Thursday, February 25, 2010

Youth Serving Organizations in Sunny Southern California

On Tuesday we were in Laguna Beach where we met with twelve employees of several youth serving organizations: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tustin and Laguna Beach (the Main Branch and the TLC Branch) and the Environmental Nature Center. These educators all work with youth ranging in ages from five to eighteen, taking them on trips that vary from a short walk in the local park to longer adventures that include camping and hiking. They were all excited to not only learn about different activities they could facilitate with their kids, but also to learn the "whys" behind Leave No Trace information. One question was, "What do I say when a student asks me why they can't throw an apple core on the ground if it will decompose anyway?" The crowd was sharp and came up with the answer as a group: 1. Items such as an apple core aren't native to most natural environments, and generally are not thought of as suitable food for wildlife. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters their natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers. 2. The cumulative impacts are also important to consider. One apple core might not seem like a big deal, but what if everyone started throwing their apple cores into the woods? For more answers to questions like this check out our FAQ's page as well as our research page. Special thanks to Megan Wilson for putting this together and getting such an enthusiastic audience to attend!

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