To protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks.
The Big Idea
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a refuge for ecological diversity, and that restores the soul. Point Lobos Foundation works to protect the reserve’s habitat and ensure all guests are able to benefit from being outdoors in such a magnificent place. They create safe, accessible trails and fund docent programs to educate youth and adults on the wonders of Point Lobos. This year has demonstrated how access to parks is essential to emotional and physical well-being during shelter-in-place. The foundation’s PORTS program is working to expand their presentations so students throughout Monterey County can continue to experience Point Lobos. State Parks staff take students on livestreamed adventures within the reserve so they can see in real-time what it is like to hike on the trails or to kayak in Whalers Cove, providing an introduction to the beauty of Point Lobos and bringing environmental curricula to life. In the 2019-20 school year, they presented 235 programs reaching 7,500 students.
From a kayak on top of the Pacific Ocean the Point Lobos distance learning program (PORTS) livestreams into classrooms sharing the giant kelp forest of Whalers Cove with students throughout Monterey County (2019-20 school year we presented 235 programs reaching 7500 students). Through this highly interactive program, students explore the kelp forest ecosystem. Along the way, we learn about the wildlife we observe, how we protect Point Lobos and what they can do to help. Many students have never seen the ocean before, so to kayak out, stream that experience in real time hearing their excitement when a great blue heron eats a fish right in front of us or a pod of dolphins swims by and answering their numerous questions is a fun and fantastic way to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. PLF funding for the Point Lobos PORTS Program to inspire future environmental stewards.
- Daniel Williford