Keeping the Concrete Jungle Wild

They say life in the city is pretty fast-paced, and seeing as I was thrown right in on the first day, I figure you all should too! My name is Brenda and I will be stationed in the Santa Monica Mountains, but really I will be spending most of my time out of the satellite office in downtown Los Angeles. To some people, that might seem like a bit of a contradiction, “why do nature programs, in the city? Isn’t that like, the least nature-y thing you could do?” Well that’s part of what we do here, we try to dispel that myth that there’s no natural areas nearby and spark that motivation to go visit some of these places.

Pop Quiz! Who is Kya trying to imitate? A black bear or our resident mountain lion?

Pop Quiz! Who is Kya trying to imitate? A black bear or our resident mountain lion?

On my second day I was already assisting with some of the nature programs for EKiP (which stands for the Every Kid in a Park program) to get 4th graders out in to nature and different National Parks. For our program, the students visited us here at El Pueblo (Placita Olvera) where we used different props and artifacts to convey the idea that there is still a lot of wildlife and history even in the city. That’s just the beginning – there are so many other programs in line for the summer that I can’t wait to be a part of!
Students learning about the wildlife that currently resides in Los Angeles.

Students learning about the wildlife that currently resides in Los Angeles.

This past week I’ve also been on a lot of tours and given so much information on the history of Los Angeles, that it seems as if with every few steps I take there is another story to be told. History of the native peoples, Placita Olivera and the Pobladores, the Chinese massacre; there is so much history just outside this one building! I’m excited to start this internship and work in a place where history, culture, and nature can really come together; and to think that just maybe, in a small way, I might be a part of history in the making too.  

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