Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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Nicodemus Wilderness Project


NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - San Diego, CA

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San Diego, CA
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Registered: December 2023
City/Town/Province: San Diego
Posts: 1
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An incredible itch that sunk deep into my bones no matter how hard I scratched it would not go away. As I stumbled through trails as a little kid, I was unaware that a hidden menace lay ahead, leaves of three that begged to be left be. By the time I exited from the canyon back to my house, my arms was covered in a blistering rash that felt like it would never fade. Poison Oak. That was my introduction to Tecolote Canyon.

It took me years to go back to Tecolote Canyon, but once I did, I could not stay away. Tecolote Canyon was an oasis a few hundred feet from my house in San Diego. As a child, I would explore the canyon with my family on long hikes, leaving behind San Diego proper to discover what felt like a rural small town behind my house. It was like night and day. Tecolote Canyon became my personal Narnia wardrobe - I would leave the stress of school and social pressures behind, shedding my usual self to explore creek beds and long walks. The canyon offered stillness, nature's balm, whenever the chaos of life felt too loud. To me, Tecolote Canyon was a portal to transformation and is a place near and dear to me.

Centuries ago, the Kumeyaay Indians found food and shelter in Tecolote Canyon, a place that is rich with history. It has been designated as a cartographic feature on area maps for nearly two centuries and was given the name tecolote, or owl, for the diminutive raptor that lives in this canyon. The Canyon has approximately 6.5 miles of trails that can be used for jogging, walking and mountain biking. Tecolote Canyon Nature Center offers its visitors a variety of educational and recreational opportunities.

During the COVID shutdown, me and my family made it a point to keep active within the community and continue litter pickup at San Diego Tecolote Canyon. By the end of the COVID shutdown, Tecolote Canyon was spotless. I realized when I volunteered, people genuinely were grateful for what I was doing. I learned I was making a difference, whether it is serving, cleaning or assisting. It is a satisfying feeling that makes one feel more interconnected with the world.

I have participated in many community service projects that focus on environmental stewardship, such as collecting litter in Mission Bay Park, Tecolote Canyon, Mission/Pacific/Ocean/La Jolla Beach, Mataguay Scout Ranch, and various campgrounds throughout Southern California with I Love A Clean San Diego, planting trees in Logan Heights, promoting recycling at the Farmer Open Insurance golf tournament, my list is endless. I spearheaded organizing and managing a group of volunteers to construct and build the City of San Diego Tecolote Canyon Nature Center (TCNC) Native Seed Library. This project took over 200+ combined hours, aimed to educate and provide native seeds for the San Diego community to restore native plant habitat, which is essential for preserving biodiversity. Using native plant species can survive on rain alone and little to zero irrigation which is a great way for water conservation. The Ranger who manages all the canyon areas within the City of San Diego stated that this was one of his favorite volunteer projects. I invite you to come check it out at TCNC 5180 Tecolote Rd, San Diego, CA 92110.

The TCNC Native Seed Library is something reminiscent of neighborhood Free Little Libraries, where community members can give and take from a small location where books are stored. However, instead of books, it is native seeds for members of the community to grow gardens. Unlike neighborhood library boxes, these seed libraries only require taking of seed packets, and not giving back seed packets to the library.

All seeds in the library will be native plants. This library will act both as a library, and an interactive piece in the Tecolote Canyon Nature Center to educate visitors of native plant life. The library will contain a large variety of seeds. Currently, there are plans for 50+ different types of native seeds to be placed within the library. I worked in collaboration with a non-profit organization known as the San Diego Audubon Society to provide the free native seeds. I also decided to use research of the seeds to create a database of information that visitors can read.

A famous quote "Leave this world a little better than you found it." This quote carries significant meaning for me, as it encapsulates the spirit of environmental stewardship and the values that have been instilled in me and now is a lifestyle choice for me.

The quote inspires me to take action and make a positive impact on the world around me. It serves as a reminder that, no matter how small our actions may seem, we can all make a difference in leaving the world a better place than we found it. I believe that this quote is a call to action for all of us to take responsibility for our environmental footprint and strive to make sustainable choices in our daily lives. By adopting a mindset of leaving the world a little better than we found it, we can all contribute to a brighter future for ourselves and future generations.
Date: December 2, 2023 Views: 4124 File size: 10.1kb, 924.1kb : 4032 x 1960
Hours Volunteered: 200
Volunteers: 10
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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