header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 20
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
train tunnel


| 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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Apr 2, 2021
When the City put the Santa Clarita 2020 strategic plan in motion more than five years ago, we knew it was an ambitious undertaking.
Thursday, Apr 1, 2021
Last spring, the City Council heard the community’s call to step in and preserve the landmark Valencia Ice Station. After months of renovations and updates, the 93,000 square foot building is almost ready to welcome the community back - to the newly renamed The Cube.
Tuesday, Mar 16, 2021
We have now reached the one-year anniversary of the shutdown of society as we responded to the threat of COVID-19.
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
Picture this…the sun has just set on another brisk spring day.
Monday, Mar 1, 2021
Spring is upon us, and with it comes longer days, greener hillsides, and warmer temperatures that invite outdoor exploration.
Monday, Feb 22, 2021
Helping our students stay on track to complete their goals remains our top priority. To that end, we are offering a wide variety of classes this spring designed to do just that.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
train tunnel
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 18 new deaths and 337 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as cases in the Santa Clarita Valley now total 27,588 since the pandemic began.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 2 New Vaccination Sites Open in SCV, Palmdale; 27,588 Total SCV Cases
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has reported six productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley, aka "Hollywood North," the week of Monday, April 19-25, 2021
Six Productions Filming in SCV this Week
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Mental Health Commission will host a public hearing for the Mental Health Services Act Three-Year Plan on Thursday, April 22.
April 22: LACDMH, Mental Health Commission to Hold Virtual Public Hearing
The William S. Hart Union High School District was named one of 19 school districts and one county office of education for school attendance review board as a model program for its attendance strategies during distance learning.
Hart District Named Model SARB Award Winner by State
Students from across the California State University system will make final, virtual pitches of their ideas for new television series on Wednesday, May 5, at California State University, Northridge.
CSUN to Host Final for a Television Pitch Competition
The Children’s Bureau is seeking foster families during National Foster Parent Appreciation Month and is now offering two virtual ways for individuals and couples to learn how to help children in foster care while reunifying with birth families or how to provide legal permanency by adoption.
Children’s Bureau Offering Virtual Orientation During Foster Parent Appreciation Month
In April, the city of Santa Clarita joins in the celebration of National Volunteer Month by recognizing the community's exceptional volunteers with a national award.
Santa Clarita Celebrates National Volunteer Week, Awards Volunteers
To provide a framework to guide the future of residential development locally, the city of Santa Clarita is embarking on a public process to update the Housing Element of the Santa Clarita General Plan.
City to Update 2021-2029 General Plan Housing Element
In an email distributed to parents, Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi warned parents of a man telling students that he is there to pick them up.
Sulphur Springs Warns of Suspicious Man Near Schools
1880 - Pico Oil Spring Mine Section 2 patented by R.F. Baker and Edward F. Beale [story]
E.F. Beale
1945 - Actors Harry & Olive Carey sell Saugus ranch after 29 years; now Tesoro del Valle [story]
Carey Ranch
1930 - Telephone switchboard operator Louise Gipe, heroine of the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster, tries & fails to kill herself over an unrequited love [story]
Louise Gipe
The city of Santa Clarita’s Planning Commission will hold a regular meeting virtually Tuesday, April 20, at 6:00 p.m.
April 20: Planning Commission Virtual Regular Meeting
The owner of a shopping center at the corner of Lyons Avenue and Apple Street will seek the Santa Clarita Planning Commission’s approval Tuesday to subdivide the lot from three parcels to eight.
Planning Commission to Consider Subdivision Request
The deadline to submit entries for Santa Clarita Sister Cities’ Young Artists and Authors Showcase has been extended to Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Deadline Extended For Annual Sister Cities Young Artists And Authors Showcase
Internet marketing firm Scorpion made multiple company announcements Wednesday, including plans to open a new headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Scorpion Announces Plans to Move Headquarters
After a year of turmoil for many businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley, the SCV Economic Development Corp. released its list of the area’s largest employers.
EDC Releases SCV’s Largest Employers List
William S. Hart Union High School District officials said 18 students have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days during the regular board meeting Wednesday.
Hart District Reports 18 Positive Cases of COVID-19 Among Students
Los Angeles County Public Health on Friday confirmed 36 new deaths, 643 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, and reported the lowest test positivity rate to date.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: County Test Positivity Rate Hits Record Low; 27,557 Total SCV Cases
For the third year in a row, La Mesa Junior High School has been selected as a "Capturing Kids’ Hearts" National Showcase School for the 2020-2021 school year.
La Mesa Junior High School Selected as National Showcase School
California Senate Bill 545, a measure to provide additional resources to struggling students, has received unanimous support from the Senate Education Committee, announced Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
Wilk’s Bill to Address Learning Loss Passes Senate Education
As National Volunteer Appreciation Week approaches, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is recognizing its valued volunteers, a group that numbers over 300 and includes adults, teens, and canines.
April: 18-24: Henry Mayo Recognizes Volunteers During National Volunteer Appreciation Week
The city of Santa Clarita’s annual Earth Arbor Day celebration is set to go virtual this year with the release of an entertaining and informative video program on Thursday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m.
City to Celebrate Earth Arbor Day with Virtual Program and Free Mulch Giveaway
%d bloggers like this: