[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: A New Adventure | 12-21-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
82°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 28
1888 - Olympian Jim Thorpe, "America's greatest athlete," born in Indian Territory (probably near Prague, Okla.); later in life, appeared in many B-Westerns shot in Placerita Canyon [story]


| Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016

evelynevandersande_mugThe holidays are upon us, and we all run from one activity to the next: parties, shopping, baking. Writing all those cards has become less of a chore since we send many more via the internet. But there are always those friends who send you a card in the last week, and you try to respond in a timely manner as if it had been your plan all along to send a card just before the New Year. Shopping does not necessarily mean you have to go to the mall and look endlessly for a parking space, the internet has also relieved some of your anxiety on that score. However, you still end up looking frantically for a gift for the beloved teacher on the evening before the last day of school!

I remember a time when we waited for the “garbage men” or the “mail men” to give them an envelope to thank them for their work during the year!

While you are running behind the clock, it does not seem possible that all this stress will be over in 2 weeks. The New Year will come along and after one blissful week with nothing happening at all, you are going to feel like a deflated soufflé. What are you going to do with this New Year of 2017 stretching out with a long list of empty days in front of you? Do you remember your New Years’ resolutions? You were going to learn something new this year…you were going to enlarge your circle of friends. You were not going to procrastinate and you were going to make it happen right away. Whatever you were going to do, it should be close by because, for sure, you do not want to commute on the freeway. It would be nice if it could be outdoors for some of the time. After all, where else but in California can you be outdoors in the winter? You should take advantage of that somehow…Maybe you are getting a little bit older so you have more free time on your hands, but having fun with kids sounds like a good idea, too.
Do you want all this wrapped up in one nice package?

I have one answer for you. And even better, you will make a difference in your community, so you will gain something for yourself in the process and are also going to help total strangers. This is a sure plan, with success guaranteed from the start:

I want to present to you the Volunteer Naturalist Training at Placerita Canyon Natural Area.

What do they do there, and do I need any experience?

You do not need any special background, but you do need to attend the docent training and to be able to volunteer twice a month after you finish your training.

The training starts Tuesday, January 10 at 9.00 a.m.

The classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and it is a 9-week training program. The cost of the training is $45.00, which includes all training materials (instruction manual, field guide, T-shirt, and related items).

The minimum age to be a volunteer naturalist is 18.

We have found that some young people, looking for a job, attend our classes to add valuable experience to their résumé and become a more desirable candidate for certain job openings. Very often, they also form a lasting attachment to Placerita and the nature education our park offers, and they come back as volunteers when their schedule allows.

What are you going to learn at Placerita?

Class topics include native plants, ecology, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, geology, history and interpretive techniques to apply your knowledge on the trails. Our instructors include noted professionals in the various fields.

Each class will give you a solid background to understand each topic and it is up to you, if you are interested, to further your knowledge.

Each class is on DVD, so you can review the material at any time.

Even more fun, the other docents are always willing to share their knowledge, take you on the trail and answer questions.

Placerita is not a place for egos, everybody is there to learn and support one another, share stories and become a new friend. If it sounds too good to be true, I recommend that you come for a visit and check the place out…maybe on a Saturday from 1 to 2 pm during the animal presentation? That will give you a true flavor of the place, you might never go home!

I did not even mention the animals. When you come to Placerita, you will see a sample of some of our birds on the patio: the red tail hawk, turkey vulture and raven. Those animals could not be released in the wild because of previous injuries and they are used to teach the visitors about the local wildlife. We have many more animals inside the building: different kinds of owls, snakes, tarantula, bees, skunk etc. You will learn to handle some of those animals (only if you are interested) and some stay inside their habitat but you will learn about them and you will be able to teach the visitors about them.

That is one of the most fun and interesting parts of the class and it is always a joy to see new volunteers becoming bee or grizzly experts. It happens on a regular basis that a new student finds a passion for a topic, learns on their own more that we thought was possible, and becomes a teacher giving presentations and sharing their new knowledge during different nature education programs.

Passion is what is going to happen to you. Be aware of that… If you want your life to take a whole new direction, share fun experiences and enjoy nature around you at a whole new level, please call Placerita Nature Center at 661.259.7721 or visit the web site at placerita.org.

Happy New Year to all, and my best wishes for a great and healthy new year, full of fantastic new adventures.

