4Ballona Ki

Ballona Ki

By Cindy Hardin, Director Outdoor Education

As the school year ends it always gives me great pleasure to review the comments made by teachers who participated in our tours at Ballona. As usual, we were extremely busy! We did 49 field trips this year, and 2435 students were able to experience the wonders of Ballona under our tutelage. This is a summary of feedback received from the super teachers of Los Angeles.
Special thanks to The State of California Coastal Conservancy for their support of this program via the Explore the Coast grant.

1. What would you tell another teacher who asked you what you did on this trip?

•We got to experience a new world in the wetlands (4)
•Fully aligned to NextGen Science Standards (2)
•Stimulating hands-on experience learning about wildlife (4)
•Awesome field trip-great activities
•Learned why it is important to preserve wildlife (2)
•Fantastic way to have children experience Native Americans outside the textbook (3)
•Learned about native plants, birds and the ecosystem of wetlands (5)
•Excellent field trip
•Solid foundation of the watershed
•Students have nature as their classroom
•Experience was enhanced through the use of microscopes and binoculars

Ballona docent, Jamie, at Tongva table

Ballona docent, Jamie, at Tongva table

2. What interested your students the most about the trip?

•Seeing the birds, using binoculars (13)
•Being in nature (2)
•Microscopes (2)
•Using the telescopes to see birds (2)
•They were excited to see animals they had learned about in real life (3)
•Hike and birdwatching (3)
•To get out of the classroom and explore
•Excited to learn about the wetlands
•Native American artifacts (4)
•Hands-on activities (3)
•Seeing the Great Blue Herons nesting atop the trees
•Instruments, knowledge of guides

Students touring the Ballona Wetlands at vernal pond

Students touring the Ballona Wetlands at Vernal Pond

3. Was your guide helpful, knowledgeable and informative? Please comment.

•Yes-very knowledgeable and patient (19)
•All three had good rapport with students
•Fantastic guide (2)
•Our guide was patient, kept a good pace, focused the students’ attention on pertinent observation and respectful of their background
•Women and men who truly understood the environment (2)

2Ballona Heron rat. Joe Bevins

Great Blue Heron with Rat for lunch | Photo by Joe Bevin

4. What could be done to improve the program?

•Nothing! (14)
•Missed the station that showed the vanishing wetlands
•More time connecting to Native American History
•Resource activities online
•Develop and alternative component for students with special needs
•Thank you for making sure the trip was wheelchair/other needs accessible

5Cindy bus

Cindy Hardin with Bus to Ballona

5. Other comments

•We hope to go again next year
•Great, highly recommended
•We appreciate the docents-thank you!
•You run the best environmental trip around!

As we all know, this program is only possible through the work of all of our fabulous docents. The overwhelmingly positive response from our visiting teachers speaks volumes about the fine work that you do throughout tour season. I hope you all have a lovely time during the summer and look forward to another great year of getting kids excited about nature at beautiful Ballona. Onto the 2018-2019 school year!
Please support our Outdoor Education Programs at Ballona by donating online (http://losangelesaudubon.org/donate) or by check in the U.S. Mail. (Los Angeles Audubon Society, PO Box 411301, Los Angeles CA 90041-8301)