FLOW with Junior Rangers at the Beach
By Jerry Donohue
Summer has arrived at Bolsa Chica as thousands of elegant terns have once again descended upon North and South Tern Island. Their raucous banter and aerial displays delight visitors walking on the foot bridge. Also clamoring for attention are the juvenile round sting rays basking in the warm shallow water. Sea hares, sometimes in clumps of 10, are usually on display as well. With our abundant spring rain, sand verbena and beach primrose can be found nestling up against the southern walkway.
Our spring schools participating in the FLOW program were the best in its four-year history. Students were well prepared, teachers often interacted with FLOW instructors and students asked excellent questions. We now head into summer where our Junior Ranger program, modeled on the normal FLOW school program, takes effect during July and August. The flexibility of the FLOW program is evident as we have youngsters down to age five involved in Citizen Science. We also get to educate the Junior Lifeguards, allowing them to test water chemistry and getting a close up view of the microscopic creatures they are swimming with daily. Our FLOW program begins at 9:30 am on Fridays during July and August. Junior Rangers show up from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Stop by sometime to see the excitement with many youngsters using the microscope for the first time. Some of our former college graduate FLOW members have returned for a summer visit and relayed the value of our program in pursuing their vocational goals. Others are leaving to explore opportunities in other states. We have always appreciated the multi-generational aspect of FLOW.
At behest of the Amigos Board of Directors, we are currently looking for a Program Manager/ Media Wizard to help get our message out to the public. Most of this position will encompass FLOW activities but we hope to reignite interest in tours for the wetlands. Along with a newly scheduled docent class, at the end of summer, we hope this position will help us reach a broader audience. If you or someone you know would be a good candidate for this part time job, please contact us soon. One final opportunity to reach the educational community occurs August 1-2 when teachers from selected Orange County schools choose to visit Bolsa Chica and we get to share our programs with them. We are looking forward to an exciting summer. Please join us when you can!