadero Unified School District, has served as the home base for LATO since the program’s start in 2005. LATO has grown into a point of pride for the school and community with great support from many volunteers, partners and friends.
In 2016, Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Tom Butler started the ball rolling toward developing a place of our own at the newly remodeled Santa Margarita School campus. We then worked with Oak Ambassador mom Kristin Gillespie to create a vision for the LATO Nature Center. How will this space be used?
- Oak Ambassador training academy
- Science and nature enrichment classes for AUSD elementary students and visiting field trip classes
- Occasional community science and nature presentations and activities
We’re excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity to strengthen and expand LATO’s efforts to connect kids with nature and empower youth to become tomorrow’s conservation leaders.