, 2023-05-09 11:26:20,
Community members are invited to participate in a series of eight free nature walks to explore the biodiversity of the 230-acre Elings Park as part of a collaboration between the park and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Each hike has a different natural history focus, such as plants, pollinators, or birds, and are led by garden experts.
The first event, 9 a.m.-noon Thursday, May 11, is a “Bioblitz” of the park led by Denise Knapp, the garden’s director of conservation and research, and Annie Ayers, herbarium technician.
After a brief tutorial, participants use the iNaturalist app on smartphones to record the pollinators, birds, bugs, and plants they discover on the walk.
Reservations are not required. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the park administration building. Participants should download and log in to iNaturalist, www.inaturalist.org, before the walk.
Data gathered on this walk will be used as part of a larger collaborative effort between the two partners and the public to transform a section of Elings Park from invasive to native plants and document the effects.
Future walks are scheduled monthly through the end of the year. For more information, visit www.SBBotanicGarden.org/calendar.
“We invite the public to join us in recovering this portion of Elings Park so they can see first-hand the power of California’s native plants,” Knapp said. “Ultimately, through this experience, we hope that our community will leave inspired and begin transformations in backyards and landscapes across Santa Barbara County and beyond.”
Future Nature Walks
Saturday, June 24, 9-10 a.m. – Elings Park and its Plants
Led by Knapp and Ayers.
Saturday, July 15, 9-10 a.m. – Pollinators
Led by Sarah Cusser, terrestrial invertebrate conservation ecologist, and Kylie Etter, conservation technician
Saturday, Aug. 19, 9-10 a.m. – Invasive Plants
Led by Knapp and Jorge Renteria Bustamante, applied ecologist
Saturday, Sept. 16, 9-10 a.m. – Pollinators
Led by Cusser and Etter
Saturday, Oct. 21, 9-10 a.m. – Birds
Led by Scot Pipkin, director of education, and Zach Philips, terrestrial invertebrate conservation ecologist
Saturday, Nov. 18, 9-10 a.m. – Plants and Bugs
Led by Philips and José Flores, conservation technician
Saturday, December 16, 9-10 a.m. – Birds
Led by Pipkin and Philips
“While Elings Park is just steps…
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