YoSal students from the Orchestra went to Marks Ranch right next to Toro Park this past Saturday, 3/12, for a day camp with the Big Sur Land Trust. Trent Hodges, Outdoor Programs Coordinator for BSLT, describes how the day unfolded below:
“On March 12, nine YOSAL students joined Big Sur Land Trust for a day out at the spectacular Marks Ranch right next to Toro Park. The recent rains have covered the hills in green and the wildflowers have just begun to bloom setting the stage for a magical experience in nature. The YOSAL kids were joined by professional wildlife biologist Tanya Diamond who taught the kids how to look for the tracks of the many animals that pass through Marks Ranch. To the surprise of everyone, a mountain lion track was found at the very beginning of the day! The kids continued to track all the way to a wildlife camera where they learned how biologists use technology to understand more about animal movement.
After lunch, the group learned about the fascinating history of the land, including the Ohlone/Costanoan indigenous tribes, the vaqueros of early California, and the Marks family who ran a chicken egg operation in the early 1900’s. The YOSAL youth dressed up in costume according to each historical group and gave fun and informative presentations. Lastly, the kids made a significant hike up to a high point at the park where they gazed over the Salinas Valley with views stretching from Salinas, to the Pacific Ocean, and Santa Cruz. It was a fantastic day to enjoy the incredible natural beauty that surrounds our communities.”
Many thanks to Trent Hodges and BSLT for this wonderful opportunity for our students! We’re looking forward to the next camp on April 2nd!