LATO News and Notes

Happy to be back on the trail!

Happy to be back on the trail!

Friday, October 23, was a happy day for a team of Santa Margarita School Oak Ambassadors! This was our first in person meeting since the start of the pandemic last March.

With support from the Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD), we have formed a trail “pod” to take on a special assignment from AUSD Superintendent Tom Butler and Staff. The pod girls will be working with LATO staff to create virtual science lessons from the trail. Lessons will be shared with AUSD 3rd grade teachers.

We’ll be using our “Animals and Oaks Through Time” curriculum to explore how the land has changed from ten million years ago to today. 

We’ll be following strict Covid safety guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible. We’re excited to begin new adventures together on the trail!


Santa Margarita School Gateway to welcome native pollinators, monarch butterflies and curious kids

October 1,2020

Have you noticed changes along the H St. entrance to Santa Margarita Elementary School? The old demonstration forest, planted in 1997, is undergoing a rebirth. It will become the Santa Margarita School Gateway to Nature, featuring a native pollinator habitat and monarch way-station with  educational signage. Volunteer Bill Kanne (Photo below, R) has been hard at work installing drip irrigation system, in cooperation with Atascadero Unified School District. 

The Land Conservancy staff members Lindsey, Nicole and Alex at the site on October 1,2020. They are busy designing the native pollinator habitat and monarch butterfly waystation. Volunteer help will be needed for planting and mulching workdays to be held later this fall. The number of participants will be limited and Covid safety policy will be in place (masks required, hand sanitizer, risk screening).

Giving Tuesday NOW 2020


Support local lands AND local businesses! The Land Conservancy needs gift cards to businesses that provide products and services for our conservation efforts throughout the County. Your donation will go twice as far with a gift card purchase. Here are a few businesses offering gift cards or account credits that we could use immediately:

Physical gift cards and certificates can be mailed to PO Box 12206, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.

GIft cards to businesses like Staples, Home Depot, Target, REI, or gas stations are also welcome!

You can also donate online. Thank you!

Growing Grounds provides native plants for local restoration projects.

Call (805) 543-6071 or shop the nursery in SLO.

Uniforms for field crew staff; shirts & hats for volunteer rangers.

Call (805) 595-1000 to credit our account.

Support conservation easement monitoring with a gift certificate from The Photo Shop

Call (805) 543-4025

Outdoor clothing and gear for our crews in the field from The Mountain Air.

Call (805) 543-1676 for pick-up or delivery.

Support our bi-annual newsletter and general office paper supplies from Central Coast Printing.

Call (805) 431-4223 to credit our account.

Fencing and landscaping construction supplies. 

Call (805) 543-0825 or shop in-store.

Tools for volunteer projects and general landscape maintenance.

Call (805) 543-2191 or shop your local store.

Support signage at our conserved properties and the Pismo Preserve.

Call (805) 781-2091 to credit our account.

Landscaping tools and planting supplies for various projects.

Call (805) 543-3751 or shop in-store

Vineyard School Oak Ambassador appreciates land conservancy work!

Vineyard School Oak Ambassador appreciates land conservancy work!

Vineyard School Oak Ambassador Georgie and her mom shared this report from the woods of Connecticut:

Today, we went out for a trail hike and low and behold this trail is courtesy of a land conservancy! As we hiked, we so appreciated that this land was preserved and not built up with houses or condominiums! Thanks to a land conservancy, we could enjoy this natural setting and it was quite therapeutic for all of us!  Georgie enjoyed pointing out all the turkey tail mushrooms, Alex collected acorns and we found some interesting slabs of sedimentary rock.

The Suffield Land Conservancy, like The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, is part of The Land Trust Alliance, a national network of land trusts. Land trusts are nonprofit organizations dedicated to conservation of lands for the benefit of people and wildlife.

That’s Oak Ambassador Georgie teaching other kids along the Vineyard Elementary School Nature Trail last spring (2019).

Oak Ambassadors go birding with Audubon guides!

Oak Ambassadors go birding with Audubon guides!

On March 7, 2020, Oak Ambassadors-in-training from Vineyard Elementary School, Santa Margarita Elementary School and Ocean View Elementary School enjoyed a morning bird walk at El Chorro Regional Park with Morro Coast Audubon Society Education Committee volunteers Kaaren, Freddy and Sue as their guides. Here’s the list of birds we observed:

Red-shouldered hawk
Nuttall’s woodpecker
California towhee
European starling
Wild turkey
Oak titmouse
Turkey vulture
California scrub jay
House finch
Cooper’s hawk
Black phoebe

Attendance: 18 youth + 16 adult = 34 + 3 Audubon leaders.