Featured Outreach - Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve
On a nature outing, guide Sean Clemenza demonstrates animal tracking technique.
During Nature Theatre. the group helps program co-creator Lyndsay Dawkin's bird create a nest.
Jeff Falyn, Natural Reserve System, Stebbins Cold Canyon
Nature Outings Program
Five years ago we created an original program to teach land use and ethics by exploring the beauty and ecology of Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve. The Nature Outings Program began with four events the first year. It received an overwhelming public response and, true to its original intent, has created a community of land advocates for the reserve: people who pick up and pack out trash, people who leave the flora and fauna undisturbed, and people who care about preserving a place that brings them so much serenity and awareness. Now, with three additional programs (Nature’s Theatre, Preserve the Reserve, and a Guide Training Program), we offer almost 50 outings a year and involve almost 1,500 participants. Outing themes cover an expansive range of topics in the arts and sciences, such as bird song recognition, star gazing, kids treasure hunts, animal tracking, Spanish-language hikes, watercolor painting, insects, Tai Chi, nighttime hikes, and storytelling, among others.
One of the most successful recent additions to our program has been the “Nature’s Theatre” series, designed with young children in mind. Nature’s Theatre is an experiential approach to helping children develop a healthy relationship with the natural world. Youngsters meet and interact with characters in the canyon, challenging them to create and assimilate explanations for natural processes.
The “Preserve the Reserve” program brings volunteers interested in hands-on restoration together at Stebbins Canyon. Participants, who have included adults, school groups, and disadvantaged youth groups, spend the day planting native species, pulling weeds, and developing a sense of place in their bioregion.
Our Guide Training Program has also been an enormous success, as people who are knowledgeable and passionate about some aspect of the natural world (or some other activity that can be enhanced by integration into a natural setting) develop skills and confidence to lead new outings by working with other new and experienced guides.
By offering a diverse menu of outings and ways to become involved, the programs at Stebbins Cold Canyon draw a wide range of people—from seniors to pre-school children, from scientists to artists, from people who understand the importance of living harmoniously with the earth to those who are just learning.
For more information please go to Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve.