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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Hidden Park, San Diego, California, USA

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Hidden Park, San Diego, California, USA
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Registered: December 2009
City/Town/Province: San Diego
Posts: 1
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In AP biology I learned about endangered species and environment, biodiversity and how all species in nature are interrelated in that if one specie is gone it will trigger a chain reaction detrimental to all other species, including human kind. As president of the Ecology Club our club advisor informed me of the threatened fairy shrimps in local vernal pools near my old middle school. Because people were not aware that such a rare specie of water life and moss exist in that location bikers, dogs, and hikers accidentally destroy the thriving habitat. Acknowledging the problem I took immediate action and started a project to protect and promote.
Our mission took place at Hidden Park, various trail surrounded by vast landscapes next to a canyon. The location is directly behind Challenger Middle School, San Diego, California, thus the public had easy access to it. The man made dirt paths went through the vernal pools where the fairy shrimps make their home along with the moss and ferns around the pool. At the site there were also rocks, cement dumping, belongings left behind by campers and homeless people, and tons of litter. Coyotes have also been known to roam the place along with dogs, rabbits, and snakes. It is not known if these animals eat the fairy shrimps, but it is true that they contribute to the vernal pools ruin. Fairy shrimp population declines were then due primarily to habitat loss from agricultural and urban development, alteration of wetland hydrology by draining, off-road vehicle activity, and replacement by other fairy shrimp species that are habitat generalists. The primary goal in the recovery of the fairy shrimp is to secure existing vernal pools from further loss and degradation to maintain habitat function and species viability.
Through self-initiated persistence and demonstration of my intellectual competence I took charge of organizing the plans, assigning positions, contacting volunteers and sponsors, and taking trips to the actual site to map out the plan. I spearheaded the design to line the canyon where the habitat is located with rocks to clearly mark where it is safe for hikers, bikers, and dogs to walk. Within our club, members were separated into several groups in charge of volunteers, publicity, supplies, and the actual clean-up itself with all reporting back to me. On the day of the clean up I provided rides for members who had difficulty getting to the site. I also provided sufficiently information to any questions from the media regarding the purpose of our mission. To motivate others to step up and preserve nature, simply because everything deserves a chance to live, strive, and share a space on Earth.
Before we could actually clean up the canyon where the endangered fairy shrimps, moss, and fern species were found we had to find a way to gather enough volunteers, supplies, and a way to let the community know what we were up to. So in order to accomplish all of those tasks we diligently designed posters and flyers to pass around the school and the community, asked for trash bag, gloves, water bottles and other useful donations, and finally we contacted local news and media groups to come film us in action to help us get the message across that it is rewarding to help a good cause.
With a single goal in mind, I took charge with the mindset to inspire my peers to become more involved about the importance of preserving natural habitats
Being actively involved in the work of protecting our environment, gave me a feeling of how precious our earth is. Moreover, the Ecology club gave me a chance to broaden my engagements outside of the school spectrum. As the head of the assignment I learned to master one key concept, that it takes cooperation and the establishment of a strong spirit within each member to achieve any goal. The feeling of personal achievement inspired me to continue lending a helping hand whenever and wherever it is needed. It instilled in me a sense of compassion and to share in any humble way I can with my community. It is an eye opening achievement that will mold me into a well-rounded addition to our evolving society. Since the clean-up my family has become even more involved in not only my school club, but our neighborhood, as well. My school started a garden that the Ecology club manages and encourages us to create more community service events. As for the community a piece of nature has been put back in its place for generations to admire.
Date: December 21, 2009 Views: 2960 File size: 32.4kb, 563.3kb : 2500 x 1875
Hours Volunteered: 120
Volunteers: 30
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 & 8 to 45
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 4.8
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 67.5
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