Summer Camps, Spotlighting Project Avary, and More
July 3, 2021
I had the pleasure of handing out watermelon to our first cohort of returning backpacking youth on a sunny afternoon last week. Nothing says summer like that sweet reward and we are so thrilled to host Point Reyes Summer Camp 2021 in a new form. Due to the pandemic we chose to run backpacking trips instead of a residential camp at our education center this summer. At the time we had to make the decision late last year this format offered the safest and most flexible option for working with kids. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we had funds to offer scholarships for one third of these popular spots.
I checked in with our education staff after the first backpacking trip and what I heard was outdoor experiences are needed more than ever. While there were plenty of teachable moments around fire ecology, climate change, and species identification, the most important takeaway for the kids was the feeling of belonging that grew with the minutes and miles on the trails. Getting together after over a year of pandemic living had a profound impact on minds and bodies that had become accustomed to isolation and less physical activity. Read more in our Voices at the Seashore section below.
Expanding the Idea of Summer Camp
This spring, as vaccinations rolled out, overnight programming at our 80-bed education center with strong safety protocols looked more possible. To meet the changing circumstances this summer we’ve partnered with community organizations working with youth who have traditionally had less access to the outdoors. Through our new Youth In Parks program we are supporting parallel summer camps that offer transformative experiences.
Celebrate and support the return of young people to Point Reyes National Seashore by making a donation to our expanding Youth In Parks program!
Below you’ll read a bit about Project Avary, a partner group focused on supporting children with an incarcerated parent. We’ve worked with Project Avary for several years during the school year and this summer we can offer more funding, space, and collaboration. Project Avary Executive Director Zach Whelan reported days filled with hikes, games, swimming, and even surfing at Stinson. “I very much appreciate your partnership, we wouldn't have been able to hold this year's summer camp without you!” he said.
The Value of Independence
Like our campers, I’ve been thinking about how new experiences in the outdoors make me feel stronger---both independent and interdependent. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my solo daily swims in Tomales Bay since Memorial Day. I’m also loving the many opportunities of late to connect in person again in the park...a Full Moon membership hike, anniversary celebration of the Morgan Horse Ranch, and a 'Trees of Limantour Ridge' Field Institute class all in the last two weeks! This week, I explored the Tennessee Valley Trail for the first time with the Golden Gate National Parks Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to celebrate Pride Month and to explore more ways we can make our adjacent parks more welcoming.
By joining and supporting our education and community-building efforts you are helping develop strong individuals who also understand the importance of interdependence for the health of our communities and our public lands. Thank you, have a safe and fun holiday weekend, and I hope to see you in the park soon!
This week we feature PRNSA's Summer Backpacking Camp and the 23 campers of the first 2021 session! Zoe Duerksen-Salm, PRNSA Communications & Development Coordinator, had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with campers and staff at the end of their four-day, 15+ mile trek through Point Reyes National Seashore.
Youth in Parks Partner Highlight
PRNSA proudly partners with Project Avary, a national leader in supporting youth with an incarcerated parent. Project Avary remedies the trauma and isolation of such an experience by surrounding youth with a long-term, supportive community of peer and adult mentors and by empowering them with leadership development skills to heal and empower. Within the “Avary Family” they provide a culture where youth feel loved and cared for, where they know they deeply matter, and where they are surrounded by a lasting community of people who see and honor their nobility and their highest potential. PRNSA supports their work by facilitating programming in the park, including overnight camps at the Clem Miller Environmental Center.
The annual beach closure for nesting snowy plovers between the North Beach parking lot and just south of the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon will be in effect every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday starting Saturday, May 29, through September 6 (Labor Day).
Lighthouse Stairs Open Again:
The lighthouse stairs from the observation deck down to the Lighthouse have reopened! Visitors can walk the stairs on weekends from 10 am to 2 pm as staffing allows. Please note that the stairs must close if wind speeds exceed 40 mph. While the Lighthouse itself remains closed, the observation deck can be accessed from 6 am to 10 pm.
Limantour Road Work:
Although road work is ongoing, Limantour Road is now open! Visitors traveling along Limantour Road may encounter 30-minute delays.
Drakes Beach Parking Lot:
As part of the on-going road project in the park, Drakes Beach Road and Parking Lot will be closed between May 1, 2021, and August 31, 2021. The work consists of a reconfiguration of the parking lot and the restoration of historic wetlands.
The NPS App is available for download in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. Explore more than 400 national parks nationwide. Find interactive maps, tours of park places, on-the-ground accessibility information, and much more to plan your national park adventures before and during your trip.
SUMMER WILDLIFE IN THE SEASHORE
Summer Wildlife Sightings
by Loretta Farley
Humpback whales feed off the Farallones and may be seen in the summer or fall near Point Reyes. Their usual pattern is feeding in northern latitudes during summer months and then moving to tropical waters to breed in winter. They have a distinctive feeding pattern called bubble feeding where they blow nets of bubbles around schools of food such as herring or krill. A small fin on the back as well as white patches on the tail are ways to distinguish them.
NPS Latino Conservation Week Event
¡Estás invitado a unirse a nosotros
en una visita guiada al faro de Point Reyes!
Caminaremos por los 313 escalones que conducen al faro y aprenderemos sobre su historia. El faro es el principal destino en Point Reyes National Seashore, ¡y estamos emocionados de que te unas a nosotros! Este evento ocurrirá durante Latino Conservation Week (17 al 25 de julio). Invitamos a la comunidad latinx al parque para explorar las maravillas que tiene para ofrecer.
Hay espacio limitado disponible (30 lugares). Envíe un correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org para reservar sus lugares. Escriba tu nombre y cuántos lugares estás reservando. No dudes en ponerte en contacto con Alícia si tienes alguna pregunta.
Your monthly donations help sustain our conservation and environmental education programs, and allow us to bring more faces out to the Seashore. Donate this month and sign up to join our rising tide! Become a High Tide Monthly Supporter today. It is the easiest, and greenest way to show your love for the park!
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.
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