This month, the Havasi Wilderness Foundation has been busy visiting schools across Los Angeles whose students have experienced wilderness education at Malibu Lagoon. Recently, HWF Founders, Marilyn Fordney and Alex Havasi were invited to Wilbur Elementary to celebrate student achievement in the Malibu Lagoon wetlands.

The Award Ceremony

To mark their achievement in hands-on education, students received scientific participation medals from the Havasi Wilderness Foundation. Our hope is that these medals will encourage students to continue exploring their environment and to keep learning about the intrinsic connection between people and nature. We appreciate the drawings and messages of gratitude for helping to fund their trip and hope to continue this program into the future.

A Visit to Malibu Lagoon

Malibu Lagoon is a saltwater marsh made up of 110 acres of wetlands, native plants, and sandy beach. Each year,  over 200 other species of bird can be found pecking through the sandy marsh waters for their next meal. When the tide is low, a secret world of brilliantly colored starfish, clams, and sea anemones is revealed and students can explore the abundance of life found in tide pools. As citizen scientists, students are able to make observations about the animals they see and collect data that helps them understand the world outside of the city.

Wilbur Elementary 

On Monday, May 7, 2018, teachers Donna Quan and Mr. Nir Barkan presented a folder of completed assignments that each of their 50 students handed in after their trip to the lagoon. Their projects explained what the student learned and contained a drawn image of many animals seen on their field trip. The Havasi’s were gifted with creative and colorful drawings, like the one photographed below, and cherish these student projects.

Informational bookmarks and HWF Scientific Participation medals were awarded to each of the 50 students, who were surprised to be receiving this recognition. As the students left their class, their faces were full of smiles. In addition to the medals, Donna and Mr. Barkan were each given a book authored by Alex entitled My Adventure in the Chaparral— a book that explores the relationship between humans and animals in the Southern California Chaparral.

In Douglas Anaya and Tracy Evans classroom, Alex gave a short presentation to 50 students who answered questions about their experiences in nature. Scientific Participation medals were awarded to each student and each teacher received a book as well as the bookmarks for the students.

Students from Wilbur Elementary come from a variety of cultures and ended our visit with a “Thank You” in each of their native languages–RUSSIAN – спасибо (spuh-SEE-buh) SPANISH – gracias (GRAH-syahs) FRENCH – merci  PERSIAN (farsi)  mam’noon or merci. In response, Marilyn said JAPANESE – arigatô (ah-ree-GAH-toh) and Alex said HUNGARIAN – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm) for inviting us to their campus.

It was a proud and happy group of students and teachers from the field trip experience. We wish all of the teachers and students a happy, relaxing, and enjoyable summer vacation well earned after their semester of studies.

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