SCHOOL BELLS RINGING . . .
Western Tanager September-October 2016
By Cindy Hardin, Director of Outdoor Education and Volunteer Coordinator

Binoculars are provided for every student to use when touring at Ballona and Kenneth Hahn, and are a favorite tool for our young visitors.

Binoculars are provided for every student to use when touring at Ballona and Kenneth Hahn, and are a favorite tool for our young visitors.

Special equipment like microscopes enable both docents and students to study the intricacies of the aquatic life found in the tidal creeks at Ballona.

Special equipment like microscopes enable both docents and students to study the intricacies of the aquatic life found in the tidal creeks at Ballona.

It seems that in a blink of an eye another summer is coming to an end. This of course means shorter days, cooler nights and hopefully some precipitation in the not too distant future. It also is the time of year when we start to prepare for visits to Kenneth Hahn and the Ballona Wetlands from our local students. During the 2015-2016 school years over 3500 children participated in field trips to one or both of these sites.

Both programs provide the opportunity for school children to experience wildlife in its natural habitat, take a hike in the great outdoors, and engage in some activities that help to bring science to life.

Before the field trips commence, Los Angeles Audubon volunteers do some studying of their own! Docent training for the Ballona program begins on Tuesday, September 13th. A few weeks later, on Friday, October 7th, we start our training up at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

Both training programs feature lectures from experts in various subjects regarding the natural world, and hands-on instruction on how to communicate this information to the school age set. The training sessions are always quite popular, and attended by both new and returning docents.

We are always looking for new recruits! No experience is necessary; just a love of the outdoors, and the willingness to work with children for a few hours a month. Our experienced docents are always happy to help and encourage new volunteers, and a good time is generally had by all, during training and throughout the school year.

The Ballona school tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Kenneth Hahn field trips always take place on Friday. If you have some time to spare on any of those days and are interested in inspiring a new generation of budding naturalists, please contact me. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 310-301-0050. I look forward to hearing from you!

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