Evelyne Vandersande122116_1


Evelyne Vandersande122116_5

Evelyne Vandersande122116_4

Evelyne Vandersande122116_3

Evelyne Vandersande122116_2

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

3 Comments

  1. jim says:

    That sounds interesting. I remember a biologist/naturalist at Placerita back in the late 80’s-early 90’s who was a relentless advocate for keeping the canyon pristine. He also led tours down in Central America and perhaps even the islands (Puerto Rico?). I think his name was Frank Devore, but that could be a by-product of an aging memory. Still, he was an intense and persuasive figure around the park.

    Any idea what happened to him Leon?

  2. jim says:

    Ding, ding, ding! Thanks for clearing that up – and helping me to remember a bit more. Frank was quite a guy. He did retire from the County and then in 2006 passed away from a heart attack on a beetle collecting trip in Ecuador.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, May 26, 2017
Plambeck's objective, plain and simple, has always been about stopping development by any means possible. Her strategy involves multiple delay tactics, the worst being groundless litigation.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
The CLWA-NCWD merger is not a takeover, as Plambeck repeatedly insists. It is the product of months of discussion between two willing parties, which could be terminated at any time by either party or both parties.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Wildflower lovers are split into two camps: One camp likes the purple color of the flowers, while the other quickly points out everything that's wrong with this non-native, invasive species.
Monday, May 22, 2017
At its root, leftism despises this redeeming nature and also the deity of the Judeo-Christian moral system, and so rejects such possible redemption. This, despite leftists’ insistence that others treat them according to the immovable objective standard of that moral code, and despite that code allowing them the type of life they demand.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
History shows us that presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect important and special places on our federal lands only after local residents, businesses, tribes and others have made it clear to the president that an overwhelming majority of them want and support such a designation.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The gentleman working the fruit stand asked what I do for a living. When I told him I work for Medicare, he said he was having difficulty paying for his prescription drugs. So we talked for a while about ways he might be able to reduce his drug costs.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1888 - Olympian Jim Thorpe, "America's greatest athlete," born in Indian Territory (probably near Prague, Okla.); later in life, appeared in many B-Westerns shot in Placerita Canyon [story]
1971 - Community preview night (pre-grand opening), Magic Mountain [story]
West Ranch High School dedicated their new Wall of Honor on Friday, which was produced by four West Ranch High School ASB students.
West Ranch High School Unveils Wall of Honor
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the SCV Senior Center honored those who gave their life in service. Plus, SCVi students are building a "tiny house" for a homeless veteran. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, May 26, 2017
Fourth and fifth graders at Santa Clarita Valley International School are asking for the community’s assistance over Memorial Day weekend with fundraising for a “tiny house” they are building for a homeless veteran.
SCVi Students Raising Funds for Tiny House for Homeless Vet
Plambeck's objective, plain and simple, has always been about stopping development by any means possible. Her strategy involves multiple delay tactics, the worst being groundless litigation.
Chicken Little, Part 2 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Galpin Subaru, roars into June with a unique lineup of events including a classic Volkswagen car show, James Bond-themed SENSES Block Party and monthly variety show. Old Town Newhall is the hot spot on Thursday nights so grab your friends and family and come down for some fun.
Thursdays@Newhall June Lineup: Classic Volkswagen, James Bond, more
A feeling of delightful gratification for a mentor typically comes about when seeing a mentee develop and realize success. Their reward is in victories the students achieve, which are often seen as a measure of the instructor’s own success, positive influence and guidance. Such is the story of Dr. Luis S. Garcia and the Education Based Incarceration program.
Inmate Earns Doctoral Degree While in L.A. County Jail System
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging leadership convened at the future location of the new Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and announced that only $2.3 million additional fundraising dollars needed to be raised before construction could begin on the Center.
New SCV Senior Center Waits on $2.3 Mil.
Peter Lambert tossed eight strong innings, but the San Jose Giants came from behind to knock off the JetHawks, 4-2, in the rubber game of the series on Thursday night at The Hangar.
San Jose Giants Beat JetHawks 4-2 Thursday
Ninety percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. It takes 10 minutes or less to learn how to keep a cardiac arrest victim alive until paramedics arrive. The County of Los Angeles Emergency Medical Services Agency, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the American Heart Association are once again coordinating free hands-only CPR training on Sidewalk CPR Day, June 1, at over 50 sites across Los Angeles County to help improve cardiac survivability.
June 1: L.A. County Coordinates Sidewalk CPR Day
When Jeanny Olivares, 22, crosses the stage on Friday, June 2, for College of the Canyons’ Commencement, she will be receiving two associate degrees in marketing and accounting, which she earned in a year-and-a-half’s time.
COC Grad Earns Two Degrees While Facing Adversity
1907 - John Wayne born in Iowa; got start in movies filmed in Placerita Canyon [watch one]
The CLWA-NCWD merger is not a takeover, as Plambeck repeatedly insists. It is the product of months of discussion between two willing parties, which could be terminated at any time by either party or both parties.
Chicken Little, Part 1 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, deputies and volunteers trained for an active shooter situation at The Masters University Thursday morning. Plus, a girl is fighting for her life, leaving her family asking the community for blood donations to help her survive. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, May 25, 2017
Dr. Steven J. Golightly, Director of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD), was recognized on May 22 for his Department’s innovative efforts to improve child support services for L.A. County residents and his zeal for developing future leaders for government service to the public.
County Child Support Services Director Receives Excellence in Government Award
Motown in Town is back on Sunday, June 25 from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
June 25: Motown in Town 2 at the Hyatt
Hot on the heels of the original Silicon Valley and the more recently named Silicon Beach, the current buzz is all about the Silicon Suburb or Santa Clarita Valley.
Business Incubator Tenant Selected for Festival of Creativity in Cannes
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bill (SB 792), a measure to establish an oversight commission for Los Angeles County Measure B trauma funding has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
Oversight of LA County Trauma Care Dollars Given Green Light
Princess Cruises has debuted its 2018-2019 Exotics program which will take guests to culturally rich and iconic cruise destinations around the globe.
Princess Cruises Debuts 2018-2019 Exotics Sailings
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bills 634 (SB 634), a measure which would create a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley, cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for consideration.
SCV Water Agency Merger Bill Clears Senate Panel
During a nighttime operation, SCV Sheriffs deputies and detectives made contact with several individuals which resulted in three arrests for warrants and narcotics related offenses.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputies, Detectives Conduct Nighttime Commercial Burglary Suppression
The Castaic Lake Water Agency Water Resources Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Water Division.
June 1: CLWA Water Resources Committee Meeting
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary, the College of the Canyons literary and arts magazine cul-de-sac will release its annual volume at a special reception on Friday, May 26, which will include readings from students.
May 26: COC Literary Magazine Celebrates a Decade of Artistry
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on May 27, 2017 in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
May 27: SCV Sheriff’s Deputies Conducting Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation
The next New Heights panel will focus on "The Nuts and Bolts of Effective Grant Writing" and will be on July 12 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Centre.
July 12: New Heights Discusses Effective Grant Writing
The San Jose Giants rallied late and pulled away for an 11-7 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks in a back-and-forth game on Wednesday night at The Hangar.
JetHawks Fall to San Jose Giants
Wildflower lovers are split into two camps: One camp likes the purple color of the flowers, while the other quickly points out everything that's wrong with this non-native, invasive species.
The Prickly One
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) motorcyclist that collided with a truck on Interstate 5 in the early hours of Tuesday morning is recovering at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, a spokesman said.
LAPD Motorcyclist in “Serious” Condition after Tuesday’s I-5 Collision
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an update on the LAPD motorcyclist that collided with a truck on the I-5 Tuesday morning. Plus, Castaic Middle School students get a glimpse at a career in animal training. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, May 24, 2017
An 8-year-old Santa Clarita girl is fighting for her life Wednesday, leaving her family asking the community for blood donations to help her survive.
8-Year-Old Girl in Need of Blood Donations
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Tuesday urged Congress to reject President Trump’s federal education budget proposal, which includes deep cuts to teacher training, after school programs, mental health services, advanced coursework, and many other important programs.
State Superintendent Urges Congress to Reject Federal Education Budget Proposal
On May 16, 2017, the State Water Resources Quality Control Board approved an amendment to the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) to incorporate Salt and Nutrient Management Measures for the Upper Santa Clara River Basin.
Salt, Nutrient Management Measures Approved for Santa Clara River Basin
Valencia Water Company (VWC) is encouraging customers to maintain their water-saving achievements from the recent drought and take advantage of improved rebates, incentives, online workshops and other resources to secure permanent water efficiencies inside their homes and for their landscapes.
Valencia Water Company Expands Rebates to Help Home Water-Use Efficiencies
Bigger, better and wetter than ever, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is ready to keep Southern Californian’s cool all summer long. The water park opens for its 23rd season on Saturday, May 27 with over 23 unique slides and attractions for the entire family.
May 27: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashes Into Summer