May 27, 2022

Each May, I take advantage of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month to dive deeper into my Asian heritage. Though I don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese, I've always been fascinated by the complexity and sophistication of Asian languages, the mystery within the characters, the drastic difference in meaning depending on pronunciation, inflection, or intonation, and as in all languages, the subtlety of nuance. My paternal grandfather immigrated from Guangzhou to San Francisco in the early 1900s and later traveled south to Guatemala where he met and married my Spanish grandmother whose parents had immigrated from Europe a generation before. Together, they established a successful textile business and raised nine children, including my father. 
None of my father's generation, and as a result, none of the grandchildren, were taught Mandarin or my grandfather's native Cantonese. As children of an interracial marriage (once viewed as highly irregular and even immoral to some), in a time when assimilation was not only preferred but often demanded over uniqueness, losing our ancestral languages was considered the price of a provisional acceptance. A steep price, in my opinion, as it's a tremendous loss to lose language, and in so doing, a part of our own heritage and history.  

Connecting to Roots and Restoration
Seeking rediscovery and reconnection, I recently read Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu and was reminded of the Mandarin character for tree (mu, 木), which one of the story’s protagonists points out also looks like a tree. When you place two side by side, they mean small wood (lin, 林). If three are placed in a character box, they mean forest (senlin, 森). And, when you place a person and a tree together, they mean rest (xiu, 休)... Rest is literally a person by a tree.  
I love that. I found such comfort in that realization and in that moment of reconnection to my own family tree. My epiphany: no wonder it's so restorative and feels so great to be among trees! I'm so grateful to have spent the earliest parts of my childhood with my paternal grandparents and to have had the exposure that I did to my Chinese roots. Remembering them is my way of honoring them.
In a world fraught with disconnection, I'm grateful to work with PRNSA to support the multiple ways we share the restorative effect of time in nature. Read below for an update on this work. I hope you're able to enjoy some rest and reconnection as the long weekend approaches and as we wrap AAPI Heritage month. If you can't make it to the Seashore, we offer you this beautiful soundscape from Bear Valley to connect you to this special place.
Soundscape recording by Kristina Dutton, May 2022.
All the best,
Blanca Chang Johnson
Board Co-Chair
Links for Further Reading
Convening With Nature
for our Collective Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and PRNSA was honored to host a day-long Healthy Youth and Resilient Communities retreat this month at our education center for UCSF psychiatrists, scientists, and UC-affiliated groups. Together we took a deep breath in nature and explored how public lands can both heal and build resilient, healthy individuals and communities. The day started with a healing circle led by Dr. Rainiero Miranda followed by cross-pollination with community and academic partners in the field of mental and environmental health, social and environmental justice advocacy, and youth access to nature. This was the first step in building a community of local partners taking on the multiple issues around climate and health and the healing impacts of time in nature, especially for young people.
This month PRNSA also hosted the Coalition for Equity and Justice in West Marin for its first in-person gathering since creating a joint equity statement in the wake of George Floyd's murder two years ago. On our sunny office deck 27 nonprofit leaders came together for a training led by Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz that explored how to work together and individually to promote a culture of belonging and healing in West Marin. At the meeting I was struck by the many nature-based opportunities for collaboration, community building, and wellbeing.

As we head into summer, we will be welcoming successive groups of young people through our Youth in Parks program to Point Reyes National Seashore to make that connection to themselves and the natural world. Thank you for your support of this work that builds the next generation of park stewards while also contributing to healthier, inclusive, and just communities.
---Donna Faure, Executive Director
Park Updates
NPS Logo
Point Reyes National Seashore announces Anne Dubinsky Altman as the park's new deputy superintendent. Altman comes to Point Reyes from the Washington Office where she served as senior member of the Business Management Group since 2018. She will start her position in late May.
Anne Altman
"For more than 20 years, Anne has been committed to strengthening the National Park Service mission by using business and administration principles and practices to preserve and protect our national treasures," said Craig Kenkel, Superintendent, Point Reyes National Seashore. "We are thrilled for Anne to join our leadership team and help move Point Reyes forward."

Altman will assist Superintendent Kenkel in managing all park activities while serving as direct supervisor to park program leads, as well as strengthening the park's business and administration practices, supporting park initiatives, and enacting park policies and programs. Read more here.
We've got an exciting event coming up on Saturday, June 4 for National Trails Day. At trailheads throughout the park, you'll find PRNSA and NPS representatives excited to talk about nearby hikes, local flora and fauna, and conservation efforts. Stop by our tables at the following trailheads: Bear Valley, Abbotts Lagoon, Five Brooks, Palomarin, and Limantour.
Beach Closure for Nesting Snowy Plovers 
Summer Weekends and Holidays
Saturday May 28 – Monday September 5, 2022 
Each year the park closes the stretch of beach between the North Beach parking lot and the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon for the protection of nesting federally-threatened snowy plovers. To learn more about snowy plovers and for general park information, click here.
The Bear Valley EV Charging Stations will be temporarily offline on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022.
The EV charging stations at the Bear Valley Visitor Center will not be available for about five hours on Monday, May 30, 2022, due to the installation of new charging station equipment. 
Save the date, Saturday, October 8, for a day of hikes, cocktails, and dinner with other park lovers at our annual fundraising event that supports our youth and conservation programs. Visit our website to be a sponsor!
Connecting Veterans with Nature
Pole Walking for Balance and Maintaining Mobility
Veterans...learn to use poles for walking, balance and mobility, then practice your new skills in beautiful Point Reyes! When Pole Walking, you feel invigorated, taller and more confident! Join us to learn skills and techniques to help improve balance, endurance, spine function, walking gait and posture.

A Sierra Club Military Outdoors special grant is providing this training free for veterans with added support from PRNSA.

To register, please use this link to sign up on the Sierra Club Events page: Pole Walking for Veterans Registration
Field Institute Classes
Sat, June 11, 10:30am - 1:30pm

Join a Forest Bathing walk at the Seashore. Forest Bathing is a guided slow meander intended to allow for a deep and meaningful connection with the natural world.

Fri, June 17, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Learn tracking basics in Point Reyes National Seashore! Identify animal tracks and gaits, feeding sign and scat analysis, and nests or burrows.

Sat, June 18, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Learn tips to turn your iPhone photos into real keepers! Maximize the potential of your phone camera. Phones may be smart; but YOU can be smarter. 

June CHALLENGE Full Moon Hike
On Saturday, June 11, join fellow PRNSA members on this heart-pumping, 6 mile challenge night hike. Please note that this hike is not for the faint of heart. We will start at the Five Brooks Ranch parking lot at 6pm and begin our incline up to the top of the Ridge for a chance to see the moon rise. Full moon hikes are for members, but anyone can become a PRNSA member for just $10 a month!
We partner with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations.
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310