I’ve never been a great listener. I like to talk. I recognize this and am constantly working to develop better listening skills because I understand that listening is the most important part of effective communication. Listening isn’t just important for human interaction but also facilitates preserving healthy ecological communities.

Listening From the Heart
Last week I polled my friends on Instagram and asked “Would you be able to recognize the voice of someone you love?” One hundred percent of the participants said yes. Our voices are uniquely recognizable by those who love us, and we recognize the voices of those we love. So how do we tune our ears to not just hear, but listen? And how do we extend that practice into our experiences with nature and activism?
Never Alone
When I’m outside, I’m comforted knowing I’m never alone. I listen to the wind as it pollinates the food I eat, I listen to the creek flow as it supplies its water with oxygen and I listen to the coyote howl as it speaks up and says, "I’m here too." I listen and I am reminded: I’m never alone.
Point Reyes Soundscape:
What Do You Hear?
(Field Recording by Isaac Taylor - July 2020)
Community Voices
I’ve trained my ears to pick up the subtle nuances of bird songs and calls. Some are like the voices of loved ones – instantly recognizable like the call of the Red-tailed Hawk that I hear almost every day. Some visit seasonally; however, their presence is equally familiar. The reverberating echo of the Swainson’s Thrush usually comes to visit around Easter and stays through the Summer. I don’t just hear nature, I listen.
Whose Stories Are You Listening To?
Like people, our environment has a story to tell, and we can learn a lot if we are willing to listen. Many of us hear about social and environmental issues affecting our communities; however, to be a good listener, you have to be intentional and willing to engage. This year, for World Listening Day , I pledge to listen to fresh and diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences, because everyone should be heard!

Thanks for listening,
Sam Chiriboga
Assistant Director
Park Updates
Campgrounds have reopened!  
Thursday, July 9, 2020, Park campgrounds  reopened with some  new rules in an effort to keep campers healthy .

The following areas, buildings, and roads are closed until further notice:

Restrooms are open.

Picnic areas have reopened, with some  new rules in an effort to keep picnickers healthy . Visitor centers   remain temporarily closed until further notice.  Beach fires   are prohibited. All  ranger-led programs  and  volunteer   activities are also cancelled until further notice. Please practice caution in deciding when to leave your home and for what purpose. The virus is present in our community, and even people without symptoms can have COVID-19 and give it to others. We can all help protect the people we live, work, and interact with so they don't get the virus. If you are feeling sick, please stay home.

When coming to the park:

Visit our  Recreate Responsibly  page for guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes and other park lands during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Updates will be posted to this park website and  s ocial media channels . For more information, please see  Marin County's Stay at Home Order  and  Frequently Asked Questions .

#ParkInPlace - Conservation Corner
Sonoma Spineflower
by Meghan Garfink, PRNSA Science Communication Intern

A Safe Haven
For the past few months I’ve felt bogged down by Covid news. When the headlines become too much, Point Reyes has been my safe haven.

Back from the Brink
When I was invited last week to help monitor plant species in the park, I eagerly agreed. Once a year, conservation staff and volunteers monitor the Sonoma spineflower ( Chorizanthe valida) : an endangered herb found in the sandy, well-drained grasslands of Marin County. For 77 years, the Sonoma spineflower was thought to be extinct until rediscovered near Abbotts Lagoon in 1980. Annual studies and monitoring are helping scientists understand why the plant is successful in some plots of land and not others.

Surprising Observation
We spent the day laying out transects and counting plants in a small plot of ranch land overlooking Abbotts. I was shocked with how many individual counts we saw. With the knowledge that it was endangered, and previously thought to be extinct, I expected to count ten, MAYBE twenty plants in total, but there was so much spineflower that I had to watch my step to make sure I didn’t step on it.

Conservation Matters
Not only did this experience allow me to spend the day in my favorite park, but I also received some of the best news I’ve heard in a while. This rare plant species is being well protected, studied, and cared for in Point Reyes. Efforts like these are just part of what makes Point Reyes so great. Once we finished cleaning up, I drove out to Limantour beach and watched the sunset, reflecting on how proud I am to work for this Park. 
Upcoming Field Classes
Sunday, July 26, 10:00am to 1:00pm
(In Person)

Friday, August 7, 10:00am to 4:00pm
(In Person)

Friday, August 21, 7:00pm to Sunday, August 23, 6:00pm (Online and In Person)

Saturday, August 22, 10:00am to 12:00pm (Online)
Sunday, August 30, 8:30am to 12:30pm (In Person)
Full Moon Monthly Member Hike
Saturday, August 1
Saturday, September 5

We're Back! And we've missed you! We love our members! Due to Covid-19 protocols, our group size is limited. We can only take a maximum of 12 participants on each hike. Register today  for these special member events. Spots will fill quickly. Not a member?  Become a member  today.

This event is FREE to members and up to 2 guests (Bring a friend!). Can't make it this time? No worries. Full moon monthly member hikes will take place every month on the Saturday closest to the full moon. Full Moon photo by Piro Patton
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | |